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616674 CTD The Armada Group Business Skills that an IT Manager Should Have 010320


金牛国际最新地址IT managers play a critical role in organizations. They ensure that their teams remain on target, delegate based on employees’ areas of expertise, and provide supervision, support, and guidance. Without strong IT managers, many technical departments would struggle; it’s that simple.

金牛国际最新地址However, not just any IT manager will do. Without the right business skills, even the most technically capable manager would fail to thrive. If you want to make sure that you have what it takes to shine, here are a few business skills every IT manager needs.

Published in IT Infrastructure

Why So Many Developers Hate Open Source


金牛国际最新地址Open source may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread to some developers, leading to the growth of a healthy and expanding community of highly involved professionals. However, some developers appear to actively avoid open source, shying away from the larger communities and avoiding projects that embrace open source code.


金牛国际最新地址While it may seem odd that a highly skilled developer would give open source the cold shoulder, there are numerous reasons why this happens. If you are wondering why so many developers avoid open source, here’s what you need to know.


They Are Intimidated

Surprisingly, many developers are actually intimidated by open source. While starting anything new can be scary, many worry that they don’t have the right skills to contribute effectively.


金牛国际最新地址This sense of doubt around their abilities leaves them fearful. Often, the idea of being criticized by their peers, especially those with significant experience in open source, makes joining these communities particularly daunting, and many opt to stay away entirely.


金牛国际最新地址However, many of the communities are actually incredibly open. People willingly share their advice and are often more than happy to help. Typically, there’s a feeling of everyone facing a challenge together, but developers only discover this after they make the leap.


They Don’t Know Where to Begin

金牛国际最新地址Another common issue surrounding open source is a lack of clear pathways on how to get started. Finding a point of entry isn’t always easy, especially because the communities are vast and many of the discussions are long-standing, filled with notes and contributions.


Figuring out where to start contributing isn’t intuitive. However, in many cases, the best approach is just to jump in and put yourself out there. Every contribution can provide someone with value, so there really isn’t a reason to wait for a “perfect moment” that probably will never arrive.


They Need More Support

While companies are asking developers to do more with open source, not all of them are providing their staff with the support they need. It takes time and resources to make the most of open source, so ensuring that workers have what they require is essential to success.


Similarly, many businesses shy away from open source until it is extremely well-vetted. This means, even if an employee finds an amazing solution, management isn’t open to discussing it unless it is already widely adopted. The lack of interest ends up discouraging some developers from diving deeper into the world of open source, creating a scenario where missed opportunities are almost guaranteed to occur.


Ultimately, open source options are nearly always worth exploring. However, developers need to learn to set their fears aside and simply jump into the conversations while companies need to focus on being open-minded about what these solutions could potentially offer. Then, and only then, will more professionals and organizations be able to realize the potential of open source.


If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group would be happy to answer your questions. Contact us金牛国际最新地址 today to speak with one of our skilled staff members and see how our expertise can benefit you.



Hiring Strategy


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


Clearly Define Your Ideal Candidate

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


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


Align Your Interview Team

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


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


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


Agree on Acceptable Trade-Offs

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


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


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



Published in Hiring Managers

Deep Work

Today’s workplace is plagued by constantly updating email inboxes, intrusive messenger notifications, and a plethora of other alerts designed to pull your attention in a new direction. Add to that the assault from personal accounts and devices, and the cavalcade may seem never ending. While the commonplace nature of these interruptions make them seem like part of the daily grind, they can actually prevent you from engaging in “deep work,” or any activity that requires significant focus over a long period.


金牛国际最新地址The constant bombardment means you aren’t able to concentrate on the task at hand, and that could ultimately cost you a promotion. Here’s why.

Shallow vs. Deep

The majority of the work people complete on a daily basis is shallow in nature. These are the routine activities that don’t require a lot of thought to complete properly, making the occasional (or frequent) distraction manageable. Typically, these are the duties we all must complete to ensure we don’t end up on a job hunt earlier than anticipated.


Deep work requires concentration and focus. It can be cognitively demanding, and often needs a significant time commitment to complete. To make the most of deep work, we need to remove these interruptions from our lives. Otherwise, our thought processes are interrupted, and we have to reset after every distraction.

How to Make Deep Work Possible

To participate in the kind of thinking required to complete deep work to your highest standard, you must set yourself up for success. This means taking a few proactive steps to limit interruptions and prevent unnecessary distractions before they occur.


One easy step is to schedule the time you need to dedicate to deep work tasks. Mark the time out on your calendar and consider it an active appointment with yourself. This prevents others from trying to schedule a meeting with you during that time, and can also show others you are busy.


