For many years, the majority of employees in Asia Pacific generally prefer to work for multinational corporations (MNCs) than small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). MNCs are dominant in their respective markets simply because they have larger marketing budgets and economies of scale including bigger reputations and the ability to offer better job-security compared to SMEs.
However, as job markets continue to evolve, we are now seeing a change in sentiments, job settings and the rise in preference for more flexible work-life balance in the region. To meet the current demands of employees and adapt quickly to the agile work environment, SMEs must realise the recruiting advantages that they possess over their larger competitors.
Here are 6 advantages of small businesses and SMEs have over MNCs when it comes to recruitment:
1. Tailored employee package
SMEs have the potential to tailor their job offers and they are more open to one-on-one negotiations. MNCs are less agile as such negotiations could potentially affect many other employees or defy precedents created over time. Often, small business managers are better connected with their employees and this familiarity allows them to tailor their employment offers more effectively. In addition, tailored job offers can keep morale high as employers remain aware of what motivates their employees.
2. Faster hiring process
By nature, SMEs are less bureaucratic than MNCs and the hiring process involves lesser ