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Ways to woo programmers and developers on Valentines (or anytime)

Ways to woo programmers and developers on Valentines (or anytime)

Hipster CupidAs an IT staffing company, we’re matchmakers for programmers and employers.

When a company is having trouble finding the perfect person for a tech job, they reach out to us. Then we use all kinds of Boolean voodoo magic to connect them with the perfect match.

Sadly, it takes more than a quickie email to convince a hot programmer to interview for your hot job. You have to woo them. You need to show them that you’ve got what they need to move their career to the next level.

It’s not really about money. But don’t insult them by offering too little.

It’s not really about the brand. Unless you’re a company like Google or Apple.

It’s really about the opportunity to grow your career and add cool skills to your toolbox.

Programmers and developers are not easily impressed

Why should they be? They’re the superheroes of the technological world we take for granted. We wouldn’t have Google, iPads or open source software without them. If they all took tomorrow off the world would probably end.

You can't impress developers. So don't try.

baus.net on Reddit: You can’t impress developers. So don’t try.

If you can’t impress the programmers and developers that you really need to hire, what can you do to woo them over to your side?

Ways to woo programmers and developers

It goes a long way if you show them that you have a clue about the work they do. Of course, you can’t go wrong by appealing to their love of techy devices. Here are a few ideas to help you compete in a multiple job offer situation:

  1. Wanna test drive my Google Glasses? I’ll see if I can get you some as a signing bonus.
  2. Hey, that’s a  cool project you’ve got on Github (or Bitbucket).
  3. Comment on their blog.
  4. Connect with them in a LinkedIn group.
  5. Mention a solution they contributed to on Stack Overflow.
  6. Retweet them.
  7. Google Plus one of their posts.
  8. If they’re wearing a cool watch, ask them about it.
  9. I’m running dry here….what’ve you got? Please share your ideas in the comments.

Valentines Cards for Geeks…

I found these super geeky Valentines on AppSumo and I just have to share them with you. Click through on the picture and you’ll see the newest Valentines that App Sumo created this year. You can even share them!

You gotta love these geeky Valentines from App Sumo!

Geeky Valentines From http://www.appsumo.com/startup-valentines/

Now go woo some programmers and get them working for you!

Please let me know in the comments if you have more ideas for wooing developers.

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One New Year’s Resolution for 2014 – To Empower Recruiters

One New Year’s Resolution for 2014 – To Empower Recruiters

Happy New Year written in the snow

Happy New Year! Here we are at the precipice of 2014. A new year and a new chance to do better.

This year I’m going to focus on this one important New Year’s resolution: To empower recruiters with the tools to become a critical asset to their organization.

I figure that focussing on one resolution will improve my chances of success. Really it’s more like a mission because I believe that…

Recruitment should have a seat at the boardroom table

Many CEOs will tell you that their number one priority is to hire great people. But very few invest in the development of their recruitment processes. Whether its a university, a bank, a staffing agency or a technology company — my goal is to empower recruiters because recruitment is essential to the growth and sustainability of all organizations.

I want people to see recruitment as a career option. The kind of career that takes ten thousand hours to master. A career that changes lives and grows companies.

Most people don’t go to university thinking, “Hey, I want to be a recruiter.” I want to change that. By raising the profile of recruitment, perhaps more colleges and universities will offer programs to train people for this important role that is essential for every organization.

Recruiting has evolved, our opinion of recruiters needs to catch up

Recruiters today need a different toolbox than they needed five years ago. Developing that toolbox takes years of training, mentoring and frontline recruitment experience.

The cool thing about recruiting today is that it’s technical and social at the same time. Its about advanced Boolean search techniques and relationship development.

There’s a better way

Stafflink has found a better way to do IT staffing. It all starts with our culture of continuous learning and collaboration. In 2014, we intend to share our system to help people see recruitment as the great career that it can be.

Passing the puck

The best recruiters are team players because collaboration is essential to successful recruitment.

In 2013, Stafflink really solidified the unique solution that we bring to our candidates, clients and the recruitment community as a whole. It’s a  two part solution that combines teamwork and continuous learning of technical recruiting skills.

In a nutshell,

We practice and develop the technical skills.
We pass the puck because we play for the team.
We score when we make a perfect match between a great job opportunity and the person who’s spent their whole life preparing for that role.

We will achieve our goal to empower recruiters by sharing our tools and best practices to empower recruiters to become leaders who are viewed as critical assets to an organization.

3 strategies to empower recruiters in 2014

Best practices for ethical and successful employee recruitment

My New Year’s resolution 2014 is to share Stafflink’s best practices for ethical and successful employee recruitment

Strategy 1: New Boolean Search Techniques eBook

Our Boolean Search Secrets to Become a Master IT Recruiter eBook was downloaded over 700 times. Now it’s time to publish a follow up eBook with new search tips for uncovering those very difficult-to-find candidates.

