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What's the right size company for you?

Posted on Friday, Oct 9, 2015

blog oct 9 What size org is rightThere is no one-size-fits-all business. Big and small sized businesses benefit different people in different ways. What role you are suited for depends largely on your personality, your ambitions and what stage of your career you’re at.

Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?

When job searching, it’s important to understand the many advantages of working in both larger and smaller companies, here are just a few:

Larger companies Smaller companies
Better training resources Opportunity to progress more quickly
Global mobility prospects Greater responsibility, and thus wider experience
Usually a better benefits and support system More autonomy
Better networking opportunities Often better atmosphere
Formal processes and methodologies Increased interaction with senior figures
Specialised job functions Agility in decision-making and development
Greater investment budgets  

So, when considering a job offer, ask yourself the following questions to assess whether it’s the right size fit for you.

How much responsibility will you be granted?
In a larger company you will have the opportunity to liaise with large clients from around the globe, however your role may be more specialist and your contact limited to junior stakeholders. In a smaller company your remit is likely to cover a wider breadth of responsibilities, which is appealing if you’re looking to expand your skillset. The levels of bureaucracy in smaller companies also tend to be reduced, meaning that you have greater scope and less oversight on your projects.

How will future employers regard the role?
Are future employers in your desired vocation likely to appreciate a bigger brand name on your CV or a varied skillset gained through experience working at a smaller company? Often to reach a certain level you will need to demonstrate a variety of types of experience – what are the gaps that you need to fill?

What are the prospects for career advancement?
One of the big advantages of a larger company is that you can evolve your role without actually having to leave the company. There will be plenty of opportunities for sideways career movement, should you wish to modify your role, whereas in a smaller business this is often impossible.

How well will you be paid?
Bigger companies can typically afford to pay their staff better; however keep an eye out for sharing schemes that smaller companies may be offering.

What type of person are you?
Do you respond well to pressure or shy away from it?
Do you appreciate a range of responsibilities or a more structured task list?
Do you value change or stability?
How important is the social side of work to you?
Only you can know the answers to these questions, and it’s up to you to match these against the advantages and disadvantages of larger and smaller businesses that have been identified in this article so far.

So, what’s right for your next move?
Often different size businesses will suit you at different points in your career. It may also depend on what industry you are currently working in. For example, if you are employed in a specialist industry you may not have the luxury of choosing from a wide range of larger and smaller businesses.

However if you do, consider all of the above factors and questions when assessing your next career move, and decide what’s right for you.

At Hays we offer roles of all shapes and sizes, contact your local team to find the right fit for you.


Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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