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Be a Rock Star in your FIrst 90 Days

 

Your first 90 days on the job are critical. During that period, your coworkers learn what to expect from you and managers are deciding whether you were actually a good hire or not. Your initial few months at your new company set the tone, and missteps during this time can haunt you.

 

Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure that you shine during your first 90 days. If you want to make sure you make the best impression, here’s what you need to do.

 

Find the Flow

Every workplace has patterns. They may expect certain tasks to be completed in a particular order or have an innate understanding that some phrases should be interpreted in a specific way.

 

By finding the flow, you can integrate yourself into what is already there. Not only does this makes you seem like a more natural fit, but it can also save you a lot of frustration. Instead of pushing against the norm, you are recognizing it and working with it, which is going to be universally appreciated.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be a champion for change in the future. However, coming into a new workplace and asking people to conform to what you want isn’t going to win you any allies. Similarly, telling a group of colleagues that you don’t know well that their wrong is going to leave a sour taste in their mouths.

 

Always strive to make yourself a part of how things are first, as this gives you a chance to have the full experience. Plus, you may learn that things are the way they are for a reason, and that change isn’t actually necessary. If you do have a potentially beneficial idea, then you can share it once you garner the respect of your colleagues, and that usually won’t happen in the first 90 days.

 

Seek Out Expectations

Exceeding expectations is usually a great way to make a positive impression. However, you can only do that if you actually understand what expectations exist in the first place.

 

If your manager hasn’t clearly defined any expectations, objectives, or goals associated with your role, schedule a meeting and ask about them. You can also talk to your coworkers about what they anticipate you’ll be able to provide, giving you an idea of how they think your position fits into the bigger picture.

 

As you learn about the expectations, don’t make grand promises about exceeding them. Instead, acknowledge them and make commitments that give you a little breathing room whenever possible. Remember, it can take time to familiarize yourself with a new environment, so it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver in the beginning.

 

Contact The Armada Group for More Help with Your Career!

By following the tips above, you can excel during your first 90 days on the job. If you would like to learn more about making a great first impression, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our skilled team members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.

 

Published in Staffing News

Network Engineers

 

When you get a job offer, the excitement can easily overtake you, leading you to say “yes” before you really look at whether the opportunity is right for you. While the new role might be great for you, it’s also possible it isn’t, so taking the time to make sure is a smart move.

 

If you are trying to determine if a tech job is right for you, here are five questions to ask yourself before you accept.

 

  1. Is Now the Right Time to Make a Switch?

As the saying goes, timing is everything. While you may be dying to leave your position, how your exit impacts your current employer is a point worth examining.

 

Will you be heading out in the middle of a big project? Is your involvement in the project critical for its success? Can you give sufficient notice?

Everyone’s situation is different, but it’s wise to consider how your quitting will affect your current employer. After all, if you leave them in a bind, they may not be willing to give you positive employment references in the future.

 

Additionally, you want to reflect on whether your personal life can support a change. If you need to relocate, how will that impact you and your family? If the new job comes with longer hours, can you still maintain an appropriate work-life balance while meeting all of your obligations? Will your spouse or partner need to take on more to accommodate the shift or will the decision impact their career (which can occur if you need to relocate)?

 

Make sure to review the points above before you say “yes,” especially if other people will be accompanying you on the journey.

 

  1. Are You Excited About the Opportunity?

Sometimes, you apply for a job that seems amazing on the surface, only to later discover you aren’t really excited about the opportunity. Maybe something came up during the interview that changed your perspective, or you found details about the company that gives you pause.

 

Regardless of the reason, if you aren’t enthusiastic about the new role, then it might be better to say “no” and continue looking for something that’s a better fit.

 

 

  1. Is the Culture a Match?

Every company has a culture. If you feel comfortable in the environment, then you are more likely to excel. However, if it doesn’t seem like a good match, you might want to decline the offer.

 

Being the odd person out or trying to force yourself to fit into a culture that doesn’t jive with your personality can be harmful to your well-being and may impact the quality of your work. If the culture doesn’t align with your values and preferences, then looking for an opportunity that does is usually a smarter choice.

 

  1. Will You Receive Better Compensation?

While pay, benefits, and perks aren’t everything, they are always something. You need to consider whether you come out financially ahead by taking the job or are at least able to maintain the status quo.

