When it comes to motivating your staff to remain productive during the holidays, money is only one solution. While holiday or year-end bonuses can raise morale, not every business can afford to shell out a significant amount of cash.
Luckily, there are simple things you can do to keep your tech team engaged during this hectic holiday season. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Close the Office (or At Least Offer Flexible Scheduling)
Many tech professionals feel guilty if they take time off around the holidays, especially if it tends to be a busy period for the company. Additionally, many wonder if it is worth the effort if they are going to be contacted regardless of whether they are on vacation, making their time away feel like work anyway.
If possible, consider closing your office on more than just the federal holidays. That way, everyone gets time away and the likelihood that they’ll be contacted by their manager or coworkers during their time off decreases dramatically.
However, if that isn’t an option, consider institution a flexible scheduling policy. Give your tech team some level of control over when they are available, allowing them to handle personal obligations while still covering their duties. Even if you need to make certain core work hours mandatory, adding some flexibility can go a long way when you need to boost engagement.
Embrace Telecommuting to Promote Work-Life Balance
The ability to work remotely can alleviate stress. It allows your tech professionals to work in environments where they are comfortable and spend more time with their friends and family since they don't have to accommodate their commute.
Often, your employees will be at least as productive at home as they are in the office. If a worker’s duties tend to require concentration and focus, they may even be more productive when telecommuting as they don’t have to deal with any office-related distractions.
Plus, your team can work remotely from nearly anywhere as long as they have a suitable internet connection. This can even allow them to travel during the holidays without having to take time off, something that can keep your team productive and engaged.
Recognize Their Contributions
Even if you aren’t offering bonuses, recognition can help boost engagement during the holidays. When employees feel that their efforts are seen and appreciated, they feel more connected to their employer. This can boost morale and enhance productivity, allowing your tech team to be at their best.
Anything from a simple “thank you” to small gifts to a catered lunch can make a difference. Consider what options are both meaningful and affordable, and make sure to make recognition a priority.
Learn More About How The Armada Group Can Boost Your Hiring Efforts!
If you are interested in learning more about increasing engagement, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace productivity expertise can benefit you this holiday season and beyond.
There is still a substantial gender divide in tech. Women often earn less, struggle to be taken seriously, and lack strong female role models. However, there has been progress in recent years, even if it is somewhat slow-going.
Many women do strive to see the bright side of working in tech, even if they do face challenges in the field. By focusing on the benefits, many female tech professionals are happier in their positions and in the industry as a whole. While every woman is different, here are some of the things that are motivating women in tech.
Making a Positive Impact
Whether it's through the performance of their duties or their effort to eliminate gender biases in the field, women consider “making a positive impact” one of the biggest benefits of being in tech. When an employee feels like they are making a difference, it can be intrinsically motivating. Plus, if they believe they are improving the world in some way, be that with the products or services they provide or being a force for change in the industry, that increases their satisfaction.
Being a Role Model
Most women in tech want to encourage other women to get into the tech industry. By being a strong performer and respected professional, they are helping to create a culture that is more welcoming to female tech pros. Additionally, they have the chance to become role models for young professionals, especially as they personally rise through the ranks.
The world of tech is rarely boring. Along with the speed at which the industry changes, much of the work circles on finding solutions to problems, creating something new, and otherwise being highly engaged, all of which can be very motivating. When given a chance to explore emerging technologies or advance in the workplace, often thanks to professional development opportunities, their job satisfaction can increase even more.
Exploring Their Passion
Many women who get into the tech industry are highly passionate about the field. After all, female technology professionals are nearly guaranteed to face challenges on many levels - including lower compensation when compared to men, doubt about their capabilities, and company cultures that aren’t always welcoming - Without passion, it wouldn’t be worth it to face the difficulties many women in the industry contend with on a regular basis.
How You Can Support Women in Tech
When you hire a woman in a tech role, make sure to offer them the same level of compensation as their male counterparts. This allows everyone to be on a level playing field, ensuring that no one is being treated unfairly because of their gender.
Additionally, engage with your current female employees. Learn about their needs and preferences, and see how you can make the workplace and culture more attuned to them.
If you would like to learn more about women in tech, the skilled team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with questions today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
Successful senior DevOps professionals typically have a few things in common. When recruiters are looking for top talent, they commonly focus on core areas to help separate exceptional candidates from those who are just good or okay.
