The Mindset Managers Need to Grow

 

For a company to remain successful, it needs to be prepared to evolve with the times. If managers don’t maintain the proper mindsets, they can easily become roadblocks to advancement instead of champions for it. If you want to reach new heights in 2019, here are the mindsets you need to embrace to make sure that forward progress is possible.

 

Connection

People have a fundamental need to connect with others, but many managers try to shut themselves off from their teams, fearing that getting to close would lead to consequences. Typically, this attitude is shortsighted, as it is costing you far more than you risk by forging these connections.

 

When you actively strive to connect with your employees, you allow relationships to form. This can breed loyalty and create a healthier culture, as everyone will feel like they belong.

 

Growth

You can’t improve the performance of your business without embracing growth, and this doesn’t just include the companies. Supporting your professional growth as well as that of your team is also critical, ensuring everyone has the proper knowledge and skills to be at their best.

 

Make your own development a priority as this ensures your employees will have a solid example to follow. Then, provide them with opportunities too to make sure everyone can take steps forward.

 

Trust

Without trust, no team can thrive. Managers often worry about providing their staff with too much autonomy, fearing that, by letting go, something will go awry. However, when you give your employees some degree of freedom, they typically rise to the occasion. Plus, it frees you up to focus on your own tasks, including those that can generate growth.

 

Often, leaders need to extend trust first and not wait for it to be earned. By embracing this approach, your team builds confidence quickly and will strive to meet your expectations. When trust is withheld initially, it can breed discontent and anxiety, especially if your workers don’t know what they need to do to make progress. While allowing yourself to give trust when you are uncertain is difficult, it’s usually worth the effort.

 

Purpose

Employees aren’t going to be at their best when the company’s core focus in on increasing profits. Often, workers feel little benefit from the organization improving their bottom line, so you need to give them something more if you want them to excel.

 

Instead of focusing on profit, adopt a purpose mindset. When professionals can work on something that is intrinsically meaningful and fulfilling, productivity and engagement rise. This can lead to growth and, subsequently, a higher level of profitability, all without making either of those a core focus.

 

Are You Looking For the Most-Talented Tech Candidates?

By adopting the mindsets above, your company can grow in 2019. If you’d like to learn more, the skilled staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our growth mindset expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

What Exactly Is Robotic Process Automation

 

While most companies understand that embracing automation is smart business, many leaders are only beginning to grasp the nuances of what is available today. Even as robotic process automation (RPA) garners more attention, not everyone fully understands what the technology can do.

 

If you are one of the many who is wondering what RPA entails, here’s what you need to know.

 

What Robotic Process Automation Is

At its simplest, RPA is a form of business process automation that takes advantage of next-level artificial intelligence (AI). It creates a mechanism to remove manual tasks that are highly repetitive and tedious from the hands of your staff, creating a way to increase overall efficiency.

 

At a deeper level, RPA is a technology that allows humans to create software that can accomplish specific tasks within existing applications, such as processing a transaction, triggering responses, leveraging data, or communicating with other systems. It makes the most of both APIs and user interfaces to fully automate a business process from end-to-end.

 

RPA also have the ability to combine the work of a human user with the software, creating more potential service capabilities. These solutions are often considered hybrids, but embrace RPA at their core as a means of boosting productivity.

 

What Robotic Process Automation Isn’t

RPA isn’t necessarily a method for reducing staff requirements or eliminating certain professions. Instead, it’s a technology that empowers employees to focus on tasks that genuinely necessitate a human touch, such as customer-centric activities or those that require creative thinking.

 

While it may help lighten workloads, RPA is more often seen as an opportunity to reassess staff priorities and realign their duties and objectives to make the most of the new paradigm. Employees can be more productive or branch out into new arenas, creating pathways for growth that can benefit both the workers and the company as a whole.

 

The Benefits of Robotic Process Automation

Typically, RPA allows monotonous tasks to be handled by a technology instead of your workers. Often, these are some of the most hated duties in the company, so allowing them to be managed by a machine can actually boost morale.

 

Additionally, it gives your staff the ability to focus on more revenue-generating, customer-centric, or innovative activities. This can enhance productivity and profitability while also providing a business a competitive edge over companies that have yet to embrace the power of the technology.

 

Ultimately, RPA can be a valuable tool for any company, particularly those who leverage it to enhance productivity and create the needed space to promote innovation and discovery or provide better support to potential and existing customers.

