It's the core values The Armada Group applies to its work that makes its recruiters so successful, says our talent consultant Alexsis Navarro. "Armada holds the same core values as I do," Navarro says. "Integrity, passion, fun, teamwork, trust, and professionalism/respect. Working at a place where both you and the company see the same values can lead to a very successful career." Because of these values, the company and managers support recruiters with the tools and resources they need.
For talent consultants, these values mean personal interactions with its consultants. "The most unique thing about The Armada Group, as a staffing firm, is once you place a consultant at the client site, you get the opportunity to meet them face to face," Navarro says. This isn't typical across the industry, and helps the recruiters get to know and develop a professional relationship with the consultants. As a result of these personal relationships, talent consultants gain insight that helps make future placements successful.
The relationships with the client companies also help making successful placements. "Most of our clients give us detailed feedback on why a candidate was or wasn’t successful during the interview process which in turns helps us search for more suitable candidates and the feedback is always given within a reasonable time frame, anywhere between 24-48 hours – because as we all know this is a very candidate driven market," Navarro says.
While making the perfect match is what Navarro finds so rewarding, the interaction with different kinds of people is what makes the job fun on a daily basis. Navarro explains, " I love being a recruiter because of the people I interact with daily. Whether they are Front-End Engineers, Mobile Developers, Program/Product Managers, or Software Architects, I have met some of the most intelligent people. Although I am not technical, I really enjoy learning from the candidates and hearing about their background and truly am fascinated by the tech field."
Are you ready to work with the most passionate, professional recruiting team in the industry? Contact The Armada Group to learn about our recruiters and the skills we'll bring to identifying the ideal employees for your team.
While it has never been seen as a desirable trait in any industry, many information security experts suggest that a healthy dose of paranoia may actually be good for business. After all, a paranoid leader is a vigilant one. This state of alertness can actually improve the defenses of your organization, through regular improvements, scheduled maintenance, and increased awareness in your company. So should you look for a CISO with a paranoid streak? Consider the benefits before making your final decision.
1. Paranoid CISOs search out advancements.
Paranoid CISOs are ever-improving. Because they constantly suspect that their organization is under attack, they’ll always be looking for new, advanced ways to fortify their defenses and stay informed on new developments in the industry. There’s always room for improvement, so your company will have the most up-to-date information security system available with new, multi-layered controls. This valuable instrumentation and increased depth can help prepare for a threat or attack before you’re even aware it’s there.
2. Paranoid CISOs never neglect necessary system maintenance.
Complacency is just as dangerous as an inherently weak security system. If your CISO isn’t taking the time to update and patch their managed program, they’re opening up channels for potential breaches. A paranoid CISO, on the other hand, constantly patches their program to ensure that no known weaknesses exist in the system. This regular maintenance might be neglected by complacent leaders, creating dangerous vulnerabilities in your organization.
3. Paranoid CISOs improve company awareness.
In their constant state of hyper-vigilance, a paranoid CISO will want to ensure that every member of your organization is doing their part to follow security protocols. This will help create a culture of data security to protect your company at every level. From data analyst to CEO, you organization will be more secure and less vulnerable to attack.
4. Paranoid CISOs develop a deep understanding of the company.
Not only will they understand the nature of each and every potential attack, but a paranoid CISO will also understand the potential consequences they may have on the company. Their deep-rooted knowledge of the business will motivate them to improve and monitor the system, specifically targeting the threats that may cause the most harm to the company.
So while paranoia is often the butt of office jokes, it may actually help the performance of a company’s security system. A paranoid CISO can do more for a business than a complacent leader. Embrace a healthy level of paranoia in your CISO for an improved system and better overall defenses against attacks.
Remaining objective in an interview can be difficult. We’re often inclined to base our impressions of others on emotions and first impressions rather than fact. This can not only harm the interviewee, but it can also result in the loss of talented candidates. By maintaining objectivity and consistency in each of your interviews, you can ensure that the process is as thorough and accurate as possible.
These five key elements of an objective interview will keep you on the right track during your candidate search.
Create a Checklist
Before you begin reviewing resumes, create a checklist that you will follow for each interview. Steps can include “review the job description” or “review interview questions.” Closely following this protocol for each interview will help you maintain consistency throughout the hiring process.
