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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

10 Tips to Capture Hot Candidates

Can your company improve the recruiting and hiring process? As the marketplace shifts to a candidate’s marketplace, companies are challenged to constantly analyze and improve their talent acquisition processes.

If a candidate has three offers, are you confident that they will take your offer?

Smart employers are beginning to realize that they must be willing to be innovative and move quickly to capture these hot candidates. Some successful techniques that we have seen employers use to capture star candidates include:

  1. All interviews same day. Don’t force a candidate to come back twice if you can complete the evaluation in one day.  Efficient hiring processes demonstrate to a candidate that you are an agile, efficient company. That you respect and value their time. This gives the candidate a preview of what the processes throughout the company will be like.
  2. Extend offers within days of the interview. How long do you really need to think about itJ
  3. Signing bonuses.  A good alternative to raising the salary above a set salary band.
  4. Free Tablets. It’s pretty cool to give the candidate an iPad when they sign up.  Cost low – impact high.
  5. Working from Home privileges. A great way to demonstrate your commitment to work-life balance.
  6. Flex Hours. Many companies have core hours when employees must be in the office but are flexible outside of the core hours.
  7. Free beer. If you fill an open engineering position at Hipster, a startup in Silicon Valley, they will reward you with $10,000 in cash and a year's supply of beer. 
  8. Have your stars interview star candidates. You need to bring out the top talent to capture the top talent
  9. Know what the market rates are. Don’t try and lowball. If you know market rates it shows the candidate that you've done your research and you are willing to pay them what they are worth.
  10. Gym Membership. A healthy employee is a happy, productive employee. Less sick daysJ

Empower the people doing the interviews to capture the top talent. Make sure they have the training and coaching to interview and sell star candidates on the opportunity to work for your business. Employers that can adapt and capture the best candidates will be more successful in the long run.
Related Articles

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

IT Job Market 2011: Who's Hot?

We’ve noticed a change in the kind of person our clients want to hire. It’s not enough to have the technical skills anymore. Our clients are looking for triple threats: IT experts with 5+ experience in a specific business vertical plus excellent people skills. 

It’s not just about coding in a cubicle anymore. Now employers are looking for technology experts with client-facing skills, adaptable people who can move from one team to another.  But people like this are in short supply.  Here are the top skills in demand in the Toronto GTA job market right now:

  1. Mobile Programmers – J2ME, Objective C and Android – anybody with hands on experience can write their own ticket. If you are a college or university and you want to increase your placement rates, then teach these courses and give the power to the graduates.
  2. Programmers with client facing skills – Consulting companies are hiring again. If you have OO skills and have experience working with a consulting company, you know you are in demand because you get calls all the time. If you have these skills and are looking for work call us at 416 364 2300 and we'll give you multiple opportunities J
  3. Derivatives and technology – A deadly combination that makes you very much in demand.  As a candidate with a few years experience, these skills you will get 70K.
  4. Solutions and Enterprise Architect – Being able to see the big picture allows these candidates to have the power. SOA consultants have the ability to design the fundamental 'architecture' of an application. The Enterprise Architect is especially sought after since they are able to architect applications that are compatible with many different divisions of an enterprise.
  5. Government Experience – As much as the government says they will consider people without government experience, if you have this experience you can write your ticket.
  6. Business Intelligence – So much data  is being tracked throught social media that people with the skills to analyze and help clients use this data are, and will continue to be, in huge demand.
These are the most in demand skills that we see presently. Everybody is trying to capture these candidates. In my next article I will reveal strategies that some companies are using to capture these candidates.  Stay Tuned…

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

IT Job Market 2011: Is This a Candidate’s Job Market?

Who has the most power in the marketplace these days? Is it the candidate or the employer?

According to Statistics Canada our jobless rate is at 7.4% ( ). This is at our lowest rate since June 2009, which was the beginning of the recession.

As the jobless rate decreases the power grows for technology job candidates. If you are in the manufacturing industry there are still struggles ahead.  My expertise is around the  technology world, and we are starting to see evidence of an emerging  candidate's market.

What are some of the signs of a candidate's market?

  1. Competition for candidates. Now it's normal for us to see candidates with multiple offers, but this didn't happen a year ago.
  2. Empowered Candidates. Candidates are actually turning down reasonable job offers. One year ago candidates would jump at the first offer.
  3. Employers are looking to fill teams. Some of our clients are winning projects and need to fill teams of 5 to 10 people or more. A year ago many of our clients were cancelling projects.
  4. Less outsourcing. Fewer clients are outsourcing projects overseas which means more competition for candidates. Businesses have become very selective about what they outsource abroad. This means more jobs locally. Recently we had a client that did a cost comparison between outsourcing a team of three from India and hiring three local contractors. After considering the costs and the importance of delivery deadlines, they chose to hire local contractors because it was less expensive to do the work locally.  
  5. Small businesses are hiring. One of the main causes for the decrease in the jobless rate is the increase of self-employment and the success of small businesses. Over 30% of our job orders are now coming from small and medium sized businesses that are growing.
It's not a candidate's market for all candidates at this point. But the candidates that have the power these days are obviously the ones that are in demand.  In my next article I'll tell you exactly which candidates are wielding the most power in the technology job market.

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