In the September 28, 2010 Ask The Headhunter Newsletter, a reader asks:
I’m interested in working for a smaller local company. The real challenge seems to be finding that small company. How should I proceed?
Here’s the short version of my reply. (You’ve got to subscribe to the weekly newsletter to get the whole story!)
There are a lot more small companies out there than there are big ones. While many don’t spend to advertise jobs (because they prefer to hire via word of mouth), you will find them in the business pages of your local newspaper—in articles, not in job ads.
Small companies will refer you to one another simply because they rely on one another for business introductions. While one may not be your exact cup of tea, its president (or receptionist) may introduce you to another that is. This chain of connections is how they do business with one another, and it’s a great way for you to navigate through the small-company community. It’s also a very good way to vet each company, by asking others about its reputation.
Where do you find good employers to work for? Obvious question, eh? Well, don’t tell me you find them on job boards. I want to know where you go in physical space to actually meet people and learn about companies you might want to work for. It seems people just don’t do this any more. “Let’s do lunch” used to be a pretty good thing till self-interest destroyed it.
Me? I like nothing more than hanging out and talking to people about their work, especially if I get to visit their company.
How about you? Where do you find good companies to work for?