small-vs-large

By Russell Adams, AdMore Recruitment– Specialists in Retail and Hospitality Recruitment, Search & Selection, Talent Management and Career Development

I wrote this last night, full of excitement about tomorrow night’s Recruiter Awards, for which we have been shortlisted in the Best Newcomer category. The awards have given me a rare chance to reflect and have made me think about the growth of AdMore so far and how critical attracting the right people is to our future growth. We have been able to recruit some fantastic people, some of the best in our market but we will need many more people of this calibre to really help the business grow.  So why is it that people choose to work for a small, growing and successful company like AdMore rather than a large corporate organisation?

  • Your role will be broader and you will be able to do a lot of different things

One of the frustrations many individuals have working in large organisations is that the scope of their role is often too narrow and that is very easy to find yourself being pigeon holed. In a small, growing business you are more likely to be involved in a broader range of tasks and have the opportunity to participate in larger projects. With limited resources, your remit is also likely to be wider, offering a more interesting role incorporating Marketing, Social Media and PR for instance, in addition to your day job. With a smaller business you will also gain a greater exposure to senior people and to individuals with significant levels of experience, more so than you would ever get in a large corporate and this is likely to help you gain experience quicker and learn more from those around you.

  • Greater job satisfaction

Arguably, with less people you are likely to have a higher profile and it is clearer to everyone in the business when you have done a good job.  You are much less likely to have to jump through lots of different hoops to progress and are much less likely to have to fight against the politics of big corporate organisations. Being valued, recognised and rewarded for the job you do has a real impact on job satisfaction.  Performance in a small business is very transparent so as well as being recognised for your successes there is also nowhere to hide from your failures.

  • You’ll have more responsibility

In a small business more trust and faith has to be placed on the individuals, decisions are often required to be made quickly and so accountability for these decisions is there for everyone to see. This may not be to everyone’s liking but it does help individuals learn quickly and cope with high levels of responsibility and decision making.  Many individuals like this trust and freedom and the accountability that comes with it. This is great for developing your character and will also look good on your CV.

  • You’ll be given more opportunity

Joining a small but growing business should also present more career opportunities. This is particularly the case if you join at the ground level and the business expands rapidly.  Your close relationship with the executives and the breadth of knowledge you have of the business is likely to open up more senior roles as the company expands and hires more people. In undertaking a much broader range of roles you can also increase your marketability from a future career perspective. Small businesses are much more reliant on a number of key people and this also gives some security to the individual as the business is much more likely to be reliant on their knowledge and contribution.

  • The culture will be great and so will the perks

As most businesses get bigger, they will tend to put more rules and regulations in place in order to try to manage the increasing size of their workforce. As the business grows beyond a particular size it becomes very difficult to manage discretion and flexibility and these are often replaced by policies and procedures which, it can be argued, have a negative effect on employees.  Large organisations with shareholders to satisfy are constantly looking of ways to cut costs and be more efficient and changes they make have a huge impact because of their scale. These cuts will often be made to perks or cultural aspects and certainly the downturn has seen many businesses cut back in these areas. Small businesses can offer that flexibility and they often offer more perks, whether that be gym membership, a pool table in office or flexi-time. These perks are ranked strongly by potential employees as being important.

  • You will hold the values more strongly

Small businesses often have very strong cultures based around the values of the founders. In a smaller business it is easier to hold true to these values and not compromise in the way that big businesses often have to.  If you can find a business where culturally you fit and one where you really share its values then how the business behaviours and operates is much more likely to ring true.

  • You will learn the art of prudence

In a smaller business there tends to be a more natural focus on how to do more with less. You will develop a mind-set of how to achieve more not only with less money but also less time; Small businesses don’t have the time or the resources to be inefficient otherwise they simply won’t survive.  These skills in the current environment are very attractive and again will increase your marketability when you come to look for another position.

  • It’s easier to make stuff happen

Arguably, one of the greatest reasons is that it is just easy to make things happen – a lack of red tape, politics, procedures and other restrictions means you can just get stuff done. If you are not making the decisions yourself you will certainly be close to those who are and so it is much easier and quicker to influence these people and galvanise those around you to take action and make sure that the business moves forward. This allows you to focus all your time and energy on what needs to be delivered and not on how it needs to be delivered.

Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to working for large organisations whether that is paid training or the opportunity to work internationally in the same way there are risks of working for a small business whether this be job security or a lack of training and development. Working for a small company will be appropriate for people at different times in their careers but as you can see above people should seriously consider the benefits they may gain by working for a small, growing and successful business. Ultimately for me it comes down to your faith in the business – so do your research thoroughly. Don’t just rely on your own perception but canvas other people in the market – what is their reputation out there?  If the opportunity arises to join a business with a great product or proposition that has a strong track record of success and is really moving forward then you should really consider getting on board for the ride…

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