October 2019, by Robert Favreau
Blog - Employers
3.5-minute read

Quebec, Land of SMEs 

With over 240,000 companies listed in December 2017, of which 98% had less than 100 employees, there’s no question that Quebec is a land of small businesses. 

SMEs accounted for 87.4% of private-sector employment two years ago and were responsible for 84.5% of net job growth between 2013 and 2017. These figures are comparable to those for Canada as a whole, according to the federal government.

Without SMEs, the country couldn’t function. With Quebec currently in a period of high employment, it’s even more critical for small businesses to properly manage their human capital.

But for an entrepreneur and his leadership team who are already busy with day-to-day management and business strategy development, identifying the right executive profiles can quickly become a puzzle with no easy solution and drag on longer than expected. That’s why it’s sometimes a good idea to seek the support of an expert in executive recruitment. 

Turning to Specialists for Help

In the same way that they go to a tax expert or lawyer for very specific reasons, our clients turn to us for advice and results in the areas of executive recruitment, succession planning and HR management. 
Here are the main advantages of doing business with an external expert: 

  1. Expertise: Specialists have years of expertise, possess accurate and up-to-date knowledge/skills, and are familiar with best practices in their field. They know what works and what doesn’t. 
  2. Flexibility: Due to working with many different clients and dealing with a wide range of situations, specialists must constantly adapt to circumstances and provide tailored services.
  3. Objectivity: Thanks to their 360-degree perspective on the market, specialists are able to tell it to you like it is. They also understand the latest trends. 
  4. Change agents: Specialists can act as drivers of change by recommending proven techniques and new ideas suited to your situation. 
  5. Effective tools: To do a job properly, you need the right tools. Recruitment is no exception. The days of posting ads for executive positions are over, for the most part. Today, it’s often much more effective to use specialized databases, leverage targeted networking and approach candidates directly. 
  6. Assessment: Any specialist will tell you: you can spare yourself a lot of disappointment by knowing how to assess a situation quickly. Not only do recruitment experts know the market, but they also maintain a pool of high-level candidates, track their development and know how to evaluate their potential.
  7. Value for money: At first, the cost of using a specialist may seem exorbitant, but in the long term, doing work for which you’re not qualified is liable to result in wasted time, errors, frustration and, in some cases, much higher costs than expected. Not to mention that specialists can adapt their services to suit your budget and provide tailored support. 
  8. Peace of mind: Specialists offer guarantees. In the case of Strato, our rigorous processes deliver guaranteed results and support effective succession management and improved retention of new executives.  
  9. Consulting: Over and above performing their specific mandate, specialists can advise you and direct you toward complementary resources. For example, we can recommend personality questionnaires and psychometric tests designed for executive candidates. 

How to Evaluate a Specialist 

Besides word-of-mouth and the specialist’s reputation, you can also take a look at the company’s website. The most important thing, however, is to meet with them in person. 

No credible specialist will refuse meeting with you to assess your needs. 

One of our recruiters recently returned from a two-day trip to Côte-Nord, which allowed him to thoroughly analyze our client’s situation. The visit also gave him the information required to accurately describe the company and its values to candidates.
While experts don’t have all the answers, they are able to rapidly, effectively and sustainably carry out complex or unusual mandates.


 

About the Author

Robert Favreau is a managing partner of the executive recruitment division, Strato, and president and CEO of the Magellan Group. He started his career in the pharmaceutical field, where he enjoyed both commercial and scientific success. In 2006, he joined St-Amour as a recruiter specializing in the health field, then became a partner in the firm in 2010 and was named president in 2016.

Robert and the Strato team, comprised exclusively of professionals who have previously held executive positions, offer relevant, customized solutions for all companies seeking executive recruitment services and support relating to leaders and entrepreneurs.  

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