Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Posts Tagged ‘LinkedIn’

Halogen touts 38% revenue increase in third quarter

Posted by sweens on November 5, 2010

Ottawa’s Halogen Software finished its third quarter of 2010 with “significant market momentum” and a 38 per cent revenue increase in annual recurring revenue, according to a release by the firm.

The company, which is privately owned, only released selected financial parameters, focusing on its new customer wins and recognition at the HR Technology Conference in September.

New customers the firm added include IMAX Corp., LinkedIn Corp., U.S. Court Services and Baltimore Life Insurance.

In addition, Halogen released two new products for public sector and hospitality organizations.

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So I ‘GOOGLEd’ myself…

Posted by sweens on March 24, 2010

The great thing about having my blog hosted through WordPress is that it tells me what search strings people have used to eventually lead them to my blog.  So I thought I would try one out and I ‘GOOGLEd’ my own name.  I was happy to see that my blog was now the first search GOOGLE was able to display. 

I think I am going to count this as a small victory in the world of blogging.  Others might refer to is as ‘egosurfing’ but I assure that my intentions for ‘GOOGLing’ myself were not to boost my own ego.

Some would suggest that searching yourself frequently is a good thing to monitor the view you have created for yourself on the web.  I know when I searched my name the options for ‘Tom Sweeney’ were endless as I am clearly not the only person with this name but there are many people with this name on Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, ZoomInfo, etc.

Try it – let me know what you find…

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Reaching 10000 LinkedIn Connections

Posted by sweens on December 1, 2009

Today I reached 10000 LinkedIn connections and I must say that I am rather proud of this accomplishment.  While you may think that social networking is not really a task, I would argue otherwise.  It took a fair amount of time and work to grow my network to that size.  It is the time associated with having a network of that size which makes it time consuming.  I am believer that you get out of life what you put in to it and social networking is the same.

I have relied on my network on more than one occasion, especially when it comes to growing this blog and it has always amazed me and the feedback I have received from people who I do not have a face-to-face relationship with per say.  It has been important for me, and obviously others to give back to my network and support them.

I would encourage anyone to grow their network and use it to its fullest extent because it really can be such a beneficial tool.

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Put yourself out there and be found!

Posted by sweens on October 15, 2009

I have taken it upon myself to do a lot of research on the recruitment industry and if there was one thing that popped up over and over again it was this message:  if you want the right job to come to you, put yourself out there!

 I am sure this sounds obvious to most of you. But when you really start to think of it, how “out there” are you?  Is your resume on Workopolis? Do you have a LinkedIn account? What about a Facebook account? Do you have a blog? A website? Is your name on published documents?

 I am not saying that you should join every social network or post your resume on every site but I am saying that you should think about your own presence online. The fact of the matter is, if you are a talented and skilled worker in the tech industry, you should definitely make yourself available to be found. The labour industry is facing some incredible challenges and companies are always looking for talented people. But, those opportunities won’t always come your way if you are hiding in your office cubicle.

 It should also be said that recruiters are always vying for that coveted passive candidate, which means we are desperately looking for that person that is not looking for us.  So, hate to break it to you, but if you are the kind of person that applies incessantly to job offers, you are not exactly putting yourself out there in a way that gets results. You are better off making a name for yourself on LinkedIn writing comments on blogs and even joining “Talent Pools” for specific industries (jobs that go to you). The point is, get your ideas, your achievements, your personality posted in areas that will be seen and opportunities might just come knocking on your door.

 You would be surprised how many candidates, both passive and active, have been turned on to new opportunities which were made possible by the powers of social networking, and the ability to be found.  So, there you have it: make yourself known, make yourself accessible and make yourself found.  What is the worst thing that could happen??

**Article inspired by Jane and Marta**

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What’s Your LinkedIn Strategy?

Posted by sweens on October 14, 2009

Ask yourself: “What’s my LinkedIn strategy?” If nothing comes to mind, it could mean one of two things – either you lack a personal strategy for using LinkedIn or you’re not a LinkedIn user at all – worse yet, you’ve never even heard of it. Whichever category you might belong to, you need to get yourself out of it, join the masses, and create a brand for yourself online. Here’s why:

 Before I started my job here at Procom, not only was I absent from LinkedIn, but I was also an avid boycotter of all social networks, excluding Facebook. I didn’t like the idea of being “found” online, nor did I see the point of spending countless hours chatting virtually with friends that were really just a phone call away. As much as I wanted to believe that my “offline presence” strategy was benefiting me (by allowing me to be more productive with my time), it was actually doing me harm because as valuable personal and professional relationships were being formed online, I was being left behind to contemplate my “productivity gains”.