If you want to catch the eye of a recruiter or hiring manager, highlighting the right skills and experience makes all of the difference. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some insights into what recruiters look for on senior DevOps resumes.
Relevant Technical Experience
First and foremost, you need to showcase that you have the relevant skills to handle the technical aspects of the job. This may include experience in a variety of areas, including anything from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Apache to JIRA and more.
Similarly, programming language expertise in listed areas is often essential. Whether a company requires SQL, Python, Ruby, or any other language will vary depending on the role, though essentially every opportunity will need at least a few.
Having experience in Windows and Linux environments is also often beneficial, though each business may have its own priorities in that regard. Troubleshooting experience in a range of core areas, including everything from infrastructure to software, is valuable in the eyes of employers, though their precise needs may vary.
Critical Soft Skills
A range of soft skills are important for DevOps professionals. If you are trying to land a senior-level position, then leadership skills and the ability to work independently are both incredibly valuable. Senior team members often have to guide less experienced coworkers in a variety of areas. Additionally, they are expected to be able to work without having to be directly overseen by a manager every step of the way.
Stellar written and oral communication skills are also must-haves. DevOps professionals often work as part of a team, so being able to share critical information with ease ensures peak productivity.
Additionally, they must work with a broad selection of stakeholders, many of whom won’t have the same level of technical expertise. Being able to relay complex ideas and points in a way that can be understood by the masses provides value to the company, making it something recruiters traditionally seek out when looking for top talent.
Nearly every DevOps professional needs at least a Bachelors degree in a related field. This can include computer science, information technology, software development, or a range of other applicable majors that provide tech pros with the proper base set of skills.
In some cases, employers also favor candidates with additional certifications. Often, these support some of the technical skills a job seeker brings to the table, serving as a demonstration that they have a certain level of competence in the selected area.
By showcasing the points above on your resume, you increase the odds of impressing a recruiter with your senior DevOps resume. If you would like to learn more about building a strong senior DevOps resume, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.
Did you know that the day of the week you choose to submit an application impacts your odds of being selected for an interview? It’s true.
If you are applying to a highly coveted role, opting to send your resume along at the right time can make a substantial amount of difference. Here are the days you need to apply if you want to better your odds of getting the job.
Days of the Week
Usually, the best time to send your resume is between Tuesday morning and Thursday morning. Additionally, you should try to submit your application before 10:00 am if you want the biggest increase to your chance of success. However, Monday mornings can also work in your favor, but not to the same degree.
Whenever possible, avoid submitting your resume over the weekend. Since more professionals have Saturday and Sunday off, you are likely tossing your application into the biggest pool at that time, making it harder to stand out.
Similarly, hiring managers might not be as available on Fridays, so your resume could be lumped in with weekend applicants if you choose the last weekday to send in your information.
Timing to the Announcement
Another way in which timing matters is the age of the vacancy announcement. Applicants who submit their resumes within the first four days of the ad being posted tend to have better success rates than those who wait.
But, if you can’t get it in then, if the posting is less than a week old, you’re timing is still pretty good. After a week, your odds of landing an interview decline substantially, even if you choose a better day of the week.
If you send your resume in and, after a reasonable wait, decide you want to follow up on your application, when you choose to do so also matters. Again, Tuesday through Thursday morning are often best, as busy hiring managers likely won’t have time to speak with you or respond to an email on Mondays or Fridays.
Similarly, reaching out too late in the day may negatively impact your chances of getting a response, as many hiring managers are focused on wrapping things up and not on engaging with candidates.
Being an Ideal Candidate
It’s important to note that, while timing can matter, it certainly isn’t everything. You still need to showcase that you are a great fit for the role, so make sure your resume highlights your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments in a manner that captures the hiring manager’s attention.
If you would like more tips to help enhance your job search or are seeking out new opportunities, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to learn more about our current vacancies today and see how our hiring services can benefit you.
As cybersecurity threats continue to multiple and major breaches hit the headlines on a regular basis, more companies are seeking highly skilled security engineers to make sure their systems are secure against the latest threats. To be a top candidate for these roles, you need to bring certain key skills to the table. Otherwise, you might not catch the attention of the hiring manager.