Next, eliminate distractions that are under your control. This can include shutting down smartphones, closing out email and messaging applications, and setting your phone to “do not disturb.” Then, don’t check any of those items until your time for deep work has passed, or the task is complete.


In some cases, you may need to speak with your co-workers, managers or employees regarding protocols for deep work time. This ensures those around you support your need to concentrate and will only interrupt under circumstances that require your immediate attention. If your office supports an open floor plan, you may even need to secure a quiet space, such as a small conference room, to help get the heads-down time you need to succeed.

Why It Matters

金牛国际最新地址In the end, deep work is often related to projects that will lead to the most advancement and organizational success. These are tasks that will get you noticed, and you need to make sure you have the chance to shine. That way, when the time is right, you can use those experiences to help you reach the next promotional opportunity along your career path.


If you are interested in exploring new promotional opportunities today, the experts at The Armada Group can help you on your journey. Contact us and see what options are available in your field today.


Published in Hiring Managers



It wasn’t that long ago that the recommendation to use bullet points on your resume became commonplace. The approach was considered a strong alternative to giant blocks of text, a method that was often more difficult to read and generally unappealing. However, the use of bullet points shifted from helping provide a level of clarity in key sections to the go-to style for almost every portion of the resume.


金牛国际最新地址The higher amount of use isn’t a fatal flaw in itself. However, the way bullet points are used can cause problems. To help you understand why you should bypass the bullet point approach in some cases, here is an overview of the trouble they can cause and how to produce a better resume.

Unintelligible Data Dumps

Bullet points began as an exercise in brevity, helping professionals keep things simple and clear. Over time, many began using them for every aspect of their resume. This leads to a series of factoids being listed about your experience without any depth.


Often, there is little if any context for these short statements and explanations are essentially nonexistent. Instead, candidates assume hiring managers will fill in the blanks themselves, even though that typically isn’t the case. These resumes don’t produce a clear picture as to why you are an ideal fit for the position and can lead to being passed over instead.

Creating Context

To make bullet points work for you, they need to be combined with greater context. First, make sure to include a summary section near the top of your resume. This highlights key points of interested customized to the position to which you are applying and serves as an introduction. Then, make sure to include explanations on a regular basis. This can include quick overviews of each position before adding bullet points as support or highlight key skill areas and how specific experiences support your knowledge.


金牛国际最新地址The idea is to use a combination approach of short paragraphs supported by additional points. This ensures you create a whole picture of how your career unfolded and why the hiring manager should be interested in the bullet points that follow. It also makes your resume more interesting visually as it provides some variation in the structure. When used properly, you can even design the document to drawn the eye from one section to the next, leading them along through the story of your professional life.

Making Adjustments

A resume is a living document; it is always in a growth period and will almost never be completely perfect. As you apply to jobs and schedule interviews, use any feedback that is provided to create a stronger document. Ultimately, a resume is a first impression. You should take every opportunity to ensure it is the best one you can possibly make.


If you are interested in a new position in your field, The Armada Group can help you find new options in your area. Contact us to begin exploring the opportunities available today.


Published in Staffing News

armada bos 2015

Here at The Armada Group, we’re pleased to announce that our agency has earned two Best of Staffing Awards in 2015 for remarkable service quality. Our goal as a staffing agency is to deliver exceptional service for both clients and talent, and we’re thrilled to receive this prestigious recognition for our work.

About the Best of Staffing Award

The Best of Staffing recognizes elite leaders in service quality for the staffing industry throughout the United States and Canada. Fewer than two percent of all staffing agencies earn these awards, which hold candidates to satisfaction ratings that are more than three times higher than the industry average. Winners of the Best of Staffing Awards are recognized as exceeding expectations for staffing services.

Candidates for the Best of Staffing Awards go through a rigorous surveying process with Inavero, the leading global provider of job candidate and client service quality research for staffing agencies.

Multiple award-winning years

金牛国际最新地址Since 2010, The Armada Group has been honored to receive Best of Staffing Awards each year for exceptional service. This year, our agency was awarded:

  • Best of Staffing Talent Satisfaction 2015: Given for superior service to job candidates
  • Best of Staffing Client Satisfaction 2015: Given for superior service to staffing agency clients

Our Net Promoter Score

The Armada Group earned these two Best of Staffing Awards by obtaining a Net Promoter Score that demonstrated extremely high levels of satisfaction and agency loyalty among clients and talent.

