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Young business team during a brainstorming (wavebreakmedia/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Young business team during a brainstorming (wavebreakmedia/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Small Business Briefing

Would you aggressively recruit an ex-employee? Add to ...

Yahoo recruiters send ‘welcome’ kits to ex-workers

Yahoo is sending out 'employee welcome' kits to former employees, according to TechCrunch. The packets, sent to former vice-presidents, low-level engineers and product managers, contain information on how much the company has changed with its new CEO, Marissa Mayer, at the helm. The packets also have the word 'back' scrawled on them in permanent marker.

It's a bold move on the part of the Sunnyvale, Calif. company. But is it really an effective way to shore up lost talent? While one boomerang employee has reportedly returned to the company as a result of the HR campaign, Yahoo may not be leveraging its true asset: the charismatic Ms. Mayer.

If the company was smart, writes TechCrunch, they would use the young CEO's clout in the Valley to reach out to these ex-employees in a more meaningful way. With the help of lots of money, she's already been successful in recruiting former colleagues.

Inc.com, on the other hand, says Yahoo's attempts "smack of desperation" and that banking on nostalgia - the so-called glory days - is not an effective way to recruit talent.

Regardless of whether a company is big or small, the benefits of rehiring former employees can be numerous; there's less training time, they have pre-existing knowledge of the company's culture and if they work for you, they don't work for your competitor. But bringing back an employee can have its drawbacks too. There may be lingering feelings of anger or betrayal, or it could create resentment on the part of former employees. Also, it's important to keep in mind that there was a reason why the employee left the first time.

Canadian farmers tied up in red tape

While most small businesses cite tax burden as their highest concern, it's red tape that's causing the most headaches for farmers, according to a survey by the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB).

Seventy-nine per cent of farmers say over-regulation, confusing paperwork and bad customer service are crippling agriculture businesses. And 72 per cent report the burden has increased over the past three years, compared to 55 per cent among all other sectors.

Farmers say they are frustrated with regulators who don't often understand the challenges of running a farm, and they "feel really disrespected by government agencies that don’t understand there are two really busy times of year - seeding and harvesting. Asking business owners to meet compliance deadlines during these two peak seasons is the equivalent of CRA trying to do a retail audit on Boxing Day," said Marilyn Braun-Pollon, CFIB's vice-president for Agri-business.

On the good ship accelerator

For startups, there's no shortage of accelerator programs to choose from. So how does hopeful new accelerator get distinguish itself? Well, it takes the show on the road - or, on the sea - that's how.

Unreasonable at Sea isn't your typical accelerator. The 100-day business accelerator program, a joint venture between the Unreasonable Institute and Stanford's d.school, involves ravelling to 12 countries while gaining keen startup advice from a number of mentors, writes Entrepreneur.com.

Devised by 27-year-old Daniel Epstein, founder of Unreasonable Institute - based in Boulder, Colorado - Unreasonable at Sea bills itself as "a radical experiment in global entrepreneurship to combat the greatest challenges of our time."

Learn more about the program in this explainer video.


State of Canadian Small Business event

There will be a meetup on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Bier Markt on King St. The evening will include conversations with locala small business owners, experts and advisers, to discuss the health of the small business ecosystem.


Rooftop parking lot transformed into 'vertical farm'

In this edition of Inside Jobs, Christopher Ng, CEO of Alterrus Systems Inc., explains how VertiCrop technology - a moving conveyor system - can turn a vacant parking lot (like this one in downtown Vancouver) into a fully functional agricultural farm yielding local green vegetables.


Success for coffee seller was all in the packaging

Changing bag suppliers made all the difference for Vancouver’s Terrelli Coffee

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