Large vs Small Companies
Small companies are generally privately owned and operated with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual receipts. They can be an important, yet often overlooked, consideration in your job or internship search.
IS A SMALL COMPANY RIGHT FOR YOU?
Life in a small organization can be very different from life in a large organization. You should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each and make an informed decision about which environment is most appropriate for you.
Advantages of a small company over a large one:
- You may be given more responsibility and may not be as limited by a "job description."
- You may be allowed to use your own initiative, rather than being closely supervised.
- Your ideas and suggestions may be given more attention. You may have more clout.
- Career advancement may be rapid in a growing company.
- You are likely to be involved in the whole organization, not limited to one area.
- The environment may be more informal and friendly. There may be fewer rules and policies.
- You may have the chance to be involved in the growth of something great.
Disadvantages of a small company over a large one:
- Many small businesses fail; you may have less job security.
- There may be lower starting salaries and fewer benefits.
- You may put in longer hours.
- A dominant leader can control the entire organization. This can lead to more "political games."
- You must be able to work with everyone within the organization.
- Both your successes and failures may be more visible.
- You may have fewer resources and support.
ARE YOU RIGHT FOR A SMALL COMPANY?
Because of the different nature of a small business, different qualities in employees may be needed. You will do well if you are:
- Self motivated
- A generalist with many different skills
- A good communicator
- A quick learner
- Able to get things done on your own
FINDING A JOB IN A SMALL BUSINESS
Getting a job in a small company may require more work on your part, but the jobs are certainly there. When approaching a small company for a job, you may find the following differences in hiring practices:
|Centralized personnel department
||No personnel department
|Recruiters may seek out potential employees
||No full-time recruiters
|Standardized hiring procedure
||No standard hiring procedure
|May keep resumes on file for a year
||Probably won't keep resumes
|Recruiters may conduct interviews
||Founder/owner may conduct interviews
|Company literature easily available
||No printed literature
|Website with extensive information and functionality
||Very limited website or none at all
||No online application
|Hire months in advance
||Hire to start immediately
|Have long-term personnel forecasts
||Hire as needs arise
|Extensive training program
|Predetermined job categories
||Jobs emerge as needs do