Friday, September 16, 2011

We've Moved!

Our blog has moved!
That brings up way more questions than it answers. So here are the answers to the most obvious questions. :-) Like, where we moved the blog and why. And what will happen to all of our past articles. So here's the lowdown:

The new address for our blog is

My dream for over a year has been to combine our corporate website and this Blogger blog in to one website on the WordPress platform. Blogger is great, but it's better if people don't have to leave our website to read our articles. So now our blog is living in a sub domain of our main website called

Why else?
I'm obsessed with WordPress. I chronicled my obsession in a couple past articles: 10 Reasons I Jumped on the WordPress Bandwagon and WordPress Theme Smackdown.

What happens with our past articles?
Our past articles will stay right here at But all or our new articles will be published at our new location 

Please come an check out our new blog!
Here's a list of the articles we've publish this past week:
Please let me know what you think of the new blog website!!!

Laura Upcott
Stafflink Solutions Ltd.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What it takes to be an IT Recruiter

Do you have what it takes to be an IT recruiter?

First you might be wondering what the heck an IT recruiter does?

Sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, references, background checks, contract negotiations, client/candidate account management, social media outreach, presentations/meetings...

That doesn't sound so bad. It might even sound fun (because it is fun!) But let me tell you, it's not always fun and sometimes it's downright heart-breaking. Somedays it can be a non-stop rollercoaster ride.

One minute you're presenting a job offer to a great candidate who's thrilled to get the job. The next your trying to find out and explain to a client why a great candidate failed to show up for an interview.

Sometimes you call people who forget that they posted their resume and they treat you like you're calling them in the middle of dinner to sell windows. Then the next person you call treats you like you're calling to inform them that they just won the lottery (and they make up for the not so great calls!).

That's just the candidates. Clients are a whole different ball game.

As a Hiring Manager, it can sometimes be forgotten that the "perfect" candidate may have two or three other job offers. This is when you have to be creative and use your negotiation skills!

It's not only people that make the job challenging. The job is inherently difficult because it is our job to fill the "hard" job orders (but nothing is impossible!). Easy jobs are the jobs that companies can easily fill themselves. We get the challenging job orders for people with niche skills sets and specialized experience.

Day in, day out, we are looking for people that are difficult to find because the few people who do meet the job requirements are happily employed or not easily found. That's when you have to think outside the box and do some serious headhunting (which is my favourite part - you get to be a candidate detective!) You have to search high and low to find the right candidate for an opportunity that also meets their needs/career aspirations - and you have to find them before your competition finds them (I like to think it's similar to "The Amazing Race")

So do you have what it takes to handle the rollercoaster ride? There are up's and down's but trust me the hills are the best part!

  • Do you thrive on challenge?

  • Are you willing to work whenever you have to connect with people to fill the job?

  • Do you love to help people hire the right people and find the jobs that will make them happy?

  • Do you love to learn?

  • Do you love to hunt?

  • Do you love to solve difficult problems?

  • Do you love to network?

  • Do you love, love, love technology!!!

Then you just might love being an IT recruiter as much as I do :-)

Other Posts by Michelle De Rubeis

Where are the Women? Connecting Women and Technology
iPad versus Playbook Debate Revisited
Steve, Mark and Jim: Who Made 2010's Nice List?
How to Sparkle in a Room Full of Diamonds

About the Author

Michelle De Rubeis
Technical Recruiter, StaffLink Solutions

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Best Office Staff Party Photo Contest Winner!

The winner in our Best Office Staff Party Photo Contest has been announced! A great big congratulations to Mr. Slava whose entry, Get into the Pool, just won him a Sony laptop!

The Winning Office Party Photo
Mr Slava's winning photo of his boss getting tossed into the pool by a group of his rowdy employees won for being the most memorable of all the best office party photo entries.

According to one of the judges, "You can just picture what happens next with this one. The expression of the guy by the pool is a classic and tells us exactly what we all want to see, but are left to envision in our own imagination."

Thank you all who entered!
Congrats again to our winner, Mr. Slava, and a great big thank you to everyone who submitted entries, and voted for their favourite photos. Special thanks to Rob Campbell and the Lenzr team for helping us put together this contest.