Outline Your Expectations
It’s important to have a solid understanding of what you’re looking for in a candidate. Create a list of desired attributes, and rank them on a scale of importance from one to five. If computer skills are more important for this position than professionalism, for instance, then you will give that trait a higher rating. By outlining your expectations for the ideal candidate, you’ll be more able to objectively compare each individual interviewee to your set of desired characteristics.
Categorize Your Questions
As you’re writing your list of interview questions, try to categorize them by the list of traits determined above. If you need a candidate with project management skills, ask about occasions when they’ve influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership position. Other categories may be detail orientation, communication, and the ability to be a team player.
Use a Scoring System
Create a score sheet that will help you evaluate each candidate during the interview. Using your outlined traits, rate them on a scale of one to five. You should complete the score sheet as soon as possible after the end of the interview, while your impression is still objective. The same score sheet should be used for each interview.
Rank Each Candidate
Once you’ve rated your candidates, it’s time to compare their rating to the importance of each trait. Multiply the interviewee’s score in each category by its importance. This is their weighted score. Once you’ve weighted each category, add their total score and compare with other interviewees to choose the candidate best suited for the position.
These five elements of an objective interview process will aid you in choosing qualified candidates without clouding your judgment with emotions or “gut feelings.” This process is fair and consistent for the interviewees and delivers the best results for your company. By remaining consistent and impartial, you increase the effectiveness of your interview process and choose the best candidate each time.
Today’s IT professionals have a diverse range of career paths, options, and specialties to choose from. If you’re creative and detail oriented, enjoy working with machinery, and want a well-paying job with plenty of opportunities, you may be a good candidate for a career in automation engineering.
What is an automation engineer?
Automation as a field involves creating and applying technologies that control or monitor production and delivery. There are automation opportunities in both product- and service-oriented industries. Two professional associations, the International Society of Automation and the Automation Federation, are involved in promoting and supporting the field of automation.
The duties of an automation engineer include designing, programming, simulating, and testing automated machinery or processes that are intended to complete precise tasks — for example, robots used in packaging, food processing, or vehicle manufacturing. Automation engineers work with automated machinery from concept to prototype, and are responsible for providing detailed documentation including design specifications that enable the production or application of their products.
Educational requirements for automation engineers
In the United States, there are not many degree programs specifically offered for automation engineering. Most automation engineers start out with a bachelor’s degree in either electrical or mechanical engineering, which may include courses in relevant subjects such as robotics, fluid dynamics, statistics, and databases. Some automation engineers continue to earn master’s degrees before entering the job market. The bulk of relevant automation engineering training is then gained through hands-on career experience.
Licensing and certification for automation engineers
As with most IT fields, licensing or certification can enhance your prospects for landing a career in automation engineering. One of the most popular certifications in this category is the control system engineer license, which demonstrates an understanding of instrumentation and automated controls.
Obtaining status as a certified control systems technician can also qualify you for a wider range of career opportunities, as more than 40 organizations that use automated systems recognize this title. The top level certification for automation engineers is certified automation professional — a title held by only around 400 professionals in the world.
Important skills for automation engineers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the following qualities are required for automation engineers:
- A firm understanding of software development and computer programming
- Equipment troubleshooting skills
- The ability to perform complex system tests
- Creative thinking and detail oriented
- Excellent manual dexterity
- Strong communication skills to support interactions with other members of the development team
Employment outlook for automation engineering
Manufacturing is moving increasingly toward automation, and the demand for qualified automation engineers is rising as more manufacturers turn to automation for efficiency, cost savings, and increased output. A survey from Automation.com reports that the average annual salary for automation engineers is $103,910.
In order to make sure your IT project is completed on time and in budget, you need a great project manager. But how can you spot one? Unfortunately, holding the title of project manager doesn’t always mean that a person can effectively manage projects.
Here are the skills a good IT project manager should have to complete projects successfully, without wasting your time or money.
Organization and multi-tasking
A project manager’s organizational skills can make or break a project. A strong project manager will be able to juggle multiple tasks, or even multiple projects, and track project issues on a daily basis — so they’re spending less time looking for information, and more time managing the project productively.