 

If you would like to know more about robotic process automation or are seeking an IT professional with RPA experience to help implement the technology in your company, the experienced staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

3 Unlikely Traits that Extraordinary Tech Leaders Have in Common

 

There is often some level of debate regarding which characteristics truly define great leaders in a company. Some assume that subject-matter expertise is the most critical while others think that decisiveness is imperative.

 

While both of those can provide value, there are some unexpected traits that many of today’s greatest tech leaders share. By working to cultivate these in yourself, you can excel in your leadership role and make sure your team is primed to perform to the best of their capabilities.

 

With that in mind, here are three unlikely traits that extraordinary tech leaders have in common.

 

  1. The Willingness to Trust First

Many managers assume that trust needs to be earned. Similarly, they feel that a single misstep on the part of another is justification to make them re-earn trust, even if it is a relatively minor infraction.

 

This approach can create a contentious situation, leading employees to feel they need to either show-off to showcase they are trustworthy or walk on eggshells to avoid harming the relations. However, if you give trust freely to your team, they usually rise to the occasion and may even exceed your expectations.

 

By believing in your staff and their abilities quickly, you demonstrate your confidence in what they can do. This can significantly boost morale, increase productivity, and potentially spur innovation, especially if you create a safe environment for the expression of ideas.

 

  1. Understanding the Power of Humility

Some managers believe that humility is a character flaw. They assume that it’s a sign of meekness or low self-esteem, largely because, to be humble, one must be open to recognizing their own shortcomings.

 

However, contrary to popular belief, humility is rarely a sign of weakness. In reality, humble leaders are more adept at building meaningful connections with their team and colleagues and are also more willing to help when the need arises, ensuring the success of the group during trying times.

 

Humility also means being able to admit your mistakes, a sign of accountability, or recognize when someone has a better idea than you. This creates an environment where your team learns to trust and respect you, enhancing the overall dynamic.

 

  1. A Penchant for Active Listening

Too many managers fail to listen actively. Instead of genuinely absorbing the information as it is given, they simply wait for their turn to speak, formulating their response before they have heard all of the details.

 

When you are an active listener, you are able to discover what others need with greater ease. You’ll also be more open to their contributions in general, ensuring that you don’t overlook an amazing idea simply because you weren't receptive.

 

Ultimately, the three characteristics above are often hallmarks of great IT managers, making them worth developing if you want to create the best environment possible. If you would like to learn more about the traits that define extraordinary tech leaders, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team today and see how our leadership expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Tech Jobs

 

It’s no secret that tech professionals are in demand. However, certain specialties are growing at an unprecedented pace, particularly since low unemployment is common in the labor market.

 

If you are considering switching into an IT career or want to know about your current path’s potential, here are seven growing tech jobs and how much you can earn in each role.

 

  1. Help Desk / Support Desk Technician

Most large enterprises and government agencies have support desk technicians on staff to ensure that internal employees have access to help when it is required. In most cases, support desks are divided into tiers, reflecting the knowledge base needed to perform in the roles.

 

Tier 1 professionals are viewed as entry-level and can earn salaries between $32,000 and $54,000, depending on the person’s amount of experience. Tier 2 generally begins near $38,000 and can reach just shy of $64,000. At the top, Tier 3 professionals may make between $48,500 and $81,500.

 

  1. Network Administrator

Keeping internal networks operational and prepared to handle the potential load is a must for any business. Plus, planning for expansions to accommodate growth is often a necessity.

 

At the low end, network administrators usually earn around $55,000. However, after acquiring experience in the field, a salary of over $104,000 is possible.

 

  1. System Administrator

Another critical business role is the system administrator. Typically, these professionals begin their careers near $64,500. With time and experience, some are able to cross the six-figure mark, reaching a salary of around $102,500.

 

 

  1. Business Intelligence Analyst

Successful business intelligence analysts usually have skills in areas like database technology, reporting, and analytics. As companies work to leverage their data more effectively, business intelligence analyst salaries have been rising.

 

Initially, professionals in this field can earn just shy of $84,000. At the upper echelons, salaries over $175,000 may be possible.

 

  1. Database Developer

Another critical role in the data field is the database developer. These professionals manage and create enterprise databases, ensuring information is properly organized and stored while remaining accessible.

 

Usually, a database developer can begin with a salary near $97,750. After acquiring experience in the field, the best and brightest may be able to earn $175,750 annually.

 

  1. Data Security Administrator

As security continues to be a top concern for businesses large and small, data security administrators have seen their skills become increasingly valuable. They ensure that all security measures are up to date and monitor company systems while implementing sound security strategies.

Even those new to the data security administrator profession can make $100,000 a year. As their knowledge and skills grow, salari

es as high as $168,750 are certainly possible.

