RealTime IT News

CareerOwl Hits the Road

[Vancouver, BRITISH COLUMBIA] CareerOwl.ca is infusing its own brand of girl power into the iWomen University Tour, which runs from March 1-15, with stops at University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

The e-recruiting service was invited by iWomen to act as the primary online career site profiled on the tour. The tour itself was established to encourage women who are entering the professional work force to pursue careers or entrepreneurial opportunities in the technology sector. At each stop, iWomen will host a career fair, with CareerOwl holding its own virtual career fair alongside. Professional women in technology and business are scheduled to present seminars, workshops and panels.

According to the organizers, each event will allow young women to network with technology leaders and potential employers, as well as network with various industry organizations. Those female students who are already entrepreneurs will have the chance to compete in a start-up competition, which will award winners with scholarships and various other prizes. Admission to these events is free.

Founded by a group of university-level educators, CareerOwl was originally targeted to university students across Canada. Although the Web site still offers special features to this demographic, the service does remain open to all Canadian jobseekers. Job candidates and registered employees may search the database for free, while businesses that wish to post positions must do so through paid advertising.

iWomen.ca was launched to enable businesswomen in Information Technology (IT) and new media to network with one another. The Web site offers career information, e-commerce news, learning resources and profiles on various women in the field.

The marriage of e-recruiting with the promotion of women in technology is a timely endeavor. Despite the efforts of a number of high profile organizations to make young women aware of the opportunities in high tech, the number of girls who are preparing to pursue such a career remains small.

In addition, the majority of employers still rely on traditional recruitment methods, according to a study released by CareerOwl last month. The survey, conducted in Edmonton, found that only 23 percent of respondents were utilizing online recruiting services. "There was a bias to recruit more technical and professional positions online -- historically the occupation groups where e-cruiting first took hold," said Alice Nakamura, president of CareerOwl and Winspear professor of business at the University of Alberta.

Still, online recruiting is big business, and ferociously competitive. In Canada, the list of job sites is long, with powerhouses like Monster.ca, Workopolis.com, CareerClick.ca and HotJobs.ca topping the list. Last month in a story entitled "Battle of the Job Sites", toronto.internet.com reported a virtual mudslinging contest describing the war between Monster.ca and Workopolis, during which the two companies spent a day releasing an unusually high number of press announcements, simply to a