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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

stop poor client relationship

Building an application can be a fun challenge, but ultimately it needs to meet the needs of your client. Misunderstandings and miscommunication can lead to a difficult relationship that makes satisfying their requirements nearly impossible. If you notice you're having conflict with your client, take action to salvage the relationship and the project before it impacts your business.

Identify the Problem

First, acknowledge that there's a problem. Take a step back and try to figure out exactly what's gone wrong. You may be able to point to a specific moment after which the relationship changed, which may mean there's a specific concern about the project that you need to address. Or the relationship may have been difficult from the beginning, which can mean that your style of interacting with the client doesn't mesh with their preferred method of communicating.

Communicate With the Customer

Let the customer know that you recognize there's a problem. You may choose to apologize or simply to accept responsibility for improving the working relationship. If there's a problem with the project, identify the ways you'll be addressing the issue to reduce its impact going forward. If the problem is with how you've been interacting, put in place a new way of providing updates and answering questions – perhaps by a regular email, phone call, or demos, depending on the customer's preferences.

Know When to End the Relationship

Sometimes the relationship can't be salvaged. It's better to hand the project off cleanly to someone else rather than continue to struggle. Make sure to do this professionally; giving notice to a client, like giving notice to an employer, is not a time to burn bridges. Provide all the support needed to transition the project. Done well, you can walk about with your reputation intact.

You can't always choose your clients, but you can choose your employees. When you need to bring on top technical talent, The Armada Group can connect you to a large pool of highly qualified candidates. Contact us to learn how we can help you find employees that help you complete projects successfully to maintain good relationships with your clients.

Published in Staffing News

Developer Skills You Need To Know Now

Technology changes fast, and developers need to keep their skills current to keep up with the marketplace. If you want the opportunity to work on the most challenging new projects, these are the skills you need to know now.

Go Big

Companies are gearing up for big data projects, hoping to gain a competitive edge from analyzing the data collected by all their interactions with customers and suppliers. There's a vast range of skills needed to support big data work, ranging from engineering tasks that focus on managing and storing these giant collections of data, to analytical tasks that focus on understanding the business and using that data to create insights that drive business success. For the engineering-oriented jobs, focus on skills like Hadoop, Spark, and NoSQL databases like MongoDB. The analytical tasks require data science skills, such as statistical methods and text analysis, plus the ability to program in languages like R and Python.

Get MEAN

Javascript still underlies much Web and browser development. Now, with the widespread adoption of Node.js, JavaScript developers are needed for application backends as well. The ability to contribute to both frontend and backend development makes JavaScript developers twice as valuable to development projects. The MEAN stack, consisting of MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, and Node.js, provides developers a comprehensive set of development tools.

Get Mobile

More and more companies are implementing a "mobile first" development strategy. Because of the small screen size, strong UI and UX skills are needed to build an effective interface. Android is by far the dominant platform; iOS trails in second and Windows, Blackberry, and other mobile operating systems barely register. Learn the languages of choice for both Android and iOS development – Java and Swift, respectively – plus a cross-platform development framework such as Sencha will give you the most options for mobile application, and mobile career, development.

Float on a Cloud

Cloud computing is fast becoming a dominant method of application delivery. Learn the features and APIs for the major cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Service, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. The cloud is also a major contributor to the growth of DevOps, opening up deployment and support career paths for those who understand how to automate the process and monitor deployed applications.

Work With a Staffing Agency

Working with a staffing agency like The Armada Group is a great way to explore the jobs your current skills prepare you for and help you identify the skills you need for the best jobs on the market. Search our jobs or contact us to learn how our services help you build your career, not just find a new job.

Published in Recruiting

The Importance of a Diverse IT Pipeline

Technology has a diversity problem. The shortage of women and minorities in STEM fields including computer science and engineering is well known. As a result, it's difficult to have a diverse workforce. That doesn't mean it's not possible; it just means diversity won't happen on its own—you need to work at it. Make sure diversity is addressed by every step of your hiring pipeline.

Look for Candidates in the Right Places

If you look for candidates in just one place, you're likely to find just one kind of candidate. Widen your net to find a bigger, more diverse pool of potential employees. For example, don't limit yourself to elite universities; graduates of second tier schools aren't second rate. And while there are definite advantages to hiring based on employee referrals, those candidates are likely to be similar to the employee who referred them.

Write Job Descriptions That Appeal to a Wide Community

No one writes job descriptions today that say they're looking for a man, but the language you use can unintentionally turn off women. So avoid describing the job by making analogies to the military or sports teams; even terms like rockstar developer can drive away diverse applicants. Think carefully about word choices; to build a team, lead a team, or manage a team can all attract a different applicant pool. Even the way the job description is formatted can have an impact, with high or low numbers of bullet points driving away male or female applicants.

Make Sure Technical Screenings Focus on Technical Skills

While you want to evaluate all candidates' interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills, don't mingle that evaluation with the technical interview. Conduct a separate assessment that focuses solely on technical ability to avoid any impact from unconscious biases. For coding tasks, ask the candidate to solve them on the computer. This ensures they can solve the problem in a situation close to the real work environment; some candidates are uncomfortable working at a whiteboard, which isn't a requirement when building technical solutions once hired.

Published in Hiring Managers
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