 After much deliberation, I decided to swallow my pride and join the millions of Facebook users and LinkedIn professionals, the latter network having provided me with countless career opportunities and valuable professional contacts from around the globe.  Just the other day, I was “InMail-ed” by a fellow Procom employee (whom I had never even met) for an interesting opportunity regarding my interest in hockey (details available to the public only through my LinkedIn profile). Thus my LinkedIn strategy is actually quite simple (as can be yours!):

  1. I have 100% Profile Completeness
  2. I am constantly connecting – be it with past colleagues; current friends; or contacts for future opportunities
  3. I include keywords in my profile that allow me to be “found” (ironically enough)

 Since having accepted social networking as a part of my life, I have not only recruited several individuals to join LinkedIn, but I myself have been “recruited” by others – something that my ‘real’ social network is unable to do for me – how can you compare your circle of personal contacts and friends with a rapidly expanding global network of 12million+ professionals? You can’t. Young or old, job-seeker or not, everyone out there needs to embrace social media and make themselves visible to the masses. And what better place to do it than the World Wide Web! Ignoring the power of social networking because the concept is overwhelming to you will leave you struggling to communicate in the very near future. Get out of your comfort zone and create a brand for yourself on the Web – don’t get stuck communicating the way people used to – start communicating the way people do today, for better opportunities tomorrow.

**Article inspired by Jane and Marta**

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Posted by sweens on September 22, 2009

Further to my last blog post, I would like to continue the discussion on the difference between transactional and strategic recruiting, with focus this time on strategic recruiting.

Strategic recruiting is not a numbers game. It is as the terms suggests, strategic. In a strategic recruit the emphasis is on the overall fit of the candidate to the opportunity and non-technical factors are heavily weighted in the overall hiring decision. Where a candidate sees themselves in five years or whether or not they are comfortable leading a team are just as important in a strategic recruit then their technical abilities.

For example, you may have the most technical candidate in front of you, but their communication and leadership skills could be dreadful. This candidate would not be a good fit for a senior developer role where they are going to be required to lead and mentor junior developers. Hiring this candidate is simply setting the candidate up for failure.

I would suggest that when an account manager is ‘taking’ this order from their client, they need to get a lot more detail in terms of what the hiring manager is actually looking for then they would for a position that would be considered a transactional recruit. This step is often a problem between recruiters and account managers and can lead to missed opportunities. Recruiters need to know the soft details for strategic recruits in order to find that true fit candidate.   Knowing these soft details can usually allow a recruiter to screen their candidates in to the opportunity during an interview, rather then having to screen them out.

It usually takes more time to present on a strategic recruit then it does on a transactional recruit as well. This is for many reasons but I would mainly argue that the emphasis is on finding the right candidate and it can take a bit longer to narrow your field down in order to find that one true candidate. I have also found through personal experience that the best candidates for strategic recruits usually come from candidates who are presently working. This means that finding them is done without the use of traditional job boards with a focus on referrals or non-traditional search platforms like LinkedIn. Using these tools usually takes a bit more time to deal with your candidates as they likely are not in a full-out job search.

All in all, both strategic and transactional recruiting can be effective strategies of recruitment. Firms either specialize in both or one over the other. The challenges with both are some clients may want a transactional approach to their open positions where as the recruitment cycle is that of a strategic one (or vice versa). As I said last time, transactional or strategic recruiting can be a product of the location or client base where the office is located and firms who have recruiters in one city recruiting positions in another city should take this into consideration when they look at their recruiting cycles.

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Invite me…Invite me

Posted by sweens on June 2, 2009

Perhaps my blog for today is more of a ‘rant’ – inspired by Rick Mercer – however I have a complaint I would like to share with everyone who is using LinkedIn.

Why do people send me an email asking me to invite them?

Clearly you already have my email address, so just add me!  My profile states that I am an open networker.  In fact, my name includes my email address when you view my profile so people can invite me at their discretion.  If you have reached the maximum number of invites you can send, simply send LinkedIn a request to increase your limit and they will do so.

As member of the group, I have run into my limit twice now and have had no problem increasing my limit.  Take the time to invite people yourself, rather then making more work and getting the invites sent to you…

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

ATIP Professionals: Kind of like where’s Waldo…

Posted by sweens on May 7, 2009

I am currently in the middle of a search for an ATIP (Access to Information and Privacy) professional and I have decided that those resources are extremely scarce. My client is not even asking for that much experience – 3 years or more. Which generally is not a great deal – but for an ATIP Analyst it is turning out to be a deal breaker.

I have found several people on Monster, Workopolis, LinkedIn, etc who all have ATIP listed on their CVs or profiles; however none of them have 3+ years experience. It seems to be a skill people pick up here and there but never really specialize in.

To be fair I have reached out to 5 or 6 individuals, however to make this position even more of a recruiting challenge – the candidates must have a SECRET level clearance.

Anyone know where all the ATIP resources have gone? Because I am looking…..

Posted in Recruitment | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Twitter as a recruitment tool: I’m not buying it…

Posted by sweens on May 5, 2009

I signed up for Twitter about a month ago which came out of a conversation with my boss about using it as a recruitment tool of some sort.  Since signing up I have not used it once.  No ‘tweets’ for me – yet somehow I have 21 users following me.  I am not sure why these people would want to follow me as I do not know any of them and I have no content for them to keep in touch with.