 

Examine the entire compensation package, including the value and expenses associated with your benefits, to see if you are making positive strides. You also want to look at the shift in your costs, such as whether a change in your commute helps you save money or if it will lead to higher expenses.

 

If the math doesn’t work in your favor, then carefully consider whether making the change is a wise decision.

 

  1. Will This Job Help My Career?

Sometimes, even if you will take a financial hit by accepting a job, it’s worth it because you can use the experience to move your career in a better direction. However, even if you are getting a substantial raise, it’s always smart to consider whether taking the position will help or hurt your chances when it comes to making progress in your field.

 

Ideally, you want your new job to lead to additional opportunities after you gain experience with your new employer. If that isn’t likely to happen and you’re not looking for your last role before retirement, then you might want to continue with your search.

 

Ultimately, it’s always wise to carefully consider whether saying “yes” is the right decision. If it isn’t, then don’t hesitate to turn the job down. You can always continue your search and, by doing so, give yourself the chance to find an opportunity that is genuinely a good fit.

 

If you are interested in learning more or are seeking out a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your career goals with one of our knowledgeable team members today and see how our services can make finding your ideal role easier than ever.

 

 

Published in IT Infrastructure

4 new ways to manage your tech team

Teams that are well-managed have a better chance of succeeding at their projects. Take advantage of these four ways to change the way you guide your tech team and improve the performance of your team.

Make yourself unnecessary.

The more independently your team can work, the more time you can spend working on strategy and achieving your own professional goals. Don't stint on training. Bring on strong leads. Develop a project management process that staff can look at to see their goals, deadlines, and next priorities. Empower your team to interact with your end users; not only do they know the application best, these interactions will help them understand the users better and lead to a better application.

Pay attention.

Most managers are buried under a deluge of emails, but often the most important information is hidden between the lines. Be aware that you may not get honest answers in meetings, so seek out private conversations where people can speak freely. Make sure meetings remain focused on the agenda rather than sidetracked by other issues; schedule another meeting if you need to follow up on another matter. Have an open door policy so your team feels free to come to you with their concerns.

Develop yourself.

Many technical managers come from the development role; they were promoted based on their technical skill rather than their management ability. Take an honest look at your capabilities and knowledge; managers succeed more on business knowledge and interpersonal skills than their programming ability. The better you are at your own job, the more effectively your team will perform.

Focus on the positive.

Projects fall behind schedule; production problems bring the wrath of senior management down on you. It's easy to focus on negativity and the problems you're experiencing, but it's important that your team experiences and celebrates success. Make sure everyone on your team understands the goals for the current week or quarter and what your vision of success is. Then, make sure you acknowledge and celebrate it when your team makes progress in achieving it. Your team will develop positive morale that helps them get the job done.

Managing your team well starts with building a strong team. The Armada Group has spent 20 years connecting employers with talented employees. Contact us to learn how we can help you build a strong team that practically manages itself.

Whats Keeping Developers Up at Night

Some might cite the cliché, "turnabout is fair play." For decades, workers in other industries have feared their jobs might be replaced by automation. Now, losing their jobs to computerization is one of the top fears of developers.

That's one of the findings in Evans Data Corp.'s survey of developers. To be sure, assembly language coding jobs disappeared when high-level languages were developed. But the role of the software developer didn't disappear; the skills still were needed, only the tools used changed. And in general, although the tech industry is an early and enthusiastic adopter of technology, programming languages linger. There are still jobs for Cobol developers out there.

New trends in artificial intelligence, though, are making developers uneasy. Previous applications of technology in programming, like the development of compilers, mostly automated the mechanics of software development. The cognitive capabilities of AI go beyond that, promising—or threatening—to co-opt the creative thinking parts of the software job.

Up 'til now, humans' cognitive abilities were unmatched. But new advances in machine learning mean software can make software design decisions or detect bugs as effectively as human developers. Code databases may let algorithms create applications that match requirements specifications. Those abilities could put development jobs directly at risk.

This is still mostly hypothetical, though; a worry for the future. Statistics show the number of IT jobs increasing, not decreasing, and salaries for these positions are well above median wages for other kinds of work. While developers do need to keep their skills up to date as technology trends change, there's still plenty of opportunity for skilled and experienced developers to work on challenging, exciting projects.