Strategy 2: Wine and Learn

Watch for our first “Wine and Learn” in March 2014. I will host live professional development seminars for Stafflink’s clients and contractors right here in our office with the option to participate remotely.

Strategy 3: Blogging and Newsletters

Please let me know in the comments if there are any topics that you would like us to cover?

I’ve made a career out of IT recruitment, and it’s only getting better. Do you share my mission to raise the profile of recruiters and to present recruitment as a viable option for a lifelong career?

Tell me about your mission in 2014. If you could only focus on one professional goal in 2014, what would it be? Please share your answer in the comments.

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Help HoHoTO 2013 support the Daily Bread Food Bank

Help HoHoTO 2013 support the Daily Bread Food Bank

Are you involved with Toronto’s tech community and interested in supporting the Daily Bread Food Bank? Party with Stafflink at HoHoTO 2013 tomorrow night!

We’d love to see you there! HoHoTO really needs your help to fill the venue and hit their stretch goals for supporting Daily Bread.

What is HoHoTO 2013?

HoHoTO 2013 is Toronto’s biggest holiday fundraiser for the geek community. It’s happening on Thursday, December 19 (7pm) at the Mod Club (722 College St.) .

HoHoTO is an annual event that started out as a way for Toronto’s tech community to spread some love during the holiday season while helping those less fortunate. It started as a casual remark on Twitter and grew, almost overnight, to become a viral sensation. HoHoTO has been recognized by Queen Rania of Jordan as an example of social media influencing online activism, and endorsed by  Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, Rick Mercer, David Miller, Don Tapscott, Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, Cory Doctorow, and David Weinberger. But most importantly, HoHoTO helps to support the Daily Bread Food Bank..

Click this image to retweet HoHoTO and get a chance to win a VIP pass

Click this image to retweet HoHoTO and get a chance to win a VIP pass

Here’s how you can help

Tell your friends, colleagues, and any other folks who may be interested in attending HoHoTO 2013 to support this great cause.

Share the event on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #hohoto to be entered into a draw for 2 VIP ticket upgrades (which includes complimentary drinks and food from 7-9pm, plus access to a VIP bar and seating on the main floor).

How to get tickets for HoHoTO 2013

Tweet, Facebook, blog, and share away and let us know with hashtag #hohoto for your chance at VIP tickets. And if you haven’t yet, grab your tickets at http://hohoto.ca/tickets/.

How to find HoHoTO

Hope to see you at Houselink Sip’n’Savour 2013!

Hope to see you at Houselink Sip’n’Savour 2013!

Ontario VQA wines at Houselink Sip'n'Savour

Sample some great Ontario VQA wines at Houselink Sip’n’Savour

Houselink has a mission to improve the quality of life for those with mental illness and at the highest risk of homelessness. Stafflink is proud to support Houselink as a sponsor of their Sip’n’Savour event coming up on June 19. We’ve attended the event for the past few years, and every year is more amazing than the previous. They are still selling tickets so we hope to see you there!

Sure, we’re busy 24-7 hunting down local tech wizards for leading-edge businesses in the GTA. But occasionally we need to stop for nourishment and a nice glass of fine Ontario wine. That’s why we are bouncing off the walls with excitement about the Houselink Sip’n’Savour event that’s coming up on June 19 in the Distillery District.

What is Sip’n’Savour?

It’s a culinary event where you can experience the best of Ontario locally grown food and gourmet cuisine created by top chefs, paired with Ontario VQA wines. But the best part is that you can indulge in this delightful cuisine guilt-free because you are supporting Houselink at the same time.

What is Houselink?

Houselink is an amazing local organization that provides housing solutions for people living with mental health challenges and at risk for being homeless.

Stafflink is proud to be a supporter of Houselink Community Homes for the past 10 years. We have been providing payroll services to the organization since 2003. We have also sponsored Houselink summer barbeques, holiday parties and luncheons for Houselink members. We feel proud to be involved with such an amazing organization that creates so many positive outcomes for all the Houselink members.

Hope to see you there!

We’re bringing our staff, their significant others, and some of our best friends who also happen to be our clients to Houselink Sip’n’Savour 2013. It’s going to be great.

We’d love to see you there too!

When: Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where: The Distillery Historic District, Fermenting Cellar, 28 Distillery Lane, Toronto

Tickets: http://sipandsavourontario.ca/tickets-events.php

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Startups: a look at rewards instead of risks

Startups: a look at rewards instead of risks

Young entrepreneurs are pitching investors for  seed money for their startups

Young entrepreneurs are pitching investors for seed money for their startups

Pitching your business idea with zero assets of your own sounds like an all-or-nothing risk, but there are many forks along the IT startup road that can lead you to the perfect career.

