The CFIB said in a news release, recent Statistics Canada data confirms that job vacancies remain stubbornly high despite persistent unemployment levels. So, the federation undertook a study to find out what’s on the minds of small business owners when they look to hire.
Seventy-four per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador small business owners surveyed said employees are the most important element to the success of their firms – more important than even their product or service. But, 86 per cent say the work ethic of new hires has deteriorated in recent years, and more than three-quarters say the quality of applicants has declined.
“Small businesses will be the first to tell you that their employees are their greatest strength,” said Vaughn Hammond, the CFIB’s director of provincial affairs for Newfoundland Labrador. “But they are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified applicants, especially workers prepared to consider entry-level jobs, and those who are qualified have high salary and wage expectations.”
While over 95 per cent of small businesses in the province said they can count on existing employees to get the job done, many employers reported challenges when it comes to hiring new employees. The biggest barrier to hiring was a lack of qualified applicants (83 per cent) and nearly 50 per cent said wage expectations were too high.
On the positive side, 84 per cent said they’ve observed employees going the extra mile for a customer, but 73 per cent said their employees spend too much time on personal phone calls, emails and texting during work hours.
The study also collected almost 4,500 tips from small business owners for those looking for work. Many emphasized the need to be clean and well-groomed in interviews, ensuring resumes were short and free of spelling or grammatical errors, and the importance of considering the value of experience, not just initial pay.
The CFIB said other responses were surprises, such as ensuring candidates don’t let mom talk for them in interviews.
Here are more tips from the report:
• Leave the PJs & flip flops at home. Come dressed appropriate to the nature of the work you are considering. Be clean and well-groomed.
• Prepare a short, simple resume. No need for flowery prose, but, above all, ensure there are zero spelling or grammatical errors.
• Don’t have mom talk for you in interviews.
• Consider jobs in smaller communities, where often there are fewer people looking for work. • Think long term. Consider the experience you’re going to get, not just the immediate paycheque.
• Be honest about skills, but express eagerness to fill any gaps.
• Make sure you network, employers often prefer to get a referral from someone they know or trust. • Research the company and industry in which you are applying to work. • Try to stick with jobs for at least two years. Lots of short-term jobs raise questions. • Don’t talk about money until all other issues are discussed.
• Be aware that employers use Facebook too. What you post may affect your chances. • Don’t rely on the Internet alone for job applications. Seek out smaller, independent firms and bring in your resume personally. Employers won’t bite.
• Provide short, truthful explanations for any employment gaps or sudden departures but don’t slam your previous employers.
• Look for ways to demonstrate enthusiasm for the company or industry you are considering. Often, this counts for more than your experience or education.
• Everyone has scheduling constraints, but don’t lead with asking for every weekend or evening off. Small employers provide extra flexibility to those who show it in return.
Click HERE to read more from the report.