For companies that aren't ready to hire a robot as a programmer yet, and for developers who don't plan to retire any time soon, working with The Armada Group is an effective way to find a new hire or find a new job. With our deep database of jobs, deep pool of candidates, and deep understanding of the industry, we match opportunities and candidates based on education, skills, experience, and aspiration. Contact us to learn how we can help you hire or get hired.

12 Work Life Balance Still Exists Fact or Fiction

In the not-too-distant past, work was something you went to five days a week, and left at the office on weekends and holidays. But today’s business world is dominated by always-on technology, and the boundaries between work and personal life are increasingly blurred, if not obliterated.

It may be logical to believe that company expectations for employees to be constantly available are the cause of eroding work-life separation, but even in demanding companies, this isn’t the sole reason. Human nature and societal norms contribute significantly to the disappearing divide between work and home — and as a consequence, we’re focusing on the wrong problems.

What causes work-life imbalance?

There are real business reasons that most employees are unable to separate eight hours a day from the rest of their lives. Email is one — it’s omnipresent, available anywhere there’s a connection, and most employers don’t think twice about expecting their staff to keep up with email at all times. There’s also the globalization of business, and collaboration with co-workers and partners in various time zones that skew the start and close of the “business day.”

In addition to the modern corporate environment, the nature of people encourages a blending of work and life. American employees take pride in hard work and self-sacrifice, and many people thrive on being needed. Furthermore, some work activities — such as opening a new, unread email — influence us chemically, releasing dopamine that makes the action addictive.

Finally, exceptional employees are always working, even outside the office environment and without being required to. For many people, dedication to great job performance means constantly thinking up new ideas and planning ahead. This process naturally works itself into everyday life.

Conquering the work-life balance myth

In order to successfully address the issues surrounding work-life separation, we first need to accept that separating them is impossible for most people. The good news is that blending work and personal life doesn’t have to mean erasing your identity as a person, eliminating all free time, or becoming defined by your job.

What is the best solution for achieving both professional and personal satisfaction? For many, the answer is to embrace the blurred lines, and strive for a work environment that grants more control over personal time with flexible scheduling. The typical nine-to-five workday is practically extinct — and the best way to thrive in the modern business landscape is to get rid of rigid boundaries and time clocks, so the stress of “balancing” personal and work life is eliminated.

Any employer looking to provide work-life balance for their employees should institute a more flexible scheduling process. Despite beliefs to the contrary, studies have repeatedly shown that workers who have more control over their schedules are more productive and motivated, produce higher quality work, and have a greater sense of loyalty to their organization.

There are several reasons why flexible scheduling is so effective. One is that allowing greater control over work schedules allows employees to work at their personal optimal times, rather than conforming to a one-size-fits-all, eight-hour shift. Some people are much more productive first thing in the morning, while others don’t really get into gear until the afternoon.

Another, perhaps more impactful reason this arrangement works is the blending of personal and work time a flexible schedule allows. When employees can take time off in the middle of the work day and make it up when it’s convenient, they’re able to accomplish personal tasks they’d otherwise have to skip with a rigid schedule — like getting school-aged children on and off the bus, banking, attending personal classes, or caring for elderly parents. This allows employees to reduce or eliminate the personal stress that would otherwise affect their performance at work.

It’s in the best interests of any company to care for their employees as a whole person, rather than an eight-hour chunk of labor. By allowing and encouraging overlap between personal and professional lives, your company can bust the work-life balance myth and achieve a truly happy, productive, and loyal workforce.

Published in Staffing News

AAAAAAH

There are plenty of things “everybody knows” about technology. For instance, everyone knows you can’t use cell phones and gas pumps at the same time, or put metal in the microwave, or stick a magnet on your computer tower.

So it may be a surprise to learn that all these known technology dangers, and many more, are wrong. Some are exaggerations, and some are just flat-out incorrect. Here’s a list of common myths about technology that you’ve probably believed.

If you pump gas while you’re on your phone, your car will catch fire

So far, the number of gas station fires that have involved a cell phone have been one — and in that case, it was found that the phone didn’t actually start the fire. While the FCC says it’s “theoretically possible” an electric spark from a cell phone could ignite gasoline fumes, even they admit the possibility is “very remote.” There have been several studies and an episode of Mythbusters disproving this myth.