Net Promoter scores are based on how likely a client or job candidate is to recommend a staffing agency’s service to a friend or colleague, on a scale of zero to 10. A response of nine or 10 is considered a Promoter — someone who is highly satisfied and very likely to be loyal to the agency. A response of seven or eight is considered a Passive response, someone who is very satisfied with the service but may not be completely loyal. Responses of zero to six indicate Detractors who are not satisfied and would not recommend the agency.

The Armada Group received the following Net Promoter Scores for 2015:

  • Overall Net Promoter Score – 83.3% (compared to industry average of eight percent and Best of Staffing average of 67 percent)
  • Promoters (9 or 10 response) – 83.3% (compared to industry average of 32 percent and Best of Staffing average of 73 percent)
  • Passives (7 or 8 response) – 16.7% (compared to industry average of 44 percent and Best of Staffing average of 22 percent)
  • Detractors (0-6 response) – 0% (compared to industry average of 24 percent and Best of Staffing average of five percent)

About The Armada Group

The Armada Group specializes in staffing for the IT industry, including areas such as QC (quality control), telecommunications, and engineering. We’re happy to be recognized for our exceptional service to both clients and job candidates in the technical industry, and look forward to many years of outstanding performance.

Published in News at Armada

Turn Your Year End Review into Fuel for 2015

Are you dreading your year-end performance review? Many employees would rather have a root canal than sit down with a manager or supervisor and discuss their performance one-on-one. But an annual review doesn’t have to be a traumatic event. Instead, you can use your year-end review to gain critical insight that will catapult your career in 2015.

金牛国际最新地址Here’s how to plan for and carry out an annual performance review that will fuel your next year and bring your career to new heights:

Self-review: Compare your job expectations to your performance

金牛国际最新地址The first step in preparing for a year-end review is to dig out your original job description and go through it line by line, evaluating yourself on how you’ve performed in each area this year. It can help to use a scale of one to five, with one representing areas where you had little or no skill, and five for those in which you excelled beyond co-workers or professionals with similar qualifications.

金牛国际最新地址You don’t have to be overly critical. The main objective with this self-review is to identify your strongest areas of performance, so you can expand on your contributions and successes in the next step and build a case for personal advancement.

Generate performance proof

金牛国际最新地址Regardless of the workplace culture at your company, at the end of the day, a business views its employees as investments — and they expect to see a return. What’s your employee ROI? The ability to spell out exactly what you’ve accomplished for the business will help you navigate your year-end review and come out ahead.

金牛国际最新地址Consider your role in terms of how you’ve saved the company time and/or money. You might have delivered great customer service, which resulted in repeat business (and more money), or implemented a strategic plan that reduced delays (and saved time). Any measureable reduction in time or costs, or increases in profits, that you’ve accomplished are worth noting.

Plan your own reward

金牛国际最新地址Once you’ve made a strong case for your contributions, you can leverage your performance presentation to ask for the type of reward you’d like for your hard work. You may simply want a raise — which is common and often expected for year-end reviews. But if you’re already receiving a competitive salary, more money might not motivate you or help you advance your career.

For example, you may be more interested in a promotion. If there is no higher position currently available in your company, you could request a change of duties to align more with the position you want to move into, or additional responsibilities that would help prepare you for moving up. Or you may want to advance your career through training, and request to be enrolled in courses or sent to workshops, trade shows, or industry events. Another commonly sought-after benefit is flexible scheduling or part-time telecommuting.

Ask for a review sooner instead of later

For those who dread year-end performance reviews, this strategy might seem counterintuitive — you may want to put it off as long as possible. But keep in mind that employee reviews are just as exhausting for management and HR. Whoever is responsible for the review process will be fresher and more open to discussion during earlier reviews, but as the process drags on, they’ll just want to get it over with.

Requesting an early review also demonstrates your motivation and willingness to improve. Managers will see this as a positive quality, and may be more enthusiastic about helping you advance your career.

Don’t forget to follow up

One you’ve gotten through your performance review successfully, make notes about what you’ve discussed and detail your understanding of the review session’s outcome. Include both the actions you’ll take to correct and improve performance, and the rewards that were promised for your performance to date. Send your quick recap to your manager or supervisor the same day of the review, so any miscommunication can be addressed before the results are documented.

Handled properly, the year-end review is your opportunity to move your career forward and accomplish your goals for the upcoming year. Contact The Armada Group金牛国际最新地址 to learn how to better be prepared and positive, and don’t miss your chance to elevate your career in 2015.