It goes without saying that project managers should be good leaders, but it’s important to realize that there’s more to manage than the IT team. A great IT project manager is able to take charge of the team, and also lead vendors and stakeholders in order to reach a collaborative consensus.
Good project managers inspire their team to realize the project vision, and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders that ensure alignment with project goals.
Key personnel in any project will include both technical and non-tech professionals. Good project managers are excellent communicators — able to clearly explain even complex concepts to key stakeholders, and ensure that communication is maintained among all stakeholders as well as between stakeholders and the project team.
Effective communication encompasses more than the ability to translate tech speak. Great project managers will be able to relay both good news and bad news to all staff levels, in a timely and tactful manner. They’ll also understand who needs to know what, when, and how — and ensure that the appropriate information is delivered to the right people, at the right times.
A good project manager will know both how and when to negotiate. With most projects, the IT project manager is working with people whose interests may not align with their own, or who don’t seem to be interested in understanding the goals of the project — or why they should help accomplish them.
Successful project managers develop relationships with stakeholders and determine their interests, which enables them to negotiate cooperation by appealing to the stakeholders’ needs — while still remaining within the objective parameters of the projects.
An eye for detail
When it comes to IT project management, details count. A great project manager will take a meticulous approach to handling project details big and small, and understanding the impact every detail will have on the overall success of the project. Failure to pay attention to details can mean failure of the entire project.
In every project, issues and obstacles will arise — and some will require an immediate solution. A good IT project manager must be able to make critical decisions quickly, arriving at the best possible solution in the shortest amount of time to avoid delaying or derailing the project.
Relevant technical skills
While project managers don’t need high-level IT skills to be effective — after all, the skills brought to the table by the IT project team are crucial to success — an effective project manager must have a firm understanding of the programs, software, and platforms that are involved in the project, or that the company works with regularly.
Great project managers will have enough technical skill to be able to take on some of the project tasks themselves. By completing project tasks personally, project managers can earn the respect of the team, which enables them to work more effectively as leaders.
The San Francisco Bay Area is perhaps better known as Silicon Valley—the place where multi-billion dollar tech companies are born. SV is the home of household names in technology: Google, Apple, Facebook, HP, Yahoo!, Netflix, eBay, and hundreds more thrive in this area. Tech-leaning entrepreneurs salivate at the prospect of starting up here, and the brightest IT talent flocks to SV in hopes of being snagged by one of the giants.
But why is this particular place Silicon Valley? How does the Bay Area continue to incubate the best and most innovative tech companies that survive for the long haul? Here are a few of the reasons technology lives in SV, and fizzles out in other areas.
The Silicon Valley state of mind
Many entrepreneurs starting out in SV share a number of similar traits that uniquely position them for unprecedented success. Among them are a willingness to collaborate and a strong competitive drive, as well as openness to innovation, experimentation, and even failure.
But perhaps the most important piece of the SV puzzle is dedication. Innovators and entrepreneurs come to Silicon Valley with the knowledge that building a hugely successful, standout technology company does not happen overnight—and they’re willing to make the long-term commitment that represents the only path to success of Google proportions.
Not for profit—yet
In Silicon Valley—and to some extent Seattle, the only other area to come close with the production of more than one multi-billion-dollar tech giant—profits are often not the first concern of a startup daring to dream big. This idea seems to fly in the face of sound business theory, because why start a business if you’re not going to make money?
That’s not to say that Silicon Valley startups aren’t interested in money. It’s simply not that high on the list of requirements for the earliest stages of the long-term plan. For instance, Facebook and Twitter both focused on growing massive and unprofitable user bases, waiting years before introducing any type of monetization to their networks. Seattle-based global online retail giant Amazon has continually operated in the red since the company’s inception in 1994.
One of the main issues with this type of approach is sustainability. Long-term operation without immediate profit is not only high-risk, but also requires substantial investment of resources. And many non-Silicon Valley investors simply aren’t equipped to provide this type of financial investment, which results in early exits and sellouts in order to turn a profit, rather than staying the required course and placing big bets on developing massive companies.
Truly, madly visionary
Attempting a Silicon Valley style breakout requires a certain level of instability—a kind of systematic irrationality that allows startups and entrepreneurs to disregard logic, pass over sound business decisions, and take chances that from the outside can appear downright disastrous.
