Stay in Touch with Your Old Boss

 

When you move on to a new role, the idea of staying in touch with your old boss may seem odd. This is especially true if your relationship wasn’t always ideal or was downright challenging at times. Even if you had a strong connection, which can occur when a supervisor isn’t just overseeing your work but also helps you grow as a professional, touching base regularly might feel strange, particularly when it comes to discussing how happy you are in your new job.

 

However, remaining in contact with your former manager is actually a smart move, especially when it comes to the success of your career. If you are sure why, here aren’t four reasons to stay in touch with your old boss.

 

  1. Guidance

Just because you’ve started in a new position doesn’t mean your old boss can’t offer you guidance during trying times. In fact, they can be an excellent sounding board when you run into challenges, as they aren’t personally involved in your new work situation.

 

As long as you aren’t in a profession where discussing the details of your new role with someone outside the company could be an issue, don’t discount how valuable your former manager’s advice could be during a time of need. They could become a helpful mentor during your career journey, but that can’t happen if you don’t stay in contact.

 

  1. Professional Development

Ultimately, few people understand your professional strengths and weaknesses like your former manager. This makes them uniquely positioned when it comes to helping you determine what areas you should focus on if you want to grow your skills.

 

While they may have shared some of these details with you while you were part of their team, they may be able to speak more bluntly now that the relationship is over. By staying connected, you can invite them to discuss these points with you without being hampered by policy or formality, and you may learn valuable tidbits you wouldn’t hear about any other way.

 

  1. Opportunities

When you land a new job, the idea of having to secure another one in the future is usually the farthest thing from your mind. However, unless you are approaching retirement, there’s a decent chance you’ll end up on the job market at some point during your career.

 

Like you, your old boss maintains their own professional network, and they may hear about exciting job openings at other companies. Additionally, like you, your boss may secure a new opportunity with another business, giving you a connection to a new organization.

 

By staying in touch with your old boss, you can count on them as part of your network. That way, when it’s time to find something new again, you can reach out and see if they are aware of any jobs that may suit you.

 

  1. References

When you need to provide a prospective employer with contact information for a reference, being able to list a former manager is often ideal. In most cases, your old boss’s input is valuable for a few years after you leave that position, so keeping in touch ensures you can provide their details should the need arise.

 

Even if you landed your dream job, it’s always wise to have a plan in case you end up on the job market sooner than you expected. Unanticipated events, like a layoff or emergency move, can throw your career off track, so having important references available is always essential.

 

Those are just a few of the reasons why it’s smart to stay in touch with your old boss. If you would like to learn more or are hoping to land a new job soon, the staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our highly skilled team members today and see how our career management expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Recruiting

2 hiring trends

 

The process involved in the hiring of new employees is ever-evolving. Low employment and challenges to the traditional workday norms are having a significant impact on workplaces across the nation, making the job market feel unfamiliar to many. Whether you are planning to hire or be hired in 2017, take note of these trends that will shape opportunities in 2017.

Goodbye Traditional 9 to 5

Between the rise of the gig economy and declines in the number of mid-level positions, the traditional full-time work experience isn’t going as available as in previous years. Reliance on freelancers and contractors is growing, and many technical professional are using that as an opportunity to focus on skills, tasks, and projects that they truly enjoy.

Additionally, rising competition for top talent allows employees to leverage options like flexible scheduling and remote worker options. That means fewer people in the office during the “standard” work day, and a new paradigm to which everyone must be somewhat prepared to adjust.

Personal Networks and Job Referrals

One of the quickest routes to a new position is through the direct referral process. Social media geared towards professionals has made finding referrals a simpler process and can be seen as a blessing to employees and employers alike. High-quality employees are only going to provide referrals to those they feel will represent them in a positive light, so there is a strong likelihood the referred candidate will possess a similar work ethic or skill set. The route can also be more cost-effective than openly advertising positions, and referrals can often access individuals not actively on the job market.

Information Upfront

Many companies are moving away from the practice of hiding information about available salaries and benefits. While the information isn’t always posted publicly on job announcement, more companies are relying on systems like chatbots to provide potential candidates with more details than what is shown in a job posting. This increased transparency allows job seekers to determine whether a position meets their minimum requirements prior to applying. And that means less time wasted on filling out applications for positions they would never accept, and less time spent considering candidates who will never accept the available salary.