Published in IT Infrastructure


Secrets You Need to Know Before a Career Change

金牛国际最新地址For the modern IT professional, career changes are not only normal — they’re expected. Over the course of your IT career, you can probably expect to change jobs, change companies, and even change fields or specialties. You might start out a Python programmer and make your way to Java front-end developer, or climb up from help desk support to IT project manager. The one constant in IT is that nothing is constant, and everything changes.

But that doesn’t make a career change any easier or less personally nerve-wracking.

If you’re in the midst of changing your career or thinking about making a move — whether it’s up, down, lateral, or a quantum shift to something completely new — here’s what you should know to make the transition smoother.

It’s not a challenge — it’s an opportunity

金牛国际最新地址Starting something new can be exciting, but usually it’s more terrifying. When you step out of your comfort zone into unfamiliar territory, you’re likely to experience fear that you’ll do something wrong, and regret that you’ve left your safety net behind for something you might not succeed with.

Your new area may be challenging, but what’s most important is the opportunity you have to test yourself, improve your skills, and expand your accomplishments. Learning that you can complete something you’ve never done before gives you an incredible boost in self-confidence, and primes you to try even more new and exciting things.

Interviews are your chance to learn

金牛国际最新地址When you’re facing a career change, you may be dreading the very idea of job interviews. Maybe you were feeling relieved when you landed your current job because you’d never have to interview again, or maybe it’s been so long since you’ve been on a job interview that you’ve completely forgotten the basics — do they still shake hands, or should you just wave casually when you walk in?

金牛国际最新地址In any case, keep in mind that interviews are just as important an opportunity for you as they are for the interviewers. They’re your chance to learn more about your new career, to ask questions about the team, the infrastructure, and the job itself. When you treat interviews as your opportunity to interview a department or company, you’ll be better positioned to make sure the new job is a good fit for you — which enables you to start with more confidence.

Understand what you bring to the table

A career change means you’re starting a new position for the first time. But it also means it’s the first time the new position has you — and all of the unique skills and experiences you’re bringing along. Your newness is an asset in an IT world that thrives on innovation.

金牛国际最新地址Because you’re working in a certain capacity for the first time, you don’t have the ingrained habits and perceptions of your more experienced colleagues. You’ll be able to bring a fresh perspective to the work you do, and view challenges at different angles that can produce unexpected results. This is the definition of innovation, and you are uniquely suited to achieve great things in your new IT career.

For more help with a new career or career transition, contact the recruiting experts at The Armada Group. They can assist you in finding the IT career you’re looking for, today.



What is Your Nonverbal Communication Saying

During an IT job interview, you’re very aware of the words that come out of your mouth. Hopefully, you’ll have thought about and planned your responses to some of the most common interview questions ahead of time, and you’ll have practiced speaking your answers out loud prior to your interview.

金牛国际最新地址But how much have you thought about what you’re not saying?

金牛国际最新地址Good nonverbal communication is a critical component to a successful interview. The way you present yourself, position yourself, and conduct yourself during an interview can sometimes tell hiring managers more than your words about the type of employee you’ll be — and they are definitely looking for those nonverbal cues. Are yours reinforcing your responses, or telegraphing that you don’t really want the job?

Here’s how you can use nonverbal communication to ace your next IT interview:

Dress for the part

You know you have to wear professional attire for an interview, but what constitutes “professional” at the particular company you’re interviewing with? When you dress as if you already belong in the environment, you’re sending a nonverbal signal to the interviewer that you’ve done your homework, and that you’re the right candidate for the position.

To hit this nonverbal cue, find out what you can about the company’s dress code. Look online, both at the company’s website and social media pages, where you’re likely to find at least a few photos of people at work. You can also visit the company prior to your interview and observe how everyone dresses.

Nail the handshake

It’s natural and expected for the interviewer to shake your hand when you arrive. The hiring manager will also develop an impression of you from that handshake — and if you make the wrong one, it’s difficult to correct that impression over the course of the interview.

金牛国际最新地址First, make sure your hands are dry. Regardless of the reason, a damp handshake is never pleasant — so if your palms tend to sweat, or you use the bathroom before the interview, keep tissues with you and pat your hands down just before you head in.

The handshake itself should be firm (but not bone-crushing) and brief. Avoid a limp grip, which says you’re tentative and lack self-confidence, and definitely pass on the two-handed politician’s shake, which says you’re either arrogant or trying too hard.

Strike the right balance with eye contact

If you never meet the interviewer’s eyes, you’re communicating that you’re either too nervous to be effectively confident, or you’re absolutely uninterested in the position. On the other hand, turning an interview into a staring match can get awkward quickly and will place you on the do-not-hire list. Maintain casual and relaxed eye contact to demonstrate that you’re interested and engaged without entering coming off as creepy.

