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The lesser known benefits of working for a small business

Written by Kimberley Startup | August 22, 2012 | 2 Comments

Employee retentionLarge organisations typically have the ‘pulling power’ when it comes to attracting new recruits. Bigger budgets and better resources tend to equate to higher salaries and more of an attractive EVP (employee value proposition). However, before being blindly seduced by the buzz around big brands, take a moment to consider what a small company might offer you instead.

SMEs (businesses with up to 49 staff) are often overlooked by jobseekers – when compared to ‘big boy’ businesses. It should be noted, though, that SMEs have many of their own, less publicised, benefits to even out the balance.

A more varied workload…

Firstly, there is a far greater opportunity to carry out responsibilities beyond your remit. In a small office the chances are that tasks will be shared more between staff. For example, if you are in sales, you may be asked to carry out some functions which fall into the marketing bracket. This can be fantastic for broadening your skill set and giving you more to go on in the way of transferrable skills.

Have you ever considered what a small business could offer you over large corporations?

In a recent poll put out by webrecruit, asking followers on Facebook what the main draw would be when applying for a role within a small business – 50% of respondents voted for a more diverse involvement at work. Within a large organisation, on the other hand, the role you do will most probably be regimented to within strict parameters.

Good ideas count…

The second biggest perk, with nearly 30% in favour, was ‘working for a company where good ideas count, not power’. This alludes to the fact that smaller organisations will often be more susceptible to listening to those outside of the board room. Again, it comes down to size, because huge corporate enterprises would struggle to consider all of their employee’s individual ideas.

Third in the poll’s ratings was ‘company culture’ at 18%. Small offices have a tendency to be cosier and more personable. A close-knit work environment, also, lends itself to more efficient internal communication and a better appreciation for what you do. Added to this, things, such as, promotions and transitioning departments are more probable with less competition.

Last, but not least!

Coming in at bottom place, with just 1%, was ‘working within close proximity to senior members of staff.’ Naturally, people envisage the boss breathing down their necks, scrutinising their every move and are put off by this. However, the other way of seeing it is that by working within close quarters to the C-suite, you could potentially influence decision making.

The aim of this is to merely try and change some of the misconceptions that exist around small businesses. From global proportions, to one room start-ups – there are pros and cons of working for organisations of all sizes. The important fact to remember is that just because a job vacancy doesn’t boast a huge wage, or entice you with a familiar logo; it is not to say there aren’t hidden benefits, which could be just as valuable.

2 thoughts on “The lesser known benefits of working for a small business

  1. Hannah on Reply

    Thank you Robert! I love the Devil’s advocate and you make a really good point. I have been very one sided here in support of SMEs – neglecting to portray, like you say the ‘flip side’. There are a lot of interesting arguments to be made which would give this far more scope and depth. The issues you touch on are very true and good food for thought… I feel another blog coming on. Thanks again Robert.

  2. Robert Wright on Reply

    Really good article this. I’m based in Yorkshire but often work with SMEs in the North East to find them staff as the region is quite biased towards multiple SME employers and only a few major corporates. I think everything you have written is correct but I would add that on the flipside there can sometimes be negatives.

    For instance, if a SME is family owned sometimes career progression to the very top can be almost impossible. Also, although decision making processes can be quicker in SMEs (less process, influencers, decision makers etc) it can also mean under the wrong leadership direction of travel for a business can be volatile.

    But that’s just me being Devil’s Advocate

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