Security is a Priority

Regardless of the primary function of an IT position, an understanding of security as it relates to their work is going to be a priority. Issues regarding data breaches regularly make front page news, so everyone within an organization will need to contribute to larger security goals. Whether that involves developing an additional skill set or increasing awareness regarding vulnerabilities, efforts in the area of security will almost always prove valuable.

Shorter Hiring Processes

The candidate experience is being given more consideration in previous years, and many companies intend to shorten their hiring processes as part of the larger initiative. This produces more favorable conditions for candidates interested in new opportunities as well as businesses filling vacancies.

One method for shortening the hiring process is working with a professional recruiter that specializes in the unique needs of the IT field. The Armada Group has over 20 years of experience in matching top talent with outstanding opportunities. Contact us today and see how our experience can work for you.

Published in Hiring Managers

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You may think hiring decisions are made in the face-to-face interaction between a candidate and hiring manager at an interview. But the reality is that the most crucial hiring decision comes long before the candidate ever arrives at the job site for that interview; it comes when the potential employee decides whether or not they want to apply for the job.

These days, the candidate almost certainly finds out about a job and fills out their application online. When a candidate submits an application, that's like completing the checkout process at an online store; when they don't, that's equivalent to abandoning their shopping cart.

By realizing candidates are your recruiting processes' end user, you can apply the methods of user experience design to create a candidate experience that doesn't drive away potential employees.

As with any user experience design, the user needs to be part of the design. While your systems need to be designed to support the HR and recruiting teams, they aren't the only users – depending on your objectives, they may not even be the most important users.

This means companies need to interact with candidates not only to decide whether to hire them but to get their feedback on the systems and process. Simple surveys likely aren't enough to capture the deep understanding of user attitudes.

You may not be able to induce candidates who choose not to apply to talk with you about why not, and candidates who don't get the job may not be interested in talking with you any longer, but you should be able to glean solid feedback from the potential employees who become actual employees. Integrate collecting feedback about the online hiring process into your onboarding process; by making it a routine task, you won't miss any opportunity for gathering data.

Then make sure that data doesn't simply go into a report but is actually acted upon to improve your systems. Remember you want to encourage candidates to apply and keep streamlining the process as your goal. While systems can't be replaced overnight, there will always be a need to hire new employees, so you should always be motivated to make changes as soon as possible.

Whether or not your online process is candidate-friendly, positive word of mouth will encourage potential applicants to press "submit." When you work with The Armada Group, our recruiters take the time to fully understand what you're looking for in talent so we can help candidates understand why they should want to work for you. Contact us to start improving your candidate experience now.

Published in Recruiting

Make Hiring from a Competitor Less Risky

Information technology is a competitive business. Companies compete for funding, for sales, and for employees. Because top tech talent is in short supply, sometimes the best hire is working for your competition. If you do steal someone away, make sure your theft is legal.

Take the Employee's Talent, Not Their Employer's Trade Secrets

You should be aiming to gain competitive advantage from the employee's special skills and knowledge, not from their inside information about their former employer's business plans. Trade secrets are protected by law, even if the employee hasn't signed a nondisclosure agreement.

It's important to make sure any ideas the employee brings with them are original and can't be claimed by their current employer. Some employment contracts give ownership of ideas, even if they were developed on personal time or seem unrelated to the company's line of business.

Make Sure the Employee Can Work For You

Some employees are under noncompete agreements with their employer. While courts don't always uphold these agreements if they're challenged, you should consider the consequences of a potential fight before hiring the employee.  Litigation can be expensive, even if you win. Court battles require time as well as money, so the employee's contributions may be limited until the case is settled.

Ask about any other agreements the employee signed. In addition to non compete agreements, nondisclosure, nonsolicitation, confidentiality, and other clauses may affect the ability of the employee to perform the services you want.

Make a Clean Break

Under some circumstances, it may be possible to work with the current employer to ensure that the employee doesn't bring over any materials. The current employer can designate a monitor to document that only personal items are removed from the premises and that all required corporate material was returned. This can eliminate the basis for claims of trade secret thefts later. If possible, you can structure the new employee's responsibilities to reduce the possibility of disclosing confidential information.

Consult Your Attorney

The best way to make sure your hiring the competitor's employee is within the law is to consult an attorney prior to offering a position to them. Make sure you and your legal advisor review all employment agreements signed by the employee with their current employer. Once you understand the commitments they've made, you'll be able to determine whether there are any risks in hiring them and if those risks are worth taking.

