CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
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CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS Management reviews

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4.0
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CFIB is a place where everyone works towards supporting the local economy. It provides Purpose to your routine. There are people of all ages and there is no time to be lazy. Everyone rolls up their sleeves. The President and CEO is very personable and approachable. For those bilingual, it's a great place to be to use your French as a large number of employees are bilingual.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
17 July 2020
Thanks for the very nice message. Yes, I hear the President is quite personable too (ha!)

I appreciate your support of the team and cause. We really do have an awesome group of people working at CFIB and it is a big part of why we have so many staff with 10, 20, 30 and, in a few cases, 40 years of service at the Federation. It is also great to work in a bilingual environment in Toronto and across the country. I am so impressed with how many of our colleagues speak both French and English fluently, especially as I continue to push myself to use French more every day.


Wishing you nothing but the best in the future.

Dan Kelly, President and CEO
4.0
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Interview process and management are the most open and honest in an organization I have been with. They tell you exactly what to expect in the field, the ratios of success and how to get there.
This job requires "pulling" on 30 doors a day of businesses in person, rain, shine, snow, cold etc...

I don't think sales experience is a must at all, you need to be able to do a repetitive script all day long with most people saying no. If you can handle constant rejection and can enjoy the few victories each week then you can do this job. If you don't like rejection, repetitiveness and working alone then this isn't for you.

They have reps who absolutely love this job and do very well at it, the only way to really know is to try, but seriously think about what I said and who you really are not who you think you can be.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
6 January 2020
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts on your time at CFIB. I am really pleased that you recognized our open and transparent management style. As you noted, a career at CFIB isn’t for everyone and we try to be as upfront as possible about the wonderful and sometimes challenging parts of each position. It is absolutely true that prospecting independent business owners is an important part of the District Manager job and an element of rejection comes with it. While we have an impressive 110,000 business owners as members, the even better news is that there are 1.1 million small business owners across Canada, and millions more self-employed Canadians who are eligible to become members of CFIB.

In addition to encouraging our District Managers to visit prospects on their own, we are working hard to provide more and better quality leads from our various partners and create ways to encourage more referrals from existing members. Our Business Counselling services completed 40,000 calls from members last year with a 95% satisfaction rating. We are looking to leverage these results to ask members for the names of other business owners who may benefit from learning more about this key service.


As you note, we have many staff who love this role and do very well at it. Those who do best are typically those who are motivated by meaningful work. Supporting small business owners in having a greater voice in the policies that affect them does not just help our members directly. It also improves the country by helping small business owners focus on growing
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5.0
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Working for a company with such a great philosophy and a great team work environment is the reason why CFIB is in my opinion the best place to work at. As a recruiter i was really happy with the office environment and the amazing management. EVERYONE, is very supportive and happy, it brought some great experience and knowledge to myself. After moving on from my position, i would go back to CFIB in a heartbeat! GO CFIB
Pros
free coffee, donuts, cookies, great teams, happy environment, minimal stress
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
13 May 2019
Thank you very much for the encouraging words. I just celebrated my 25th anniversary with CFIB and I agree that the mission and corporate culture are hard to beat. Our Toronto office is filled with committed professionals who help serve our 110,000 members and 400 employees. I really appreciate the time you took to write and wish you the best in your new role. As you likely know, we have many colleagues that return to CFIB after gaining experience elsewhere and we’re always happy to have strong performers come back in the future.

Dan Kelly, President and CEO
5.0
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Speaking as an office worker, CFIB is an excellent place to work. Management is caring and will listen and deal with any complaint you may have. If you want to advance there's nothing to stop you but yourself. You are encouraged to take classes/courses if it will help you advance in your career.

We are a not-for-profit business fully funded by our members. Membership is what keeps us going and we're now up to over 110,000 members and growing.


I have the pleasure of speaking to our members on a daily basis. We deal with all types of inquiries and our Business Resource team is there to tackle any questions our members may have. We make life easier for the independent business. All they have to do is join CFIB as a member then they can sit back and focus on growing their business. When CRA comes calling and they don't know what to do, we step in an help them cut through the red tape and put their minds at ease.


