Many a times we come across people who may have quit their big brand companycome acrosswho have to work for a start-up or an SME. Strange? Not really! Such a career move was met with a lot of scepticism and apprehension a couple of years back, however today the benefits have eventually ensconced in the psyche of young and ambitious professionals.
It is a known fact that people at the middle management levels seek jobs in start ups and SMEs to accelerate their growth, and make their journey towards a top management role shorter and quicker. However, as a Human Resources person, I set out to figure what is it that would motivate professionals at lower levels to leave the benefits and perks of an established big brand and join a lesser known smaller enterprise.
The most critical hiring strategy for a SME is the ‘Recruitment Communication’. fFor small and less known organizations creating a brand pull should be the most crucial objective while laying out the recruitment strategy. I feel the SME organizations in their pursuit to make a mark as prospective employers, can bank upon the following aspects, as and when suited to their organizational life cycle.
Fishing out candidates with ‘High Risk’ appetite
I know of numerous people (colleagues, friends and many others) who are exhausted by the routine of a highly structured organization. With little scope to enhance and showcase their creativity, they feel the need to ‘break-out’ and do something unconventional. This aspect can be played upon to attract potential employees to a more unstructured framework where a lot is available to be explored. The idea of taking up a path not treaded and exploring the extent of possibilities is a big kick-start to attract those uncountable professionals seeking to break the boundaries set by standard processes and practices in larger organizations.
Getting your Hands Dirty
While large organizations boast of efficient Learning & Development systems, an SME can do wonders to your career by virtue of its unstructured On- Job-Training (OJT) methods. During the initial years of a professional’s career, such an opportunity to get out on the field and ‘do it yourself’ brings in unbeatable experiential knowledge. The value of such knowledge can never be emphasised enough for people aspiring to specialise in their area of work.
Flexibility and Increased sense of Power
Stemming from the lack of structure and too many systems is the flexibility that enthrals SMEs. With the bottom line as the management’s focus, it is easier to manipulate them to pay heed to changes that are likely to impact the P&L. Not that the larger organizations are oblivious to ideas but in a smaller organization one can conveniently bypass the need for numerous levels of approvals and audits required otherwise, before introducing the smallest of deviations from the SoPs.
Lean Reporting Structure
This dimension definitely leads to higher self-esteem and increased sense of power for employees in SME(s). The members of the management who more often than not are the business owners generally tend to be involved in day-to-day operations at thread bare level. This makes it possible for people at all levels to present their work potential directly to the management and not be dependent on their immediate seniors’ sense of justice and ability to present their case to the management. When the top line of an organization interacts with employees at all levels, with an intent to shorten TATs and have all information up their sleeves, it is more often than not likely to make the employees feel more empowered.
Big Fish in Small Pond
It all boils down to drawing attention and cashing in on good performance at the end of the day. This task definitely becomes easier in a smaller set-up with likely less competition and more visibility. It is perceived that SMEs are more likely to value the employees who will be loyal to the organization even in absence of being monitored closely or formally, which is followed by tangible as well intangible benefits and perks in the form of faster promotions, cross-functional learning opportunities, better work-life balance etc.
Even though all the above mentioned may help in creating an impressive branding and communication strategy, the challenges loom large for the Human Resource team to overcome and eventually succeed at creating an effective team at par with larger organizations.