Published in Recruiting

4 Tips for Managing a Remote IT Team

It's common these days for IT teams to have team members in multiple locations around the world, whether to take advantage of specialized talent or cost factors. Technology helps these scattered teams communicate, but there are still challenges that come when co-workers aren't co-located. Here are four tips for managers to help their remote teams work effectively.

Plan ahead

Projects always work more efficiently when there's a plan, and planning is even more critical with remote staff. There are fewer opportunities for casual interactions and questions to clarify assignments, and if confusion crosses time zones, delays can extend for days. Make sure you have a plan, so everyone knows what they're expected to do and when it needs to be done.

Schedule time to communicate

Because team members don't see you in person on a regular basis, they don't often get a lot of feedback. Don't rely on email; it's not dynamic enough, and meaning doesn't always come through. Plan a regular virtual meeting, perhaps once a month, to meet with your remote staff and give development guidance and other feedback. When possible, use videoconferencing, not just audio, so facial expressions and other non-verbal feedback are part of the communication process.

Build processes and systems to support the team

When people are in the same place, you may not need formal processes to address issues that arise; casual communication and spur-of-the-moment working sessions help sort things out. When people are around the world, a formally defined process ensures that everyone knows how to raise concerns, and that everyone is able to contribute input to solutions.

Build team spirit

Remote teams still want to feel like part of the team. Make sure remote staff are included in team celebrations. If possible, have managers visit the remote site periodically, and bring senior members of the remote staff for working visits to the home office. Besides providing an opportunity to build a shared work culture, these out-of-office experiences allow you to get to know remote staff as individuals and treat them as the unique people they are.

Published in IT Infrastructure

Stay on Top of These 10 Influential IT Recruiting Trends

1. Job seekers have the power. When the economy was tighter, recruiting was more straightforward. There were more job seekers, and they had fewer jobs to choose from. With the economy much improved, companies need to work harder to attract candidates and speed up the process to avoid losing a great candidate.

2. Personalize the recruiting process. You'll need to woo each candidate as an individual. Even for non-executive roles, searching for top candidates becomes more like executive search.

3. Money talks. Along with getting to making an offer more quickly, companies need to make more compelling offers to win over candidates. Sign-on bonuses and paid relocation are no longer a thing of the past. Expect to have to outbid simultaneous offers or counteroffers from the candidate's current employer.

4. Phones are the dominant technology. The recruiting action all happens on mobile phones, now. Candidates expect not only to have interviews over the phone, but also to access the company's careers information on their phone. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, the candidates may not be friendly, either.

5. There's more opportunity for recruiters, too. Companies won't only be competing for IT staff, they'll be competing for the recruiters who find the IT staff. Companies may have to make competitive offers to hang onto their recruitment specialists. Even companies that previously used internal recruiters may need to turn to agencies for assistance due to being shorthanded.

6. Candidates love video. Static text isn't good enough anymore. Businesses need to integrate video into the recruiting process, with videos about the job opportunities and life at the company. Video interviewing can be a convenient way to interview candidates without having to bring them to the company site.

7. Resumes are passé. Candidates don't want to upload a resume to each potential employer, and they hate having to correct parsing errors after it's loaded into your system. Streamline the process by working with their online profile at sites like LinkedIn. And because resumes can hide a candidate's strengths, also review a portfolio of their work. Seeing what they've actually done will give you a much better perspective of what they're capable of.

8. Just-in-time hiring isn't fast enough. If you only look at resumes when a position is available, you'll miss out on great candidates. In today's job market, top-quality engineers are in and out of the market fast. When an impressive resume crosses your desk, consider making an offer even if you don't have an open position. You're better off already having top talent on staff when a role opens up, compared to searching for weeks while being shortstaffed.

9. Hire people you already know. The best person to work for you may be someone who worked for you previously. Unless someone was terminated for cause, bringing back someone who already knows how your business operates gives you a "new" hire who can settle in and start producing quickly, rather than needing to get familiar with how to get things done.

10. Emphasize workforce planning. Increased turnover and a competitive hiring market means you need a better plan for keeping your employees working for you and developing their talents. Improved use of data will help companies develop effective policies, as predictive metrics become further developed.

Published in Staffing News