If you are wondering which skills can help you become a top security engineer, here are a few you absolutely need.
Security Product Expertise
Security engineers interact with a range of tech products while performing their duties. Everything from firewall management to URL filtering to virus protection fall under their purview, so knowing how to use the tools and technologies required to accomplish those goals is essential.
Similarly, security engineers need a firm grasp on what a variety of security products and services should cost. Since many security professionals are tasked with making recommendations when a new solution is required, understanding what is and isn’t a good deal is a valuable area of expertise to bring to the table.
Passion for the Subject
New threats emerge on a daily basis, and skilled security engineers understand the need to remain up to date at all times. Those who have an enthusiasm for their field are often more adept at staying informed, largely because the topic is of genuine interest.
Additionally, passion makes sorting through information regarding the latest security-related technology updates less cumbersome. Those with enthusiasm enjoy digging into the details to learn more about what the patches or new releases have to offer, making them more valuable in the eyes of employers.
Written and Verbal Communication
Security engineers need to be able to relay complex information, both verbally and in writing, to a variety of other professionals and stakeholders. This includes individuals who may not have an IT background, making it a necessity to be able to translate the “tech speak” into simpler language to promote understanding.
Aside from security products, security engineers also need a firm grasp on a range of other technical topics. This can include various operating systems, coding languages, and network operations. Without these core understandings, it can be more difficult to assess a company’s needs, identify vulnerabilities, guarantee compatibility, and troubleshoot problems.
Time Management and Organization
Without time management and organizational skills, any security engineer would struggle to remain appropriately productive. Many projects are complex in nature, and even daily duties can be highly time-sensitive, making these core competencies must-haves if you want to excel in the field.
By acquiring the skills above, you too can position yourself as a top security engineer, making you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. If you would like to learn more about what makes a successful security engineer or are seeking out a new position in the field, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our knowledgeable staff today and see how our tech expertise can benefit you.
As the holiday season approaches, many managers look for ways to express their appreciation to their IT team. However, if you want your employees to genuinely feel valued, you have to look beyond the acknowledgements that you typically dole out this time of year.
Often, to show your staff that you value them, you need to make an effort to ensure they feel heard, and this can’t be accomplished if you only focus on it during the holidays. If you want to make sure your IT team knows they are valued, here’s what you need to do.
Say “Thank You” Often
Managers are typically overtasked. This means it is easy to forget how your team keeps projects and daily activities moving forward, as it’s just part of the day-to-day. However, by actively trying to remember to thank them for their contributions, you demonstrate that you value what they have to offer. Plus, it shows that their efforts aren’t going unnoticed and that they are appreciated.
It also helps to extend your thanks beyond yourself. Let your team know when stakeholders appreciate the results of their efforts as well, especially if they don’t have an opportunity to interact directly with other leaders or customers.
Be an Active Listener
You can’t make your IT team feel heard if you spend the entire conversation merely waiting for your chance to speak. While you plan your response, you miss critical details in the discussion, and this can cause your employees to become frustrated if their input was ignored, even if it was unintentional.
When your employees speak, make sure to focus solely on listening. Take in every word and wait for a natural pause before you even begin to formulate a response. That way, you won’t miss a vital part of the conversation and your reply can be more meaningful.
Give Them Challenges
While every IT role comes with a certain level of monotony, giving your employees a chance to stretch outside of their comfort zones or take on a challenge can actually show that you value them. By allowing them to use their unique talents to take on something new, you demonstrate your trust in their abilities and interest in helping them grow.
See Them as Individuals
In IT, functioning as part of a team is the norm. This makes praising the group more common when a job is well done since multiple people were critical to the overall success of the project.
While recognizing the team’s efforts is wise, you also want to see them as individuals. Highlight each person’s achievements to make them feel seen and single them out if they truly went above and beyond. This ensures that every employee understands that they are valued for what they bring to the table and not just what they can accomplish together.
If you would like to know about how you can show your IT team you value them this season and beyond, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions or thoughts today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
When it comes to creating a tech resume, one of the most hotly debated points is how long a resume should be. Most professionals have been conditioned to believe that a one-page document is ideal, if not the only option. However, as more resumes are submitted electronically, the old advice has become less relevant.