I get a lot of spam emails from my LinkedIn contacts who are trying to promote webinars or are sending out email marketing campaigns that deal with getting ‘on board’ the Twitter train and using it as an effective tool.  The problem for me is the number of words you can use per ‘tweet’ – which I have learned is 140. 

For me, I can not convey enough useful information to someone about a position I am looking to staff in 140 words.  Maybe I like to use too much detail?  Maybe not!  But one thing is for certain, I am a BIG believer that a job positing is not a list of requirements and an ‘apply here’ button.

Your job description has to give the audience a sense of the job.  What they are going to be expected to perform, deliverables, team size, organization, responsibilities, qualifications, etc.  Giving that information to anyone is simply not something I have been able to master in 140 words or less. 

This leaves me with no professional use for Twitter.  I logged in before I wrote this post and I saw a lot of people saying ‘I am doing so and so” or “hurry and get such and such before it leaves”.  While this may work for some products or some people, it does not work for me and does not help me recruit candidates.

The problem with publishing a non-detailed job description is that it attracts too many candidates – most of which will not be what you are looking for.  If I sat down and wrote a ‘tweet’ discussing a need to find an experienced QA Manager, I would not be able to clarify my need to find a QA Manager with automated testing experience, using LoadRunner with the management skills needed to deliver high level reports to CIOs and manage a staff of 20 junior testers.  While all at the same time, discussing the company and what it had to offer to any potential employee. 

As such, at this time in my career, I am going to have to say ‘NO’ to Twitter.  If I feel like sharing my thoughts to the world I can use my LinkedIn account to touch my professional connections or I can use Facebook to notify my friends.  Twitter is just too little too late in my case…

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LinkedIn Groups: Now posting jobs….

Posted by sweens on February 24, 2009

With the recent updates LinkedIn implemented last week, I truly believe that LinkedIn has separated itself from the many social networking tools on the market today. Many of the recent upgrades made to the LinkedIn site seemed inspired by customer requests. It is finally great to see a company listening to the needs of their clients and translating those needs into a quality product.

While a lot of the changes surround appearance and overall layout of the site – the contact and personal information is laid out in a much more user friendly fashion. I was using LinkedIn today and noticed that the changes to the contact pages are still ongoing so I suspect changes are still to come.

LinkedIn also launched the new Talent Direct product as part of its corporate solution suite of business tools. This new product should enable its users to source multiple urgent positions at the same time. This beefed up version of LinkedIn Recruiter is like adding steroids to your normal LinkedIn account.

Finally, the most advantageous change that I have seen for the average user is the new group function which allows you to post jobs. Many of the groups I was previously in were already posting jobs through the group discussions; however each group now has a specific section designed for job postings. Since the basic LinkedIn account is free, joining groups and looking for jobs is a great way for candidates to search industry specific jobs.

Just another way to get a leg up on the competition…

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All aboard: Next stop, social networks…

Posted by sweens on February 11, 2009


As social networking grows and becomes a more prevalent tool in todays’ work force, people are turning to social networking sites to grow their network and connect with like-minded individuals.  Recruiters are using these networking tools to find more and more people on a daily basis.  These tools do not just apply to the IT world, as professionals from many different fields share multiple networks. 


If you are looking for generic places to network then the larger social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook are your best bet.  This type of a network will allow you to connect with individuals from different professions rather then the same profession.  Facebook does not foster the same networking spirit that LinkedIn does as Facebook allows people to upload personal photos to share with friends.  Individuals can be worried of creating a negative professional image for themselves through what may be found on their Facebook pages.




LinkedIn on the other hand, does not have this functionality (yet) and is geared for social networking.  I have found through my own experiences that individuals are much more open to connecting on LinkedIn then any other platform.  Anyone who is looking to expand their network on LinkedIn should look to join groups such as:


         Open Networking .COM

         Open Networkers!

         Networkers United


         Invites Welcome

         Group Linked

         The Dallas Blue Business Network


These groups are open to join and membership in the group means you are open to networking and will accept any invitation you receive.  One of the most successful ways to grow your network is by visiting and become an official TopLinked member.  This group has their email address imported into members LinkedIn accounts for easy invite lists and a rapid expansion of your network.  You may join this service for free or by paying a small fee for better distribution of your network.


 Lastly I would encourage anyone to join a specialized networking site or group based around your profession or background.  Google has groups for IT professionals.  Most cities have groups that meet once a month to discuss any given profession.  Online networking sites exist for specific industries.  By joining these groups, you simply increase your odds of being connected to like-minded individuals and open the door to more opportunities.


I would argue that networking does not occupy a lot of your time and can pay big dividends.  An understanding that recruiters use these networks to locate passive candidates can be a good motivating factor for anyone to jump on the networking train.

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