S.i. Systems, a provider of permanent and contract IT staffing services, is bucking the economic trend as it expands its operations. Within the past month, the company has opened new offices in Toronto and Mississauga and plans to continue to expand in the GTA, Ottawa and Montreal markets over the next 18 months. Each of the locations will employ approximately 20 staff.

“Our business weathers the economic storm better than most,” says company founder and president Derek Bullen. “Within corporate Canada, IT projects still need to go ahead, and in an economic downturn our clients are increasingly looking to implement their projects with temporary contractors.”

The IT staff contingency sector is about a 3.5 billion dollar industry in Canada. Currently, S.i. System’s business division is approximately 60 per cent temporary contractors, five per cent permanent placement and 35 per cent contractor administration. Bullen notes that in times of economic strength, the emphasis on permanent placement increases.

Bullen has seen a few economic cycles in his career. Starting the company in 1994 in Alberta, the former computer programmer has built the organization into a leading national IT professional staffing provider with 120 employees, 1,600 active contractors and a database of 60,000 qualified contacts serving blue-chip corporations and government clients. Bullen has leveraged his experience to write a book called High Velocity to help candidates develop high-value soft business skills. “The average person doesn’t do many job interviews in their lifetime, so this book is designed to coach job seekers on how to stand out from their competitors,” Bullen adds.

As the company enters its next chapter of growth it has relaunched its brand with an interactive campaign representing S.i. System’s new tagline, “Our People Click.” To drive traffic to the revamped www.sisystems.com, online advertising is underway featuring a series of humorous short web films showing “People Who Don’t Click”. There’s also an online contest, ClickFest, to underscore how some people click, and some people don’t (think the office drummer, the know-it-all, or the office prankster). The contest, which closes December 11, is seeking submissions for funny moments in the office environment where someone just doesn’t fit. Contestants are encouraged to embrace their inner actor and post a video, photo or write a quick story for a chance to win the grand prize of $5,000.