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Procom Jobcast – Episode 25 (2013, Week 12 & 13)

After last week’s break, the Procom Jobcast is back, and happy to report a solid market coming out of March Break.

There are various small-medium clients with some exciting opportunities, and the hot jobs include positions in dot net, user experience (UX) and social media.

Instead of the regular discussion, Alex and Wendy take some time to talk through some questions that have been sent in by our listeners.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes*, or via RSS feed, and episodes can also be downloaded right here on Procom’s blog.

If you would like to share any feedback with us, please contact us on podcast@procom.ca, and/or tweet using #ProcomJobcast.

Wajam awarded for innovation in the digital media and information technology fields

Wajam, a social search engine startup, has recently been selected as the leading business and holder of the Canadian Innovation Exchange’s (CIX) Canadian Technology Accelerator award. The recognition adds to the growing amount of accolades being given to the Montreal-based firm, which include being named to the CIX Top 20 list. A list of 20 Canadian start-up small- and medium-sized businesses from across the country, the Top 20 is a program designed to showcase the most innovative and unique companies in the digital media and information and communication technology fields.

The CIX Top 20
Held annually at the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto, the CIX event hosts the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) as a way to increase innovation and investment for technology-centric businesses. The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service manages the CTA, which is a platform for investors from Silicon Valley to fund entrepreneurs and SMBs in Canada. By offering access to an array of contacts and resources, the CTA initiative plans to have companies like Wajam, Shopcaster and Scribblelive – the other two award winning businesses – grow on a global and competitive scale, driving more IT jobs in North America.

“We are honored to be associated with the Canadian Innovation Exchange and its elite list of top innovators,” said Martin-Luc Archambault, CEO, Wajam. “CIX globally recognizes how Canada is a growing hotbed for entrepreneurs, investment and technology leadership and promotes many opportunities for entrepreneurs to start tech companies in Canada.”

Archambault accepted the award from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs’ global practice lead for venture capital, Andrew Keenan.

“We’re happy to select Wajam as part of our Canadian Technology Accelerator,” said Keenan. “I believe Wajam has the potential to grow and represent Canada on the global tech stage, and we’re here to support their dream. Silicon Valley offers very quick access to investors, potential clients and technology partners, and the accelerator program give them unique access to resources to help their business scale.”

Searching the Internet through social media
Wajam is a social search engine plugin that brings a personal touch to search aggregators such as Google and Bing. The other accolades that Wajam has recently received include the International Stevies Award Silver Winner for most innovative company in the United States and Canada and the C2MTL Emerging Entrepreneurs Award.

“The Wajam team appreciates CIX’s recognition for their innovative work. We are grateful for all of the awards we have received this year, which validate the need and relevance social search brings to Internet navigation,” said Archambault. “We have big plans in 2013 to continue our quest to seamlessly bring friend recommendations to all places where people search the Internet!”

Social media and thought leadership for IT jobs

People who are looking for IT jobs in Canada face a competitive labor market, but they can increase their chances of getting noticed by recruiters and hiring managers by establishing thought leadership.

People who are looking for IT jobs in Canada face a competitive labor market, but they can increase their chances of getting noticed by recruiters and hiring managers by establishing thought leadership. These individuals have a range of tools to accomplish this including various social media platforms and strategies.

Why is thought leadership important?

Since technology is a field with jobs that require great knowledge, one could way to attract the interest needed to land these roles is to display thought leadership. Thought leadership can help a person develop his personal brand and position himself as an expert in his industry, according to U.S. News and World Report.

It is also viewed as positive by organizations that employ these individuals, as the credibility helps employers gain recognition, the media outlet reports. Any time a person does something like give a speech or publish a piece of writing that builds his thought leadership, it benefits his employer, and makes him more attractive to recruiters.

Using social media to display thought leadership

One medium for establishing thought leadership is social media websites like LinkedIn, according to U.S. News and World Report. Recruiters are actively looking for people with proof of knowledge of their field, and one good way to get noticed is to join LinkedIn industry-based groups and observe the discussion threads that exist there, the media outlet reports. It is a good idea for a person to silently observe the threads and responses before jumping in and posting replies.

By joining these groups and participating in these discussions, a person can display the expertise he has about his particular area of specialization, according to the news source. When posting, it is important to observe some simple rules. All discussion that happens in these groups will never disappear completely, so it is important to keep things professional. As a person contributes more content, he will establish credibility, build his personal brand and increase his odds of attracting attention from recruiters.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the internet can be a useful tool for people who want to position themselves as thought leaders since the web is always being searched by people looking for information. If a person writes blog posts or contributes to regular discussions on LinkedIn, they can be found by individuals using the net.

These tips can be combined to help people looking for IT jobs boost their chances by improving their thought leadership.

Increasing popularity of social media may lead to IT jobs

The need for more IT jobs in Canada could arise from the rising popularity of social media sites, as increased support for these platforms and accounts will be needed in the coming years.

The advent of social media sites was once linked to the increasing popularity of personal web pages and the idea that people wanted to share their stories and pictures with friends. However, since businesses have adopted the sites as new marketing tools, a new type of tech position was created at many firms.