 

  1. Data Scientist

Data scientists collect data and analyze it in the hopes of identifying patterns that can assist with critical business decisions. Programming skills are typically a must as well as communication skills, allowing these professionals to share their findings with those who may not be as tech-savvy.

 

Most data scientists start their careers around the $100,000 mark and can earn salaries near $168,000 as they gain experience.

 

All of the tech positions above are in-demand today. If you are interested in learning more or are seeking new employment opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals today and see how our expertise can benefit you.

 

 

Full Stack Developer

 

More and more companies are looking for full stack developers. These jacks of all trades have detailed knowledge of every software development layer, understand front- and back-end technologies, and can create fully functional products from prototypes.

 

Since it requires a substantial amount of knowledge to become a full stack developer, not everyone chooses to pursue the profession. That means those that do are in high demand, often commanding large salaries based on their robust skill set.

 

If you’re ready to increase your level of competency so you can become a full stack developer, and possibly land a six-figure salary, here are some e-books worth reading.

 

HTML5 & CSS3 for the Real World

If your looking to gain a strong foundation in web development technologies, this easy-to-follow guide is ideal for the task, providing you with the fundamental skills in two of the most commonly used tools in the world of web development. There’s hands-on instruction, ensuring you have a chance to get the skills down, and information about building exceptional websites as efficiently as possible.

 

Jump Start Responsive Web Design

Now that a smartphone is in nearly everyone’s pocket, websites need to display properly on more than just computer screens. This e-book provides guidance on using HTML and CSS to create responsive designs that will appear correctly on any screen, making it a valuable text for any would-be full stack developer.

 

Researching UX: User Research

Ultimately, a project is only successful if it appeals to your audience. This e-book teaches you about user research, including a number of techniques for collecting data, and how the information can help you create designs that are most likely to resonate with your visitors.

 

 

JavaScript: Novice to Ninja

JavaScript is a leading programming language, so every full stack developer should know how to use it well. If you aren’t already familiar with JavaScript, this e-book will get you up to speed, giving you the ability to add new functionalities to apps and create code that is easy to maintain.

 

Jumpstart Git

Essentially, Git is a version control system that allows collaborating developers to track cumulative changes that are made to a project, ensuring everything is centralized and accessible. This e-book explains the value of Git, as well as methods for maintaining control of both your assets and your code.

 

By reading the e-books listed above, you can improve your skillset and pave the way to a strong career as a full stack developer, increasing your odds of landing a six-figure salary as you progress in your profession.

 

If you are seeking out full stack developer opportunities or would like to learn more about the skills required to be successful in these roles, the professionals at The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our services can help you launch or progress in your full stack developer career.

 

 

 Mentor

 

A lot of professionals have heard that having a mentor can potentially benefit their career. But, since these arrangements aren’t necessarily common or publicly announced, exactly how it can help you get ahead can seem like a bit of a mystery.

 

Ultimately, having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial, as long as the relationship is constructed in the proper way. If you are wondering how a mentor can help your career, here’s what you need to know about the role.

 

A Long-Term Relationship

One of the biggest differences between a mentor and a coach is the duration of the relationship. While coaches often make short-term arrangements, a mentor is usually in it for the long haul. The idea is to serve as a guide, supporting your growth and professional development, and acting as a source of insight as you move forward down your career path.

 

The nature of a relationship with a mentor is usually not finite, allowing them to function as a critical connection for months or even years.

 

 

A Source of Encouragement

Often, a person who serves as a mentor is a professional in a position that you would one day like to have. This means that they have usually been in your shoes at some point in their career, so they are capable of both empathizing with the challenges you encounter while also being capable of offering encouragement. After all, they have likely had to tackle the same issues as they were rising through the ranks, and they made it, so they know it is possible to overcome obstacles and reach success.

 

At times, simply having a cheerleader can do wonders for your career. Understanding that someone else has made it through these challenges and is rallying behind you can be both stress-relieving and empowering, allowing you to accomplish more than you previously thought possible.

 

A Sounding Board

While it isn’t a mentor’s responsibility to tell you exactly what to do to reach your goal or give you answers when you encounter difficult questions, they can often serve as a sounding board when you are faced with tough decisions. Again, they have a deeper understanding of the field, so their wisdom can help you work through complicated problems, giving you a chance to make the decision while ensuring you considered all of the key points along the way.

