Networking is an excellent way to meet and develop relationships with new clients. It is also a great way to meet and get to know potential future hires as well.
Small businesses have limited time and resources, in which case maximizing these are important, if a business is able to achieve two goals in one setting, it’s a winning situation for them.
Networking events give businesses the chance to meet potential new customers and build new relationships that may lead to new business.
It should be known that hiring for small businesses can sometimes be tough, when you are just getting off the ground or lacking resources that larger companies have ( eg. money) networking can be not only a time saver, but a cost saver as well.
For the job seekers reading this, networking with small business is a great way to grow your network while still “keeping an eye on the prize” ( the prize being employment!). All those looking to expand their network have the potential to have the ear of a small business owner at netwoking events, that is something not to be taken lightly, small businesses only have space to grow!
Looking at small businesses and networking, what are some benefits for the small business owner at these events? Well for one, avoiding swaths of resumes, is a start, did you know that per one job in Halifax online, approximately 300 candidates apply- not only is that tough for the candidate, but imagine what it must be like for those hiring! Networking events allow small businesses to get to know potential candidates before even seeing their resume. For job seekers this is where the elevator speech comes in handy ( to learn more about elevator pitches see here )
Here is another benefit for small businesses to pursue hires at networking events. MOTIVATED TALENT!! Yes, motivated talent is a must! Knowing that someone is taking the time to get off the internet and speak to me face to face matters. It shows initiative, drive, motivation- small business owners- in fact all business owners- like that!
When attending networking events in a general concept, if they are not potential hires, they could be potential customers too! Also, networking events are free marketing for your company. If you are looking for someone but have not found the right candidate yet- news spreads like wild fires- and the next call you receive could be just who you were looking for!
One more little thing, but not directed at only small businesses, but to both small business and those looking to work for them. Not only is networking with small business a benefitial way to start your job search but there are funding opportunities to help you along the way!
Nova Scotia Labour and Advanced Education state that:
“The START Program will encourage employers to hire Nova Scotians requiring work experience.
Financial incentives will be provided to employers with a labour need willing to support ready-to-work Nova Scotians. Incentives will vary depending on the type of employment offered and the skill level of the employee.”
To learn more about this funding source, visit https://www.novascotia.ca/employmentnovascotia/programs/start.asp
For recent graduates there is also the Graduate to Opportunity Program,
“The Graduate to Opportunity program (GTO) provides salary contributions to employers to offset the cost of hiring a recent graduate and assist post-secondary graduates find career opportunities in Nova Scotia.”
To learn more about this program visit http://novascotia.ca/programs/graduate-to-opportunity/
Remember, there is opportunity around every corner, for the small business owner looking to hire, to the graduate looking to find work with a small business. However, networking is a large part of this process. So get out there and get your networking caps on!