IT Business Canada reported that the need for more IT jobs in Canada could arise from the rising popularity of social media sites, as increased support for these platforms and accounts will be needed in the coming years.

According to the news outlet, the social media sites of today may be like the phones of yesteryear, as companies will be expected to respond to queries on these networks just as they had answered the phone in the past.

Gartner researched the issue, and after evaluating the role that social media sites play within a company’s operations, noted that the wrath of customers will be felt if businesses do not actively manage their accounts.

Though the analysts at the firm recognized that this type of marketing helps companies stay relevant and garner new business, like the phones of the past, mismanaging customer service on websites will be a detriment to their reputation and eventually revenue.

“The dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond via social channels can lead to up to a 15 percent increase in churn rate for existing customers,” said Carol Rozwell, vice president and analyst at Gartner. “It’s crucial that organizations implement approaches to handling social media now. The effort involved in addressing social media commentary is not good cause to ignore relevant comments or solvable issues.”

When sites go down, which often happens if there are not enough people in IT jobs who are monitoring the accounts, companies will also begin to see a backlash. Gartner analysts noted that it is better for a business to be upfront and honest about any issues, as customers will understand this type of error.

“Generally the best practice is to acknowledge the issue on social media, but to move attempts to resolve the issue offline,” said Rozwell.

The New York Times reported that social media can also be a place where companies can try out an idea before selling or fully developing a product. Users can sound off on potential creations, and the firm can use this data to decide if it would be worth it.

Social media “footprint” crucial part of finding IT jobs

The social media footprint of candidates has never been more important in their question for IT jobs, according to IT recruiters.

The social media footprint of candidates has never been more important in their quest for IT jobs, according to IT recruiters.

Social media: blessing or curse

These market experts indicate that while a person’s online image can be very helpful for a person looking for a job, it can also detract from their efforts, according to IT World Canada. People who hold the greatest skill in creating social media profiles and leveraging these online environments will have a leg up on competitors for IT jobs.

Importance of online footprint

“Online presence and the online footprint is a big thing right now,” Chris Brady, division director of Robert Half Technology, told the media outlet. He said that the social media has not yet become crucial enough that having profiles can reduce a person’s odds of landing a job, individuals who do not utilize these online platforms are passing up a solid opportunity.

Brady noted that a perfect example of this trend is that a number of companies are using LinkedIn as their only medium for finding candidates, according to the news source. He said that the social media platform is basically Facebook for professionals, and has generated substantial visibility among both jobseekers and recruiters.

Other social media sites

In addition to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can also provide hiring managers and recruiters with insight into what an individual is like, the media outlet reports. Some people investigating candidates will review an applicant’s tweets in order to determine various matters such as interests and activities, and potentially to gauge the level of enthusiasm that a person has for a topic. Brady said that in some cases, hiring managers do this simply to uncover reasons they would have not to hire someone.

Passive job seeking

Whereas in previous generations candidates would submit their resumes or applications in an effort to obtain a position, the trend in hiring has shifted to passive jobseekers, according to the news source. Social media platforms like Twitter have made it easier for recruiters to find top-level candidates who are using this strategy. People searching for applicants can look for certain words, hashtags and also review someone’s history of positive and negative tweets.

Social media and relationships 

The use of relationships in social media should not be overlooked. A U.S. News and World Report article recently stated that social media platforms like LinkedIn provide people looking for IT jobs with a better way to utilize their current relationships.

Social media crucial tool for people seeking IT jobs in Canada

Individuals who are looking to land IT jobs in Canada can benefit from utilizing the growing emphasis that recruiters have placed on using social media to both find and evaluate candidates for open positions.

Individuals who are looking to land IT jobs in Canada can benefit from utilizing the growing emphasis that recruiters have placed on using social media to both find and evaluate candidates for open positions.

While some firms have been slow to embrace the importance of this new medium for both advertising jobs and for candidates who are looking, social media has become an increasingly important part of the lives of many people, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Since inception, social media has evolved into a tool that people can utilize for various purposes including networking, professional communication and also the development of one’s own personal brand, the media outlet reports.

Social media bolstered by recession

An increasingly larger number of people have taken to learning what they can about social media in order to make use of the tool, according to the news source. Knowledge of various social media platforms has become more important as more companies have begun utilizing these tools internally. Remaining competitive as a candidate will require familiarity with the various social media websites in existence. People looking for IT jobs should consider knowledge of these platforms a necessity since they are considered a part of the technology field.

Integration of social media

In the 2012 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project What are Companies Really Doing?, New York Times bestseller Open Leadership author Charlene Li states, “over the past few years there’s been an awakening: people have moved on from asking ‘what is social business?’ to ‘what do I do about it now? How do I integrate this into my business?’ The line between real business and social business is diminishing,” according to MIT Sloan Management Review.

Relationships are key

Business is based on relationships, and social media platforms simply provide individuals with a better way to benefit from their existing relationships, according to U.S. News and World Report. An example of how candidates can easily utilize social media to harness their existing relationships when job searching is applying for positions through LinkedIn and then using their network to obtain a referral to the hiring manager. Using this technique will provide an applicant with a far higher chance of making progress instead of sending their resume in and having it get stuck in a database.