With the foray of several international companies into the Indian market and mushrooming of new start-ups, the opportunities have grown multifold for several job seekers, even during the ongoing tough times
You get a job interview call from a company whose name you probably heard for the first time. And you seem confused and skeptical about a lot of issues. And the questions that pop in your head force to even persuade you to think otherwise. And most importantly, is the company stable? And will there be lay off if the ‘new’ company succumbs to the economic pressure? Too many apprehensions and very little knowledge. It’s normal for a job seeker looking for a job in this environment to stumble upon these questions. And when the company that seems promising, but is new to the Indian corporate scene, the apprehensions are even more. People are wary and skeptical of joining small companies because of the misconception that the company might fold up anytime. The last thing that an employee would want is a layoff because of funds getting dried up in the company.
The famous myths are measured against three parameters: 1) Stability (would the company be in a position to establish itself and provide the employee a stable job opportunity or would it just shut shop after a period of time sighting growth issues), 2) Growth (a startup does not always mean a growth opportunity; it can also be a stagnated job wherein the seats which you eye would be always booked by the experienced guys and much more stable personalities than you desire) and 3) proximity (a very neglected factor but is a crucial one; most of the time the new ventures are located in the most undesirable locations possible).
Does the company have enough funds to survive till breakeven? Would this experience (job profile as well as employer brand name) provide a value addition to my CV, are some more questions that pop up. When an entrepreneur starts a venture, he/she obviously believes in the concept and the business idea. To transfer that same belief to potential employees is a big challenge. These apprehensions that exist also pose a lot of challenges to such companies. Difficulty in attracting talent because of an unknown brand name – Indians even today harbor a tendency to judge a person’s status by the company he/she works for. It becomes difficult for them to woo talent because of their ‘no name’ brands. But start-ups today are changing this game by providing innovative and cutting edge work to their employees. 2) Compensation – Unlike big companies, start-ups are conservative and most of their compensation is through stock options. This high risk-high reward option is not always acceptable to everyone. But the dynamics are now changing. With more and more middle class individuals becoming overnight millionaires because of his/her company going the IPO way or getting acquired, the stock options compensation is becoming an acceptable norm.
The most common myth is that since the company is new, it might have problems with its cash flows. What potential employees need to understand is that if a company is well funded, its survival is not threatened for a considerable amount of time. A few advantages of working in such firms:
1) New companies generally match or in many cases exceed the salaries being offered in the market to make up for lower brand recall.
2) With the starting workforce being small, outstanding performers stand out more easily and are accordingly rewarded.
3) New companies are more inclined towards providing stock options which can turn out to be a very lucrative option if and when the company makes it big.
4) A ‘new’ company can actually provide a terrific boost to the careers of employees. Since the scope of work is much higher in a new venture, employees are generally exposed to multiple disciplines which in turn enrich their work experience. Since the scope of work is much higher in a new venture, employees are generally exposed to multiple disciplines which in turn enrich their work experience.
However, unfortunately, there are a few companies whose credibility needs to be tested by you, even before you go for your job interview. How do you do it?
Identify the source of understanding the opportunity – is it through a newspaper ad/consultant call/job-portal etc. and validate the source. Physically get the place of work verified (if the interview happens at a different location or in the same city – in a business centre). Ask the right questions to the interviewer about the scope of the work, background of the organization, investors back ground, clients / targeted customers etc. without antagonizing the interviewer.
It might take a while for job seekers to fully comprehend the opportunities waiting to be explored at such companies. But it’s necessary to keep preconceived notions at bay and understand that a “career” can be pursued at such firms and an exciting one at that. —