Magnets + stored data = poof!

As the belief goes, placing a magnet on any electronic device that stores data will erase everything on there — so unless you’re playing a cruel practical joke, keep magnets away from computers and thumb drives. But the truth is, solid state drives like thumb drives won’t be affected at all. And computer hard drive disks can be erased with magnets, but only really big ones like those used for MRI machines.

If you microwave a metal object, it will spark and your microwave will explode

It’s hard to dispute this one. Most people have either seen a video where a fork is being microwaved and shooting sparks everywhere, or they’ve tried the fork trick themselves. The myth lies in believing that any metal object will produce this effect. The sparking isn’t caused by the metal of the fork — instead, it’s the shape of it. Sharp edges conduct the electrons that cause sparks. But microwave a spoon, and pretty much nothing will happen. Note: we do not suggest you run out and microwave any or all metal items in your home.

Standing next to a microwave will pump you full of radiation

This myth has lost some ground over time, but plenty of people still believe that if you stand next to a microwave while it’s running, you could turn into Spiderman or Godzilla from the radiation. But while it’s true that microwaves sometimes leak radiation, the FDA explains that the lifetime radiation an appliance emits is “far below the level known to harm people.”

More megapixels = better photos

Smartphone cameras have come a long way in a short time, and it’s all because they keep adding megapixels to the image resolution. But equating more megapixels with higher quality photos is one of the most common misconceptions in all of digital photography. You can’t take a great picture with a crappy resolution — but you can take a fantastic photo with a decent resolution, if your phone camera has a good lens, circuitry, sensors, and controls, and you have an eye for lighting and composition. More megapixels do not create instant master photographers.

Internet, World Wide Web…same difference

The Internet and the Web are not two different terms for the same thing. The World Wide Web is actually what most people consider the Internet: all the websites that start with www. But the Internet is more than the Web — it’s the infrastructure that enables information sharing between networks around the globe, including computers, smartphone, and software networks. The Web needs the Internet, but the Internet can exist without the Web.

If you don’t completely drain and recharge your phone/laptop, the battery can’t hold a full charge

This is a myth that used to be true. Older cell and laptop batteries had this problem, but battery technology has advanced along with the devices they power. Most modern devices use lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged whenever it’s convenient — and even a quick charge just to get enough power to send a text won’t harm the battery capacity.

Private or “incognito” browsing lets you be anonymous online

Whether you’re paranoid or just don’t want anyone to know about your Hello Kitty obsession, you might feel safer browsing online in “private mode.” This stealth setting for some browsers keeps the websites you visit out of your history, and prevents you from being automatically logged into your accounts (so you don’t accidentally post about Hello Kitty on your Facebook page). However, incognito mode doesn’t make you invisible to the sites you’re visiting — and your footprints are still findable with some tech savvy.

Your phone is giving you cancer

This myth has been particularly polarizing. In the 1990s and 2000s, there were people who believed this with a passion, and others who called those people paranoid Luddites for thinking it. But the truth is actually…not certain. Several studies, including an exhaustive 11-year-long research program in the UK, have failed to find any link between cell phones and brain cancer, or any other type of cancer. But the studies have also stated that “more research is needed,” so this myth can’t be truly retired yet.

Want to know more about these myths, or have an IT inquiry about jobs or open positions? Contact the experts at The Armada Group today.

CareerNavigatorNewsletter

 

Apple IOS 8 12

Apple has released its new mobile software, and it’s a pleasant surprise that this is much more geared towards enterprise than previous releases.  Apple has always been prone to follow consumer, rather than business, demands – but this has placed it in a precarious position, because consumers modify the phone and use it for business as well. Now, the business-oriented features make the iPhone an automatic win, regardless of the purpose. Here are the 4 best business features of iOS 8:

1. Better MDM support.
This is by far the most applicable for business users, as many IT departments have difficulty supporting iPhones (and some don’t support them at all). Some of the new features allow IT admins significantly greater control over permissions, applications, downloads, and restrictions.

2. Enhanced Mail and Calendar.
The new mail app and calendar have both improved by leaps and bounds. Messages now support encryption on a single message, without having to change all the settings. The new calendar app allows users the ability to see busy/free times on colleague’s calendars for easy scheduling, and the mail app includes swiping gestures to quickly change the status of a message, among other benefits.