Before you submit your resume for consideration, understand that it is okay if you end up with a two-page document, but only if both pages provide the right amount of value. If you are trying to decide which length is right for you, here is what you need to know.
Focus on Quality
Every sentence, accomplishment, and bullet point on your resume should provide the hiring manager with value. By nature, a solid resume is a combination of thorough and concise, relaying critical information in the most streamlined way possible.
Usually, this means you shouldn’t add every detail about every position you’ve ever held. Instead, you need to identify which points are genuinely relevant and eliminate anything extraneous.
If, after you audit your resume, you end up with a two-page document filled with points that align with the vacancy announcement and showcase you as an ideal candidate, then you can submit it as is. However, if anything doesn’t speak to what is requested in the job ad, then remove it and, if you end up with a one-page resume, send it that way.
Consider White Space
Often, if you are actively having to cram your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments onto one-page by overly tweaking the margins, font size, or line spacing, you end up with a wall of text that’s hard to read, which is never ideal. A resume should be a comfortable combination of text and white space, so, if space is no longer on your side, then opting for a two-page resume is a better choice.
As you craft your resume, try to keep the margins set to one inch and the text around 12-point. If, by doing so, you genuinely need that second page, then let the information spill over.
The Length of Page Two
If you finish your tech resume and page two only have one to three lines on it, then you may be better off condensing to one-page. Otherwise, it may look like the spillover is accidental or that you lacked the ability to edit the document down properly.
However, if you’ve crossed into four lines or more, then resist the urge to fill the remaining space unless you have pertinent details to include. Usually, if you try to force it, all you end up with is a bunch of fluff that doesn’t provide value, and that isn’t a great approach if you want to keep the hiring manager’s attention.
Ultimately, having a two-page tech resume is okay as long as all of the points are relevant to the role and presented in a concise manner. If you would like to know more about resume building or are seeking out new employment opportunities, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable recruiters today and see how our hiring expertise can benefit you.
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.
Many Netflix employees extol the virtues of the company’s generous benefits package and positive corporate culture. However, one interesting aspect that often garners positive attention is actually Netflix’s termination policy.
If you are wondering why employees embrace Netflix’s approach to assessing whether a worker should stay or be let go, here’s what you need to know about their unique approach.
The “Keeper Test”
Netflix understands that to build strong teams, every member needs to provide value. As a means of determining whether an employee is meeting the needs of the business, they are subject to the “keeper test.”
With the keeper test, managers consider one key question: If the employee was considering leaving Netflix for another company, would I strive to convince them to stay? If the manager would answer that with a “no,” then the person is either terminated or encouraged to leave on their own.
The approach is designed to ensure that only “highly effective” workers are retained. Not only does it ensure that mediocre employees don’t bog down their teams, but it also motivates employees to always be at their best, as everyone is subject to the seemingly ruthless evaluation.
Netflix has also employed a formal tool, known as “360,” to give everyone the ability to review anyone else in the company, including CEO Reed Hastings. Additionally, it provides every worker with insight into why any person has been let go, a critical part of the company’s transparency-focused culture.
Together, they help managers to determine which employees are actually worth keeping. Additionally, it even leads to shakeups at the upper levels of the corporate hierarchy, serving as a non-traditional playbook for making retention decisions.
Is Emulating Netflix Wise?
Ultimately, when combined, the keeper test and 360 are meant to promote objectivity when it comes to hiring decisions. It removes emotions from much of the process, as whether an employee is liked is less important than if they are effective and productive. While this can certainly be beneficial, it doesn’t mean Netflix’s model is ideal for every business.
In some cases, the risk of being quickly terminated can lead some to constantly fear being fired, even if they don’t make a mistake. This can increase stress and potentially harm productivity, even in top performers if they have a tendency toward anxiety.
Similarly, it relies on management being able to set emotion aside at all times, which isn’t something everyone can do. Further, a good employee who is well liked may be better in your company than a tremendous talent whose personality clashes with the rest of the team, something that can breed conflict and harm overall productivity.
However, that doesn’t mean that companies can’t learn from Netflix’s approach, particularly if there is a tendency to keep mediocre workers without just cause.
If you would like to learn more about effective internal policies, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions or concerns with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.
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.
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.
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.
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.