At Concilium Search we work day-in-day-out with a variety of candidates looking for their next strategic career move. Consistently, one of the biggest factors impacting a candidate’s view of a new opportunity is company size. There are of a multitude of benefits that come from working with both small and large companies, however more and more we work alongside individuals who are specifically seeking to step away from the corporate demands of large MNCs and seeking the benefits that come from working with a smaller entity.
What, therefore, are the main benefits of making such a move?
More often than not, work life within a smaller company is coupled with a strong community feel. This is particularly prevalent in young start-up environments. The nature of working with a lean and fresh team creates particular bonds that allow for increased collaboration, transparency and togetherness that only truly comes through overcoming highs and lows together. Tight-knit teams, although not for everyone, definitely accelerate the building of workplace relationships and dependability in ways that larger companies who typically work in less concentrated environments do not.
Positions within smaller companies are typically less specialized than those within larger companies. Quite simply, in smaller companies, a limited group of people must ensure that all business functions are accounted for by themselves (rather than relying on the support of surplus FTEs). Skills and expertise therefore must be spread wisely, giving employees at smaller companies much broader responsibilities than their counterparts at larger organizations. Moving to a smaller company, candidates are likely to see their day to day tasks multiply, and their exposure to the business as a whole increase significantly. For the right person, such an environment makes every day work far more rewarding, while also adding a plethora of attractive experience to their CV.
3. Progression Opportunities
As outlined above, with the increased professional exposure offered by smaller company comes more opportunities for professional development internally and externally. Internally, smaller companies tend to be more agile with their hiring processes (needing to satisfy fewer internal stakeholders) and ultimately having less demand per open position. Externally, candidates wanting to move back into a large company, after spending several years with a smaller company, are often highly regarded in hiring processes for their well-roundedness approach to work (the same unfortunately cannot always be said the other way around).
One of the most certain things that comes from working for a small company is increased accountability. This can of course be viewed as both a positive and a negative, depending on an individual’s personality type. Larger companies, typically, offer certain protections to the individual employee than smaller companies. For most, management structures and reporting lines that come with larger companies block the most consequential effects of personal mishaps. However, within smaller companies, the book typically stops with the individual and the intensity of this accountability is often visible within a far shorter time frame. Despite being daunting at first, such accountability, if managed well, undoubtedly increases the importance of individual work and consequently the quality of work overtime; in small companies, the margin for error is very small, but the rewards of good work can be very high.
Arguably the greatest benefit of moving to a smaller company is the agility and dynamism of internal decision making. Oftentimes, individuals working within larger companies become frustrated by the time it takes to make internal decisions (on even the most insignificant of matters). Decision making tends to be far quicker within smaller organizations, allowing employees to take quicker actions and capitalize on market opportunities that not only benefit the business as a whole, but their own interests. Such agility both liberating and highly motivating, particularly for those used to the stagnation and stalemate of large company life.
At Concilium Search we work with a wide variety of small companies across Europe and North America who are looking to hire new and highly motivated talent. If you are interested in learning more about what a move to a smaller company could do for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch at Lucinda.firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss our range of active opportunities!