Professional, courteous sincere and eager to help. To me that what CFIB stands for.
Pros
Flexible working hours
Cons
Benefits are a little costly
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
10 April 2019
Wow! What a nice summary of what we do to serve our members. I really appreciate your feedback on the culture we’ve created and I’m pleased you see our management team as caring people. As a non-profit, CFIB is not a place to work where one can get rich, but we do try to ensure it is a place where strong performers can build meaningful careers. More and more Canadians are looking for some meaning and value in their working lives, and we certainly can deliver on that at the Federation. Thanks again for the lovely note – it made my day!
Dan Kelly, President and CEO
5.0
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The management skills ongoing training was excellent. The culture is defined by the organization's goal to improve the work place life of entrepreneurs.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
10 April 2019
Thanks very much for the positive comments on our management skills training. We’ve made significant investments in providing training opportunities for our staff and managers – it is good news that you saw this as worthwhile. We want to make sure our sales managers have all they need to provide support to our team to help grow and serve our members. I’m really glad you enjoyed your time at CFIB and wish you nothing but the best in the future.
Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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2.0
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CFIB is a not-for-profit lobby organization that focuses on lobbying both the Federal and each Provincial governments to make / change / maintain policy that is favourable to Small Independently owned businesses who are their fee paying membership.

A BDM position for any not-for-profit is a difficult position to maintain. Particularly since there aren’t a lot of funds available to compensate the position very well. Leaving the Federation with the ill-conceived marketing strategy of utilizing commission based compensation for BDM based on new member sales.


The biggest problem they have created for themselves is that most of there sales come from repeat customers (members) for which they don’t compensate their BDM's very well at all to maintain. As such, they face a significant amount attrition since the primary focuses of there representatives is forced into prospecting for new potential business, and little attention is giving to maintaining their existing cliental.
Creating a dismal spiral of seeking to manage the attrition they have spawned in their existing customers by chasing down new customer growth. So without being able to provide consistent representation to their members, which they struggle to maintain without a proper compensation structure, they delve deeper and deeper into that spiral every time they have to hire a new BDM in any given district. Making it a forgone conclusion that inevitably they will exhaust the prospective new business available to approach in any given district and they end up repeatedly calling on the same businesses over and over, much
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Pros
100% free to make and maintian your own scheudle, Evaluated only on perfomance expectaions and absoutly no micro-managing
Cons
Extensive, Non-reimbuseabled, Out-of-pocket expenses significnatly erode the modest salary and minimal commissions earned.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
26 November 2018
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to provide such detailed advice. I was very pleased to see that you identified strongly with the mission and work of CFIB. I agree with you that our organization and the services that we provide to small business owners are incredibly important to our members and our country. The main reason we have dozens of staff who have been with CFIB for 20, 30 and now even 40 years is that they identify with our mission and find great meaning in their work. I also agree with your comments about the flexibility that the District Manager position offers and the absence of micro-management. All very true.

As for your constructive criticism of our sales approaches, you raise some important points. As I’m not sure when you left us, I thought I should share that we are weeks away from launching our new District Manager compensation plan. This plan is largely based on the feedback that we’ve had from our team. The new plan includes a starting salary, commissions on both membership renewals and new business sales and significant performance-based bonuses. We’ve added a monthly and per-visit expense allowance and maintained a very good benefits package, even expanding our RRSP matching. We are working hard to ensure CFIB is a great place to find meaningful work with a very good income to support yourself and your family.


On the management side, you are absolutely right that a top sales rep does not always make a top manager. We take great care in selecting and continuously developing our sales managers and I’m happy to say 2018 is shaping up to be our
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2.0
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A 48 sentence, 6 page script that has to be memorized word-for-word and used on every single sales call is a bit too much. The secret to sales is listening, not talking. Most potential clients do not want to listen to half the presentation.
If you understood this, the membership numbers would not be stagnant at the 110,000 level over the past 5 years.
Pros
Good cause
Cons
Outdated sales mentality and approach.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
5 November 2018
Thanks for the feedback on the cause and our approach. I am really happy you identified with the cause that we represent at CFIB. It sounds like you share the view that small business owners don’t get anywhere near the degree of respect that they deserve. Our work to improve the odds of business owners’ success not only helps the business owner him or herself, but also helps grow the Canadian economy. If someone is looking for work with meaning, we can deliver on that in spades.