On a side note, I'm pretty sure the winning photo has dissuaded me from ever throwing a pool party for our own summer staff party, just incase any of our employees get any funny ideas...

Related Articles

Written by:
Tim Collins, President and Owner, Stafflink Solutions

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Inside Scoop on IT Jobs in Toronto

According to Stats Canada, over the month of June 2011, there were 28,000 new jobs created in Canada versus 18,000 new jobs created in the United States. In a recent quarterly survey, the Bank of Canada reported that 57% of Canadian companies surveyed are looking to hire over the next year. These stats are great news for the Canadian workforce, and particularly exciting if you are involved in the IT sector of Silicon Valley North, a.k.a. the tech hub of downtown Toronto.

Tech startups in Toronto experiencing fast growth
As an IT staffing agency in Toronto, we have the pleasure of seeing many startups reaching lift-off status, first-hand. Many of our clients recently ranked on Deloitte's radar, and one company was recently acquired by a prominent game manufacturer:
  • Nexj Systems: placed fourth on Deloitte's 2010 Canadian Technology Fast 50 Ranking. Out of the 50 companies on this list, 11 were from Toronto.

  • Polar Mobile: was awarded Deloitte's 2010 Companies-to-Watch award. Out of the list of 10 companies, 4 were from Toronto.

  • Five Mobile: a mobile development company from Toronto, was recently purchased by Zynga, a social game development company, for an undisclosed amount. They are now known as 'Zynga Toronto.'

Access to refunds and tax credits make Toronto attractive to tech start ups
Part of the reason tech business is booming in Toronto is due to a government initiative called the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. SR&ED provides millions of dollars in cash refunds and/or tax credits for small business expenditures on research and development work done in Canada. Companies such as Polar Mobile are happy to take advantage of these credits rather than outsource work to India or China, creating job opportunities for local technology professionals.

Lucrative tech careers at the moment
It's great to see companies investing in local talent, and it's great to see that IT professionals have more options today. Many developers and programmers we've placed are reluctant to take contract positions for less than three months as they know their services are in high demand at the moment, and they're right for thinking this way. It's a profitable time to be in an IT profession.

To give you a range of salaries for hot tech jobs in Toronto at the moment:
  • Mobile App Developers: We're seeing people with J2ME skills, Objective C, and Android developer skills that have been placed at companies for an average salary of 60k+ starting salary as a Jr. Developer, and upwards of 80+ with about 5 years experience. These developer skills are in high demand at the moment.

  • M-commerce or Mobile Commerce: Experience with this as a developer will easily net 70k+. Leading companies in this field include PayPal, Square (started by Twitter Founder, Jack Dorsey), and local Toronto company, EnStream.

  • Object Oriented Programming Skills in Banking or Software (OO): These skills almost guarantee you are going to get a job in Toronto right now. With 5-7 years experience, you could earn an average of 60-75k a year.

  • Banking Skills in Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Business Analyst Derivatives, or Derivatives Programming: This area of IT is experiencing a lot of growth right now. You can net about 80k+ with less than 5 years experience at the moment.

  • Regulation Processes (Sarbanes Oxley & Basel I, II, III): This is another growing market. This is quite an advanced field in Canada at the moment, so if you go into this profession, it's not unusual that you would be asked to travel all over the world.

If you're in college or university at the moment, and you want to make money quickly out of school, one of the jobs mentioned above might be just what you're looking for. Whether you're just entering the workforce as an IT professional, you've built a startup, or you're part of an established company, this is an exciting time to be part of Silicon Valley North.

Related Articles

Written by:
Tim Collins, President and Owner, Stafflink Solutions

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Future of IT

My daughter is 6 months old. When I was her age, my favourite toy was a stuffed Bert from Sesame Street. Not my daughter, though. She was born with a passion for technology. The first time she crawled, it was to get to my iPad 2. Forget about toys, she wants to play with cellphones, iPads and any kind of digital gadget she can get her tiny hands on.

I recently read a tweet from CEO of Polar Mobile, Kunal Gupta, who mentioned, "your children are in two states...sleeping or online," and I couldn't agree more. Born into a culture of technology, it's no wonder our kids are so tech-savvy.