 

In the end, a mentor wants to see you succeed, so they are going to offer their insights and encouragement as a means of supporting you during your journey. If you are interested in learning more about how a mentor can benefit you and your career or are seeking out new opportunities in your field, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer and to see how our services can benefit you as you work towards your larger career goals.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

 Former Employers

 

Job seekers are often anxious when it comes to having their references checked, with many wondering exactly what a former employer can say about their performance. For example, can a previous employer tell a hiring manager that you were fired? Can them tell them why that decision was made? Are they allowed to discuss the amount of notice you provided when you quit or how many times you were absent?

 

Questions such as those can leave a lot of job seekers worried, even if their overall work history is fairly standard for their field. If you have been wondering what a previous employer can or cannot say about you legally, here’s what you need to know.

 

Federal and State Laws

When it comes to federal regulations, there simply aren’t any. Employers, from a national perspective, have the ability to say whatever they want when they are contacted for a reference.

 

However, many states do have laws that dictate what can or cannot be discussed, though they can vary dramatically from one state to the next. This means you need to review the regulations that pertain to you, and not just based on where you live now, but where your previous employers were located too. If you are planning to relocate for a job, then review the laws in each of the states you are considering as well.

 

 

What Employers are Usually Allowed to Say

As mentioned above, what your former employers can say about you varies from one state to the next. However, there are certain things that are commonly considered legal.

 

Most previous employers can typically disclose if you were terminated from your position, as well as the reason behind that decision. Some states also allow them to talk about your performance, though the feedback may be limited to generalizations.

 

However, even if an employer can discuss specific details about their experience with you, the majority are very cautious when it comes to disclosing various kinds of information. Predominately, their goal is to avoid lawsuits that fall into the defamation category, which includes slander and libel. This means that, unless they are entirely certain that what they are about to say is accurate, they won’t provide the information.

 

Can You Ask Them What Will be Discussed?

Sometimes, the easiest way to find out what might be disclosed is to contact your previous employer’s HR department or a suitable representative and just ask them. In most cases, they will be upfront with you about their policies, so you can determine what they are likely to say during a reference check.

 

Ultimately, if you aren’t sure what they will cover, it is best to assume that they will provide a large amount of detail. This is one of the reasons why you need to always be honest on your application, as failing to be truthful can come back to bite you.

 

If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more about our services, including how they can benefit your career.

 

 

Published in Staffing News

Hiring Strategy

 

When it comes to hiring, two things matter more than anything: speed and quality. While the two don’t always seem to go together well, there are strategies that can help you secure top talent as quickly as possible. Here’s how to get started.

 

Clearly Define Your Ideal Candidate

One of the easiest ways to improve your hiring process is to first clearly define what your ideal candidate looks like. Typically, this involves an extensive review of the job requirements with a focus on critical competencies and priorities, such as filling skill gaps.

 

Now, during this process, you don’t want to create a skills list that is so extensive it becomes practically unattainable, especially since many professionals won’t apply to a position unless that are a 100 percent match for the requirements. Instead, list only those that are most crucial for the role as requirements, and review the applications to determine if anyone also possesses any “nice to have” skills as well.

 

Align Your Interview Team

Often, each interviewer on a team or panel has a different idea of what a great candidate looks like unless they are given clear guidance regarding any current priorities. Failure to align your interview team means everyone isn’t likely to agree on a top prospect, which may leave you without a potential new hire.

 

Begin by identifying any essential core competencies that are necessary for the role as a method for guiding everyone’s analysis of the interviewees. This will also help you determine if you need someone who functions as more of a specialist or generalist in their particular area, as either approach can be appropriate, depending on your priorities. Then, consider if any attributes define candidates who may be a solid cultural fit, increasing the chances that they will excel in the environment.

 

You also want to make sure that the panel won’t place too much weight on credentials from top-ranked schools or previous experience at leading companies, as many professionals are just as skilled even though they don’t possess that particular pedigree. It also helps to have a discussion regarding the importance of achievement versus experience, as a seemingly less experienced job seeker may be more prone to greatness despite their greenness.

 

Agree on Acceptable Trade-Offs

Some teams are more willing to take a risk on a potentially great talent who needs some additional development than others, and getting everyone on the same page in this area is essential. If everyone isn’t assessing the candidates from the same perspective, you may have conflict in your interview team as they debate the merits of someone who appears to have potential but isn’t proven. By having this discussion in advance, it is easier to align the panel in a particular direction, speeding up the hiring process.

 

Similarly, very rarely does a candidate possess every skill or trait you’re hoping to find, so it is important to determine which points are non-negotiable and which can be overlooked as long as the interviewee has another characteristic or competency which could be helpful.

