Monday, November 21, 2011

Small Companies Need YOU

Recent surveys conducted by The Bank of Canada and Price Waterhouse Coopers [PwC] indicate a bright future for small business in Canada.  The PwC Business Insights Survey, which looks at issues affecting Canadian private companies, says that, despite the economic slump, Canadian private companies are more optimistic than ever and that 82% plan to grow and expand over next 12 months.

Looking for and securing a job is a numbers game.   While most of the advice out there suggests that working for a large company is optimal.  If you, especially if you are a mature worker and looking for opportunities, it makes sense to consider the green pastures offered by small businesses.

Large businesses, as a rule, require candidates to clear the hurdle of their HR department before they bring candidates in for an interview.  The problem is that large businesses, i.e. those with and HR department that is larger than one employee, has likely invested tonnes of money in their Applicant Tracking Software [ATS] systems.  These ATS systems require candidates to submit standardized résumés that restrict the candidate’s ability to reveal the depth and breadth of their entire skill set.

Large companies, as a rule, are uncomfortable accepting ideas and growth strategies from the grassroots level of the organization.  As a result, the best opportunities for more experienced workers would be to look for opportunities with smaller companies that can and will benefit from the hands-on experience that only someone with years of experience can provide.
When approaching or applying for opportunities with smaller companies, candidates need to be cognizant of the fact that the rules are different in these smaller organizations.

1.  The owner of the small business is usually the one doing the hiring.

2.  The owner of the small business is likely to wear more than one hat and requires the same of their employees.

3.  Small business owners will always need people who can have a positive effect on their bottom line wither by increasing sales, increasing efficiencies or reducing losses.

4. Small business owners will always need employees with good/effective communications skills - written, verbal, presentation and interpersonal. 

5.  Small business owners will always have room for those who can produce extraordinary video and multimedia.  Producing video is just like writing, but it is targeted at customers who don’t like to read.  N.B. Both writing and producing video are skills that can be learned.

6.  Small business owners are far more adverse to taking risks than owners of larger companies and are more likely to hire on contract before offering a candidate a full time position.

When looking for opportunities with small businesses, mature workers, or anyone else for that matter, should not expect to be hired because they responded to an ad and has been granted an interview.  Candidates will need to demonstrate their worth to the company.  Once you, as the candidate, can demonstrate that you have the ability contribute far more to the company’s bottom line than you cost, the next exercise will be to figure out a payment schedule.

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Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at