Growing up, my first computer was a Commodore 64, and I dreamed of colour graphics and not needing 9 floppy disks to run a program. Computers today run on terabyte hard drives and are much more advanced, allowing kids access to technology, information and opportunities to learn that in my time simply didn't exist.

One such opportunity is an elite camp known as Shad Valley, a summer enrichment program for students currently enrolled in or finishing high school. Open to both Canadian and international students, Shad takes a passion for technology and fuels it into a prominent and driven career path. Students spend a month living on campus at one of the host university campuses across Canada, studying business, science, math, engineering, technology, and entrepreneurship. Some of the top young CEO's and founders of technology companies have attended this camp.

In his book, Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell speaks of the rule of 10 thousand hours. He believes after 10 thousand hours of practice or study on a particular topic, you become an expert. Imagine the potential our children will have if they become experts in technology while they are still in high school. By university, they'll be ahead of the curve, and by the time they reach the job market, they'll have a competitive advantage, a vision, and no ceiling on where they can go, and what they can accomplish.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Win a Sony Laptop in Our Best Office Staff Party Photo Contest

Summer is here, and that means office parties, company barbecues and team building events are in full swing. In the spirit of the summer party season, Stafflink Solutions has partnered with, a serial photo contest site, to bring you the Best Office Staff Party photo contest. If you have a great picture from your latest office party or work retreat, submit it and you could win a Sony laptop!

We want to see your office in action, unwinding and relaxing. If you've got a photo of the sales and marketing teams, mingling with the IT staff of web developers, IT programmers and business analysts, submit it with a creative caption.

To enter, visit, submit your photo and get your co-workers, friends and family to vote for your picture. Get you photo submitted as soon as possible. Voting starts July 15th and closes on July 25th. On July 25th, the photos with the most votes will move into the top ten, where the final winning photo will be decided by the Lenzr judges. The winner will be chosen based on the photo quality as well as the most imaginative description provided. The contest closes August 1st, so get your photo posted soon!

We've already had a number of great submissions. Click here to check them out.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Golf A Little, Get A Lot

It’s 7:15am on a beautiful Thursday morning in June. On any given Thursday, I would normally be getting ready to start recruiting Toronto’s top talent; however, today isn’t just any Thursday – it is the day I will play my first round of golf! Not to mention, I will be playing it with the extremely athletic (and golf saavy) Stafflink team! Luckily, I have a new golf outfit, so at least I look the part.

Although the Stafflink team is a rather adventurous group, today’s golf adventure means much more than trying out a new sport or showing off some superb skills. Today we are participating in Bereaved Families of York Region’s 17th Annual Forget-Me-Not Golf Tournament. is an organization that is very close to my heart. I became involved in the organization back in 2007 when they hired me as a summer student, while I was completing my degree. The organization’s mission is to provide volunteer bereavement support services to families and individuals grieving the death of a loved one. Their services are offered free of charge and they receive no federal or municipal funding. The majority of their funding comes from individual contributions and fundraising events, such as their golf tournament. They are an organization who runs on the generous hearts and hard-work of a very strong and compassionate community.

After telling the Stafflink team about my involvement with BFOYR and the upcoming tournament - it took absolutely no convincing, our amazing founder, Tim Collins, had already signed us up.

So how did my first round go? I may not be Michelle Wei but I hit a few good drives and I learned how to “chip”. I also discovered that Tim is a phenomenal golfer, Ryan can hit a ball farther than anyone I’ve ever seen, and Neil is a mini-putt champion. Most importantly, our day was filled with a tremendous amount of laughs, wonderful company and an opportunity for our staff to support a great cause while participating in a phenomenal team building exercise. Thanks BFOYR!

Other Posts by Michelle De Rubeis

Where are the Women? Connecting Women and Technology
iPad versus Playbook Debate Revisited
Steve, Mark and Jim: Who Made 2010's Nice List?
How to Sparkle in a Room Full of Diamonds

About the Author

Michelle De Rubeis ,Technical Recruiter, StaffLink Solutions