I also appreciate your comments about our sales script. I am happy to report that we are currently working on an updated, much simpler and shorter approach to presenting the great things we do to members and prospective members. This is, in part, based on feedback that we’ve received from our team. I continue to support the importance of a consistently delivered sales presentation as we have over 200 District Managers who work with a high degree of autonomy. I take very seriously our obligations to work with high integrity and, as a result, want to ensure that our members from coast to coast are left with a solid understanding of the many things we do on their behalf, and also what we don’t do.


But I agree that we can find a better way to present this to the public and we have already made significant progress on making this happen. More will be shared with our team in the weeks ahead. Thanks again for sharing your constructive advice. Dan Kelly, President and CEO.
1.0
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1 star
1.0
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This job required A LOT of energy for extremely little payoff.

The pay structure is confusing, frustrating and full of technicalities that will prevent you from making commissions and bonuses.


Management is tuned out and unresponsive.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
24 November 2017
Sorry to hear your CFIB experience wasn’t a positive one. We do work very hard to be clear about both the wonderful and challenging things that come along with working at CFIB. It isn’t clear in your review when you started with us, but I imagine it was before we launched our new compensation system for District Managers. Our new system is much simpler than our earlier version, and includes a base salary, commissions for renewals and new business sales and a solid bonus structure for strong performance. We’ve also added an allowance to cover some expenses – all based on feedback that we’ve had from our colleagues.

The job isn’t for everyone and is really suited to self-starters who respect that it is a full-time job. But as the guy who reviews all the pay and bonus cheques, I can assure you that solid workers earn a very good living to support themselves and their families. It is one of the reasons we are proud to have many employees who have been with CFIB for many years. Just this week, I recognized two colleagues – one with 20 and another with 30 years of experience.


As for management, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a management team more plugged in and responsive. I take great pride in personally meeting every one of our 400 employees every year, regardless of where they live in Canada. All of our management team does the same. Even though you have moved on, I’d welcome any other feedback you may have. Feel free to contact me directly.


Thanks again.


Dan Kelly

President and CEO
2.0
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If you are looking to make a career, this is not the job for you. Great for University Grads or People looking close to retirement.
This concept of helping small to medium side businesses is good however be prepared for a lot of rejections. You spend a lot of time on your own. Support is there at the beginning however it quickly vanishes.


Not meeting your sales numbers, Management make's your life like VERY DIFFICULT

100% COMMISSION IS A THING OF THE PAST. NO CAR ALLOWANCE OR VERY LITTLE FOR NEW HIRES.


THE BONUS STRUCTURE IS OUTDATED AND VERY HARD TO MAINTAIN.


TOP MANAGEMENT HEAVY AND LOT'S OF CLOSE FRIENDS WORK IN MANAGEMENT.
Pros
It's like running your own Franchise however your are not paid that way.
Cons
Long hours, lots of rejection, very little support and too much favouritism.
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Official response from CFIB- CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS
2 November 2017
Thanks for the feedback from your time at CFIB. I’m glad you identify with CFIB’s mission of helping small businesses. After our giant campaign against the federal tax changes, small businesses are recognizing more than ever that they need an advocacy organization that has their backs. We’re certainly seeing a nice uptick in membership as a result.

You are right that there is a lot of time on your own in the District Manager position. I know it wasn’t for you, but for many others, the independence of the position is one of the attractive features of working at the federation. While you note the initial support you received, we are working harder than ever to provide more ongoing support and coaching. Of course, we do count on our employees to let us know when additional support is needed. To be in a position to offer ongoing support to our 200 District Managers across Canada, we do need to have a fairly large group of strong managers. In fact, we just added a few new talented managers to ensure we can improve the help we can provide to our new District Managers.


We’ve also made significant changes to our commission, bonus and expense allowances based on feedback from District Managers. I’m sorry the position wasn’t for you, but we work hard every day to make CFIB a terrific place for our staff to build a meaningful career.


Dan Kelly, President and CEO
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4.0
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High pressure to meet targets but has great bonus structure. Some of the management have a negative reinforcement approach to managing the reps.
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2.0
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I used to work with CFIB back in 2009. What they stood for was great. The only people who made a good salary were the upper management. Was paid $890.00 a month that didn't cover my gas, insurance. Was hard to get clients to join their membership in Vancouver mainland. From what I see, most don't stay on as outside sales due to salary and lack of interest. Was with them for two months and I quit.
Pros
Nothing to speak of
Cons
low salary, lack of interest from the Business community
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Overall rating
3.5
Based on 34 reviews
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3.8
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3.0
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2.8
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