Most investors and entrepreneurs, rather than investing ten years or more in building an enormous technology corporation, prefer to grow the company to nine or ten figures and then flip it into a near or mid-term payday. And in perhaps a majority of instances, this is the right choice. Selling a fledgling company to a larger conglomerate provides the personnel and financial resources that can make or break a success. But for many in SV, there’s a greater willingness to roll the dice, and hope the company stands on its own.
One of the most well-known examples of this type of apparent insanity that can ultimately pay off occurred in 2006, when a struggling and unprofitable social network turned down what appeared to be the deal of a lifetime. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was 22 years old, and the company had been launched less than two years before Yahoo! offered $1 billion to buy Facebook.
The company’s three-person board turned down the offer, despite elder advisors’ attempts to convince Zuckerberg to accept. The reason the young CEO gave for their refusal was that Yahoo! “had no definitive idea about the future. They did not properly value things that did not exist, so they were therefore undervaluing the business.”
As it turned out, Zuckerberg’s choice to stick to his guns was the right one. Facebook is now worth more than $200 billion, and the CEO’s personal net worth is over $33 billion.
Success in Silicon Valley hinges on dedication, ambition, and a vision to build a technology company that will be around forever. It’s more than a place—it’s a state of mind that serves as an inspiration for entrepreneurs and startups everywhere.
The general wisdom for job candidates states that having a diverse skill set is an advantage. The more you’re able to do, the broader your potential qualifications are for a wider range of jobs. But when it comes to the IT industry, diversification may actually work against you in your job search.
In many cases, it’s better to focus on and improve a particular set of tech skills, specializing in a certain area rather than attempting to be an IT jack-of-all-trades. Specialists can be beneficial for employers, and give you a greater boost as a job seeker. Here are some of the advantages of specialization for IT candidates.
A competitive edge
The IT job market is highly competitive. Tech candidates are competing with both seasoned professionals and newly trained college graduates, and there is increasing pressure on companies to hire the best of the best among IT talent. If you have a specialized IT skill set, you’re more desirable to employers — who prefer to choose rock stars over stage hands.
Specialists are more likely to get hired than candidates who are simply proficient in the required skill set. While specializing can limit your options, you’ll have a greater chance of landing the positions you are qualified for with comprehensive skills in a particular area.
Elevated authority and expertise
Networking is an essential part of any job search. IT specialists can enhance their profiles, and their chances at getting hired by top companies, by becoming authorities on their areas of specialization through various networks that employers and recruiters frequent.
Contributing to and leading discussions in your specialist area on social channels like LinkedIn, and IT-centric forums like Github, can help you create an online presence that will truly impress employers. Your authority and influence as a specialist will give you a significant networking advantage over other candidates.
Employers seek out specialists in part because they don’t require a lot of training, and need little-to-no supervision on the job. As an IT specialist, you can enjoy increased independence and autonomy in your career. Specialists are also more likely to be innovators, with the freedom and latitude to work on projects that interest them personally in addition to directly assigned projects.
Increased salary and job security
IT specialists can typically command higher salaries than their general-skills counterparts. Particularly in today’s business landscape, employers place a high value on tech specialists, who are able to deliver more value to the organization. This often extends to better perks and benefits in addition to salary.
Those who specialize in a particular skill set can also enjoy greater job security. If you’re difficult to replace, you will be more valuable to a company — and less likely to be laid off or downsized, even if the organization is forced to cut back on staff.
Having specialized IT skills as a job candidate can not only help you land a more desirable position with a great company, but can also serve as the foundation for a long and successful career in technology.
Working from home is a dream for many IT professionals. It’s great to imagine reducing your commute to a few steps down the hallway, wearing pajamas to work, and never having to deal with office politics again — not to mention being able to set your own schedule and rates, and making enough money to have an in-ground pool as your office.
But the fact is, while the work-at-home lifestyle is portrayed as easy and carefree, it’s not so easy to actually work while you’re at home, surrounded by endless distractions. It takes some serious discipline and practice to stay focused, but it can be done.
Here’s a great collection of must-read advice for staying productive while you work from home.
Let go of telecommuting myths
When you work from home, you’ll be your own boss and have plenty of free time — or will you? It’s important to realize, especially when you’re first starting out, that you’ll have to work hard for several different bosses on all the freelance IT projects you take to reach success (but ultimately, you have the final say in what you do or don’t work on).
