Small businesses of less than 500 employees are responsible for approximately 70% of all new jobs. In a recession they are also more likely to hire fewer employees, none at all, or to have to lay some of them off. But that shouldn’t stop you from applying to those companies.
When small companies do hire they are less likely to advertise those positions and are more likely to use referrals to find new employees. A woman at the local Chamber of Commerce told me she was looking to hire an assistant and put out one small ad on Craig’s List. She had so many calls she finally had to take the ad down and eventually ended up hiring someone she met at a mixer for the community. These are good places to mingle with small business owners, by the way.
As a small business owner myself I can tell you that making a decision to hire an employee is even more of a risk than at a big corporation. We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing and get the best person for the job. This is why I’ve only hired through people I know.
Also, if you’re used to the big corporation paycheck, are you sure you want to take less money and possibly do more work for it? That’s the downside. But the upside is that we are usually more fun to work for and tend to be more relaxed in the office atmosphere.
A small business is also more likely to listen to what you have to say as far as input into the company. We have to listen to new ideas and be willing to try new things.
If you want to work for a small business you will probably need to seek out opportunities instead of looking for them on job boards. That means scouring the communities you live in and ask around. Network at local events.
Above all, make yourself known and keep yourself in front of them. When a job does open up, you will likely be the first one they think of.