Own your chair

Unless the interview is extremely unusual, you’ll be invited to take a seat. From that moment forward, the chair is yours — so use that space to own it and project confidence. Sit with good posture (no slouching) in a relaxed and comfortable manner, and lean forward slightly to signify that you’re paying attention and ready to talk.

Keep your movement minimal

金牛国际最新地址Some people talk with their hands as well as their mouths. If you’re one of them, train yourself to minimize the swooping arms and big hand gestures prior to an interview — after all, there’s no way to end an interview faster than to gesture for emphasis and knock over someone’s coffee cup or desk decoration.

The same goes for fiddling and fidgeting. If you’re constantly shaking a leg, tapping a foot, twisting a ring, twirling your hair, or clicking a pen, now is the time to break those nervous gestures — or at least learn to control them for as long as the interview lasts. This type of moment is distracting, and indicates to the interviewer that you’re uncomfortable for some reason. They’ll assume it’s because you don’t want to be there.

Make your nonverbal communication as big a priority as your verbal responses, and you’ll be ready to pass your next IT interview with flying colors. For more interviewing tips and advice, talk to the team at The Armada Group金牛国际最新地址. We place top IT candidates at top companies across the nation and beyond, and we can help you prepare to ace any job interview.



Published in Recruiting
Tuesday, Jun 24 2014

2014 Job Data: Tech Outlook


2014 Job Outlook

For IT professionals, the current job market offers good news and bad news. On the upside, there is a definite talent shortage in the IT market — but in potentially less encouraging news, it’s a shortage of the right skills.

金牛国际最新地址IT salary trends also offer a good news / bad news scenario: Salaries and bonuses are going up, but the growth is slow.

Employers can’t fill “hot” tech positions fast enough.

金牛国际最新地址Recruiters and HR professionals agree that when it comes to in-demand IT skills, there just isn’t enough talent to go around. The rapid pace of change in technology practically ensures that when a skill becomes hot and demand explodes, there simply aren’t sufficient numbers of IT professionals who’ve already gained experience with the new skill to supply business needs.

However, IT pros can watch these trends and acquire new skills that will bring them into demand. Computerworld’s breaks down the current top 10 sought-after skills for tech professionals:

Application development. Number one on the list for the third year in a row is this skill, which 49 percent of managers expecting to hire this year are looking for.

Help desk and IT support. 金牛国际最新地址Considering the rate of introduction for new technologies, this one shouldn’t be surprising as the second most in-demand skill, with 44 percent of managers looking to fill positions here in 2014. In fact, demand for IT support is rising faster than any other area — it’s up from 37 percent last year.

Business intelligence and database analysis / development. These two separate skills tied for third place on the top 10 list. In both cases, 29 percent of hiring managers have plans to increase their staffing for BI and data-related positions — including database administrators, database developers, and database architects.

The remaining IT skills on the top 10 list include:

  • Security
  • Network administration
  • Networking
  • Cloud computing
  • Web design and development
  • Data management

Beyond hard skills: A shortage of sought-after qualities

One of the difficulties hiring managers face in finding the right IT talent is their own desire to employ the perfectly well-rounded candidate — a skilled IT pro who also has great people skills and problem-solving abilities.

The role of IT workers is changing, and it’s no longer sufficient to deliver a flawless technical performance. Tech pros who are most in-demand are those who can demonstrate flexibility in their approaches, and who are able to break down and explain complex technical concepts in language that executives, co-workers, and end users can understand.

The outlook for IT salaries

金牛国际最新地址In addition to hot job skills, the Computerworld survey looks at salary data in both current and historical senses. This year, average IT salary changes include:

  • Average pay increases of 2.1%
  • Average bonus increases of 0.7%
  • 60% of IT pros reported receiving raises (up from 57% last year)
  • 8% reported pay cuts (down from 9% last year)
  • 61% of IT professionals feel secure in their jobs

金牛国际最新地址Overall, IT salaries are entering a slow climb, after decreases in pay and bonuses brought about by the recession. In fact, in 2012, less than 50 percent of IT workers reported receiving raises in salary.

金牛国际最新地址While the general correlation between in-demand skills and commensurate salary isn’t quite there yet, IT professionals would be well-served to take on “hot” skills and make an effort to further personal development, in order to meet the soft skill requirement that gives IT candidates an additional edge in the job market.



Published in Recruiting
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