Microsoft’s Crabby Office Lady takes a look at common telecommuting myths, and offers tips on getting work-from-home to work for you.
Learn the 10 Commandments (of working from home)
From actually getting ready for work in the morning — even though you’re not going anywhere — to making time for your physical and mental needs, this checklist is a must-read for anyone considering or already working in a telecommuting environment. The bonus commandment also helps you maintain your friendships, which will be invaluable when the isolation of working from home gets to you.
Thou shalt read and remember the 10 Commandments of Working From Home.
Find out if you’re the work-from-home type
Telecommuting is not the right choice for everyone. If you don’t work well without direction, or depend on interaction with other people to get you through the day, you may flounder when the only person holding you accountable and keeping you going is you. You also need to have a real working space, and the ability to separate your personal and professional lives.
Find out why Entrepreneur.com says that Working From Home is Hard Work.
Get the lowdown on eating well at home
A lot of people who work from home find their eating habits dropping drastically into the poor to disastrous range — they might end up constantly snacking at the computer, or “forget” to eat for hours (or days). It takes a little planning, but balancing your nutritional needs with your work-from-home lifestyle is essential for keeping up motivation and productivity.
Lifehacker discusses how to eat well while working from home.
Avoid becoming a hermit
Another common problem for telecommuters is the sense of isolation. Spending the majority of your day alone, when email may be your only contact with other people, can take a toll on your mental health, creativity, and ability to produce. Fortunately, there are many ways you can alleviate the isolation and still work from home successfully.
Inc.com discusses this and more with 8 Ways to Be Happy and Productive in Your Home Office.
Know how to work from home…with kids
For a parent, working from home can be a fantastic opportunity to earn a living without having to shell out for daycare and juggle transportation. The ability to have a flexible schedule and be there for your kids is priceless — but making things work when you’re surrounded by little ones can take some extra effort.
One work-from-home mom shares her secrets to success in How to work from home without losing your mind.
Discover your personal productivity boosters
Everyone has different work habits. The best way to be successful as a telecommuter is to find what makes you most productive, and work it into your routine. There are plenty of out-of-the-box strategies that can help you keep things running smoothly in your home office.
Check out these productive work-at-home hacks from Lifehack to get started.
If you need help implementing successful work-from-home tactics, or are searching for a career with flexible hours and telecommuting options, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group today.
What web-based company has the world’s largest Hadoop cluster? Surprisingly, it’s not Google, Facebook, or even Twitter — it’s Yahoo!, with 455 petabytes of data stored on over 100,000 CPUs in more than 40,000 servers. The company’s biggest Hadoop cluster, at around 4,500 nodes, is around four times the size of Facebook’s largest cluster.
Hadoop is a hot topic in today’s tech world, especially when it comes to Big Data. As more organizations work toward mining and implementing Big Data strategies, the use of Hadoop on a larger scale is set to become the new standard for practical, results-driven applications of data mining.
What is Hadoop, and why does it matter?
At the most basic definition, Hadoop is a free, open source software library that makes useful, cost-effective processing of Big Data possible. The Hadoop library, developed by the Apache Software Foundation, is built on underlying technology that was invented by Google to index the massive amounts of data collected by the search engine and transform it into relevant results for searchers.
Hadoop consists of four modules — Hadoop Common, Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), Hadoop YARN, and Hadoop MapReduce — and includes several compatible add-ons such as programming languages and databases, which enhance the real-world applications of the library.
Providing scale and flexibility for large data projects, on a basis that’s affordable for both enterprise and small business, makes Hadoop an attractive solution with endless potential.
The appeal of Hadoop
As Yahoo! has come to realize, Hadoop provides a wide range of flexible, scalable capabilities and vastly increased potential for the real application of Big Data. In most large organizations today, data is siloed — stored and worked with in separate systems with little to no cross-functionality. Large-scale Hadoop installations make it possible for organizations to share data quickly, easily and effectively, with strong security measures still in place to prevent data breaches and malware attacks.
With an organization’s data stored collectively, Hadoop installations can then run YARN to manage data ecosystems. Hadoop YARN is a framework that provides job scheduling and cluster resource management, enabling the system to spread resources out sufficiently across multiple machines and deliver increased flexibility. The YARN framework also maintains redundancy to guard against data loss and system failure.