 

By following the tips above, you can streamline your hiring process significantly. If you would like to improve your strategy further, the recruitment specialists at The Armada Group can connect you with some of the area’s leading talent. Contact us today to see how our hiring strategies can work for you.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

Future of IT

 

Technology is a larger part of more businesses today than ever before. Emerging solutions and emerging trends have the potential to reshape workplaces across the country, freeing workers from tedium and allowing them to focus on activities that truly require their attention. To show everything the future of IT has to offer in regards to increased efficiency, here are some developments that are changing processes today that will continue to do so for years to come.

Automation

A technology that is quickly finding its home in the mainstream, automation gives us an indication of the future of IT and the working world. Repetitive tasks are slowly being taken over by automated processes, allowing employees to escape the monotony and concentrate on assignments that require their attention.

 

Automation also has the ability to perform certain functions faster, allowing for deep analysis of data in less time. They can also be more accurate than their human counterparts, allowing for more reliable results. That means workers can say goodbye to the mundane and businesses still get high-quality results. And that leaves everyone happy.

Collaboration

As IT becomes a larger part of many organizations, it isn’t surprising that there are becoming more connected to other departments in the companies. While tech professionals are often sectioned off into their own teams, increasing dependence on technology could mean IT workers will be integrated into the groups they support. Instead of a single IT department supporting an entire business, the finance section may have their own team of tech workers focused on their systems.

 

While a shift that large has yet to enter the mainstream, current activities forecast that it’s coming. Other departments are more involved in IT decisions that affect their work now than ever before, and this connection allows user requirements to be gathered with greater ease and suitable solutions to be identified more easily based on the cumulative needs of the entire organization.

Ubiquity

As automation increases the speed of locating and processing information and professional learn to work symbiotically with these new solutions, information will become more accessible than ever before. IT professionals will have the ability to view data outputs in real-time, ensuring everyone has the proper details, based on the most updated data, just as they are required.

 

This paves the way for the quick delivery of targeted technical solutions across the business space. Additionally, workers will have more time to innovate, allowing the strategic value of their actions to increase.

 

While this does require leadership to be comfortable with machines making certain decisions and handling a range of activities on their own, the potential to improve efficiency throughout the organization is certainly enticing. It will take time for some automated offerings to develop far enough to provide significant advantages, but we are well on our way to reaching that destination.

 

If you are interested in learning more, finding a new IT position, or needing a tech pro for a vacant position, The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to discover more about what we have to offer.

 

 

Published in Hiring Managers

5 CEO

 

In most cases, you can’t start a project without the backing of the powers that be, including the CEO. This normally means you need to formulate a method for getting everyone on board and, if your CEO or other members of management aren’t particularly tech-oriented, that can be a feat on its own. To help you explain your next big data project to those who must buy off, here are some tips for managing those conversations.

Make the Value Clear with a Small Pilot

Your first step to getting your CEO on board might not be to craft a strong pitch; it could be running a small-scale trial. Beginning with a pilot gives you the ability to confirm the project holds quantifiable value while also giving you concrete evidence to support the endeavor. Aim to demonstrate how the project will be beneficial in a monetary context, such as how it can increase revenues or lower operating costs.

 

In the end, this approach gives you something clear you can bring to the CEO and serves as an indication to how the project can help the bottom line.

Set Up a Demo

If your CEO isn’t as comfortable with big data technology, setting up a demo of the technology can help bridge any gaps in understanding. Explain the steps in plain English and let them experience how the solution works in real-time. The purpose of this approach is to increase their comfort with the project while simultaneously affirming your competency. A well-managed demo can build trust between you and management, making it easier to secure that ever-important buy off.

Keep Them Apprised of Your Progress

Often, you’ll need to reconfirm your CEO’s support throughout the project, especially if it will be a long-term endeavor. By keeping leadership in the loop as you make progress, you increase their understanding of the project through transparency. It also gives management a chance to provide input, allowing them to be involved at critical junctures and making it easier for them to support any additional requests that may arise as things move forward.

 

It isn’t uncommon for certain areas of IT to feel a bit like a mystery to members of leadership who don’t have experience in the field, especially when it comes to relatively new specialties like big data analytics. By making the technology feel accessible and demonstrating the benefits clearly, you can increase their comfort level with the project while increasing their trust in you. Just remember to keep the CEO updated and engaged as the project moves forward, and aim to be completely transparent regarding your progress. Then, you may find it is easier to secure the buy offs you need to keep your big data project going.

 

If you are interested in learning more about getting your CEO on board with your project or need a new IT employee to join your team, The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to put your knowledge to work for you.

 

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