the market

Big Company Bias- Are You Putting All Your Effort Into Less Than 10% Of The Market?

the market
Unfortunately, most graduates are missing out on the largest business sector in Ireland! Did you know that over 90% of firms in Ireland are Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)? They account for more than half of private sector employment. So why is it that Irish graduates mostly look to the 10% of large corporations to make a start on their career? This article aims to re-educate those with big company bias by dispelling some of the stereotypes associated with SME employment and show the benefits that a SME experience can have on your career.


“Small companies don’t employ as many people as large ones” You would be forgiven for thinking this myth was true. But, SMEs are at the forefront of employment creation. They just tend not attract as much publicity and also have somewhat lower marketing budgets than larger companies, so their employment profile is not top of mind.


“Small businesses have fewer opportunities for advancement” Graduates who perform well in SMEs are likely to progress more quickly as they and their efforts are more visible to senior managers. Also, there is normally a rigid structure of career progression in large companies. Graduates can often feel like they are just numbers in a niche department in large companies but in a SME you are likely to play a vital role.


“Small companies are just interested in an employee’s ability to produce results” SMEs do not subscribe to the “square peg in square hole” mentality that is prevalent in big business. While larger companies rely heavily on exam results, essay questions and psychometric testing, the entrepreneurial SMEs tend to think laterally when filling a position. A candidate’s enthusiasm and natural skills can be just as impressive as related work experience and grades.


“Large companies offer a better quality of experience” You are far more likely to get niche training in large companies. The opposite is normally true for SMEs where graduates are exposed to a wide range of areas within the business. Graduates in SME roles have more varied experience, an opportunity to voice their opinions and to shape company practices and procedures. More all rounded experience is one of the best benefits of starting your career in an SME.


“Nothing compares to a large corporation’s training programme” True, some large companies’ graduate training schemes are infamous, but think about what is best for you personally. Some prefer to get more attention and a comprehensive training at the beginning of their career. Also, having a broad skills range can make you more indispensable in a turbulent market.


To conclude, the reality is large corporations do not suit everyone. Many people prefer a less rigid, more accessible SME corporate culture. An SME can offer a graduate a depth of experience, in a more nurturing environment, with more responsibility.

Posted by Julia Purcell, Marketing & Communications Manager Sigmar on 29 November 2017

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