With YARN, engineers and developers can work immediately on small clusters within a larger deployment, and collaborate with others without sacrificing security.
Combining Hadoop with other systems
Within Hadoop, there are several distinct systems that can be operated independently, but still remain part of the larger ecosystem. This includes elements such as Hbase, the non-relational distributed database for Hadoop; Pig, a high-level platform for large-set data analysis; and Hive, a data warehouse infrastructure.
Hadoop has the capabilities to handle large swaths of an organization’s data needs, but depending on the individual company, other systems may be used to supplement a Hadoop installation — and the library integrates well with popular enterprise systems. For example, Yahoo! employs other systems for email serving, and photo serving in Flickr, but stores copied data from these systems in Hadoop.
The rise of Big Data and the need for efficient, cost-effective analytics has paved the way for Hadoop to become standard in organizations of all sizes. To find out if your organization should be undergoing a Hadoop installation, contact the IT experts at The Armada Group.
Finding a job isn’t easy, especially in a highly competitive industry like IT. Many tech job candidates choose to work with a recruiter during their job search for a variety of reasons, from finding employment faster to landing the best possible position that matches their skills and abilities.
Here are some of the benefits of using IT recruiters for your job search, along with tips on how you can work better with recruiters to gain maximum value from your working relationship.
Get both feet in the door
While recruiters certainly work with IT job applicants, they are employed by hiring companies, either as in-house recruiters or third-party recruiting services. This means recruiters work to develop relationships with hiring managers and human resource professionals in the companies they work for — and those hiring managers prefer applicants who are referred by a trusted recruiter.
When you work with a recruiter, your resume typically goes to the top of the pile, and you’re more likely to be called for an interview than candidates who submit their resumes cold.
Gain access to “secret” jobs
Many companies don’t advertise their best IT positions. They may not have the necessary infrastructure to handle the flood of resumes, or they may prefer to choose candidates from a select pool of trusted resources — which typically includes recruiters they’ve developed relationships with.
Working with a recruiter gives you the opportunity to apply for positions that aren’t advertised to the public. Not only are these often better jobs, but there’s also a shorter time from application to employment, as the company doesn’t have to deal with hundreds of hopeful candidates and endless rounds of interviews.
Land the perfect career
Hiring managers and human resource personnel will typically have several responsibilities within their organization. But an IT recruiter has just one job — matching the right candidates to the right positions. Recruiters are familiar with the companies they work for, and the candidates they represent. They’re able to give you inside information on why you would (or wouldn’t) fit well with a particular company or position, and ensure that you get hired at a company you’ll love to work for.
Free career resources
IT recruiters can help you with other aspects of your job search, beyond the application process. Most recruiters offer interview practice and training, skills development opportunities, and other resources that will help you with your current job search and beyond. Recruiters can provide you with career guidance and direction, especially if you’re not sure which employment path is the best to take.
Tips for working with IT recruiters
Recruiters can benefit you in many ways during your job search, but there are some things you should do to ensure a smooth path to employment:
- Stick with one recruiter. Some IT job candidates believe that working with multiple recruiters will increase their chances at getting hired — but in fact, the opposite is usually true. Companies may work with more than one recruiting agency, and if two recruiters present your name for the same position, it can keep you from getting the job and damage your relationship with both recruiters.
- Be honest. If you’ve sent out (or you’re still sending) resumes directly to companies in addition to working with a recruiter, let the recruiter know if he or she offers to send your information to a company where you’ve already applied — especially if you’ve been turned down. Referring a candidate who’s previously applied can harm a recruiter’s reputation, and chances are they won’t want to continue working with you.
- Stay organized. Keep track of your job search, even if the recruiter is also monitoring your schedule. Note which companies you have resumes in with, who’s contact you, where you’ve interviewed, and who you’ve followed up with. Maintain detailed notes, along with dates, about all of your job search activities so you can reference them later.
Working with an IT recruiter like The Armada Group can help you ramp up your job search and find a great job, faster. Make sure you keep the relationship honest and professional, and you can enjoy all the benefits of having a recruiter on your side while you find the perfect job. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.