Getting noticed

It’s a scene you’ll see all over Toronto these days: a mingling of young entrepreneurs with big ideas and  venture capitalists looking for  just the right one. I went to a startup event last night and, along with the usual networking, I got a chance to see a few two-minute pitches, where the would-be startups try to sell themselves in just a few breaths.

Few of them will realize their ultimate dream: getting the financial backing they need to grow their own company. But others will attract the attention of companies that simply want to buy them out, or even hire them outright.

Many of these young companies get noticed with the help of Toronto startup guru April Dunford or start up marketing specialist Mark Evans.

I spoke to Andrew Lo, the CIO of Kanetix, a company that offers a Web-based platform to compare insurance rates. He attends these events as a spectator, prospector and also as coach, helping young entrepreneurs perfect their pitches. It’s pretty much a truism, he said, that the people in the startup world tend to be the youngest—right out of school, without the responsibilities that will weigh them down later in life.

To be sure, once you’ve inked a contract with an investor, you are taking on a big risk, but it costs you nothing to get up on stage and present your ideas to the world. Sure, startups may be a young people’s game, but at the same time, how many of us were certain where our career would lead us at the age of 22?

Startups are about innovation, not rebellion

There’s a stereotype of the startup “personality” as an independent, almost rebellious type who doesn’t want to answer to a higher authority. But that’s not true across the board. If there is a common thread linking these people together, it’s their desire to innovate. That’s a personal quality that is as useful to a fledgling company as it is to a salaried employee working for a large enterprise.

Everyone has to make compromises in life, and if you realize your dream of being your own boss isn’t feasible, it can be a tough one. But years later, you may look back and realize that you wouldn’t have wanted the stress, the risks and the responsibility. And remember, you aren’t facing a choice between freedom or bondage: many companies can provide you with the space you crave, especially the kinds that attend startup events, of course.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Many people have an innate ability to innovate, but not necessarily the business acumen to turn their idea into a realistic proposal. One thing that Lo stresses when he coaches startup candidates is that they should focus on making a coherent business case as much as on their idea itself. Many younger people simply don’t have the experience to understand the what, where and how of financing a business, he said.

There’s a reason why failures vastly outnumber successes in the startup world, and often it’s because not everyone can translate their knowledge into concrete business requirements. But even these “failures” learned valuable lessons along the way, and no doubt, met people who could help them take another route in their professional life later on.

Remember the fake Bill Gates quote, circa 2000, about how unlike in school, the real world cares only about your achievements, not your effort? Well, whoever did write it was wrong. The real world does value effort. So, go ahead and prepare a two-minute pitch. You never know where it might take you.

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Support HoHoTO and the Daily Bread Food Bank

Support HoHoTO and the Daily Bread Food Bank

Support HOHOTO and the Daily Bread Food Bank

Please join us in helping HOHOTO bring food to hungry people in Toronto!

It’s the holiday season. Hannukah begins at sunset tomorrow. Only 16 more sleeps until Santa comes! If you’re lucky, you can count that in shopping days. But it’s not that simple if you rely on food banks to feed your family.

That’s why Stafflink is proud to be a sponsor of HoHoTO, an annual Toronto fundraising event for the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Who uses food banks?

You may be surprised. According to the Hunger Count 2012 Provincial Report, most of the people who visit food banks are just like you and me. Hard working people and young families who experienced an unforeseeable hardship and need a helping hand to get back on their feet.

Our everyday food banks clients include recent university graduates, loving parents, seniors, children, and youth who have been met with unfortunate circumstances. Some might have lost a job, some might be wage workers who are struggling to make ends meet, and some might have suffered a financial, physical, or emotional crisis. It goes without saying, but chronic hunger is not something we can identify simply by looking at someone.

3 ways you can help HOHOTO and hungry people in Toronto

Please join Stafflink in supporting this very important cause!

  1. Be a sponsor. Are you able to step in and be our Mrs. Claus ($7,500) or Elf ($5,000) sponsor this year? How about a Reindeer ($2,000) or Snowflake ($1,000)? Your generosity could be your best marketing and hiring strategy yet.
  2. Donate a raffle prize. If sponsorship is not in the cards for you this year, how about donating great raffle prizes to HoHoTO? Ping @alexaclark or try sponsors@hohoto.ca.
  3. Buy a ticket for the HOHOTO party. You party for one night, they eat for one week! Put this in perspective for a minute: $40 buys one decent dinner for two, or one movie outing for two. Maybe a t-shirt or two. That same $40 would feed a family for one week, and wouldn’t that be the best gift to give someone this holiday season?

Biz Stone, cofounder of Twitter loves HoHoTO