Choosing between a small or large company in Tech
When the time comes to look at a new opportunity this can often be met with a little bit of disbelief. Many professionals must accept the reality that whilst you hold the desire to make an external move, such a move perhaps will struggle to provide the level of change that is much sought after. Companies often seek appointments that provide a relevant background with the successful candidate coming from a similar business both in terms of the size and offering. An individual will often be hired based on their understanding of a company and culture as much as relevant skills.
However the technology world is perhaps somewhat unique when it comes to new opportunities. Whether you are responsible for the development of the products and services or a salesperson driving revenue, when making the jump to a new company you are not restricted to simply exploring competitors in your market place. Perhaps the biggest differentiator in this world is scale of company. With so many established organisations of varying scales to weigh up in addition to the option of many start ups with a variety of funding positions there is much to be positive about when considering options. However can such choice create confusion or indecisiveness? We have summarised some of the key drivers to be considered when weighing up the type of Tech business to choose from in your next move:
Products & Services
Sometimes when considering a more established business to move to you are likely to consider the company itself and the long term prospects as opposed to the specific division you will be part of. Perhaps consider that not every product launched by an established business is successful. In reality whether you join an established or new business the performance could carry the same risk. However with a start up the interest in the product or service holds greater influence.
Your market value is your market value and when it comes to salary whether you are looking at a big company or a small company, dependent on your circumstances, you will have a minimum expectation. All types of companies will have to meet this if they want you or other suitable candidates. Where the biggest differentiation occurs is in the additional perks. A more established business is likely to provide a fairly consistent benefits package which could mean private health, a decent pension and a reasonable bonus scheme. However a start up or early phase business perhaps won’t make such guarantees initially but will eventually implement such schemes where possible. They should counter such a shortfall with more performance related enticements such as equity or profit share. Such a scheme could prove significantly more lucrative should the company prove a long term success.
Visibility of a clear infrastructure that provides a specific route to achieve your career objectives is far more accessible in a large organisation. What it takes to achieve such progression will also be clearer and the natural rate of movement should mean estimated timescales to achieve promotions can be measured alongside the measurable objectives to justify this. This is again making the assumption the business line is established within that business, as it may be hard to progress if the business unit fails and this is the only place you built your reputation in the company. Progression is perhaps the most serious misconception when joining a start up of a tech business. The reality is when such a business is looking for talent they are doing so as a result of confidence and the need to implement a organisational structure that will support growth. Of course as the business does well more opportunity will open but there still is a clearer incentive in companies at an early stage.
It is very easy to say that all the risk sits with a start up, they may not have the brand, customer book or resources to support poor performance. However they have the people that created the idea and therefore the people that will do anything to make it successful, the hiring approach in such an organisation means people with a stronger emotional interest are closer to decisions and will also do everything they can for there people and backing the hires they make. In actual fact we hear of large scale redundancies at more established businesses a lot more, so job security is still a risk, in addition they have the resources to make external appointments that could have a negative impact on your responsibilities and pressure to avoid loss of income by keeping underperforming departments going.
Whilst a lot of what we discuss perhaps highlight the SME marketplace as a good place to be in Tech the reality is whatever scale of company you join it is an exciting place to be and everything carries risk. It is important you believe in the product you are creating or selling. Whether a big or small business is bringing a new product to market or improving what they have you can play a major part and good talent is hard to find so options should always be there to you.
At Martin & Conley we walk with a range of companies big and small, established and new and would be happy to discuss your options in more detail if you are looking or hiring. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org