3.  Integration with iOS X (Yosemite).
The integration between Mac computers and mobile Apple devices is steadily advancing. With the new release, a user can now start an email on a mobile device and finish it on a Mac – or vice versa. It also integrates browsers, several apps, and other features – provided the iCloud account is linked to both devices.

4. Cloud Enhancements.
From an IT admin position, this is the most convenient upgrade for strategic planning. The software upgrade will allow Apple to support different document types, such as PDFs. However, the main benefit is that iCloud Drive will soon support certain third party integrations as well. This will cure a number of headaches and allow businesses a much wider range of options for future projects.

Apple’s new software is definitely poising them to be much more enterprise friendly.  Previous mobile Apple devices were strongly geared towards consumers, but with iOS 8 and Yosemite releases, it is able to compete much more effectively in the corporate market.

At The Armada Group, we understand iOS and mobility, and we want to help your business grow. We work with some of the top talent in the nation, as well as most innovative businesses, and our mission is to pair the two together for maximum long-term job satisfaction and productivity. Contact us today to see how we can help you!

WorldClassJobOpportunties

 

Published in Blog

 

Technical Recruiting Trends in Mountain View Busted

Even with all the information floating around the Internet, there still tend to be great deal of mystery when it comes to recruitment practices and the technology that recruiters use. While there are some recruiters who hang on to traditional methods, there also a growing number who embrace recruitment technology resources to find the best talent.

As a whole, technology and all that it stands for has become a major part of our everyday lives. Now, more than at any other time in the history of employment, it is even more important for employers to understand how to harness the power of business technology. Using recruitment apps and technology tools helps to break through the myths that exist.

Whether we want to believe it or not, technology is here to help us be more productive as recruiters. Here are some of the myths about using technology in recruiting that we’d like to dispel once and for all.

#1 – Big Data is Out of Place in the Recruitment World

The argument over ‘big data’ in recruitment is something that we hear over and over again. Standard recruiting metrics continue to lead the way in measuring the success of recruiters. However, when analyzed correctly, big data allows recruiters to see their performance over periods of time. Big data also helps to highlight the most successful candidates. Understanding what drives performance and results is why big data should have a place in the recruitment world. Recruitment technology that taps into big data continues to be a trend that all recruiters should watch carefully.

#2 – Social Media Doesn’t Belong in Recruiting

When social media first made its debut ten years ago, many in the recruitment world simply ignored it, thinking it was a passing fad.  The myth arose that social media had no place in recruitment methodology.  However, as we know now, social media has become a powerful player in the recruitment world. Over time, social networking has become the go-to activity the most recruiters take part in to attract and build candidate pools. Most recent studies regarding social recruitment and candidate behavior indicate that this will continue to grow as a tool as developers tap into the needs of professional recruiters.

#3 – Mobile Recruitment Will Never Have any Real Impact

Alongside social networking, mobile recruitment has taken great strides in the last couple of years. Early on, recruiters believed that mobile apps would not be seen as serious tools in the arsenal that recruiters use. However, currently there are billions of job seekers who are actively using mobile devices to conduct job searches, connect with hiring companies, develop online resumes, and apply for jobs. It’s critical for recruiters to be knowledgeable of at least a few of the major mobile apps in order to attract candidates from all markets. As mobile devices get cheaper, more job seekers and recruiters will look to this as primary resource.

#4 – Online Career Boards are Ineffective

Some recruiters think that online job boards are a waste of time. While it is apparent that job boards are no longer the primary source of job leads, according to recent surveys, nearly 70 percent of job seekers still actively visit online boards to look for work. Job boards should not be neglected when planning a recruitment campaign. In addition to posting ads on industry job boards, recruiters should have well developed company career websites so that they can tap into search engines. Making your company's presence known by advertising open positions in job boards, plus on your branded career portal will help your company to stand out online.

The best advice for hiring managers: Don’t believe the myths that exist in this challenging industry. Instead, look at technology’s changes as a positive thing and learn as much as you can about the tools and resources available to you.

If you are looking for technical recruiters in Mountain View, contact our team today.

 

Published in Recruiting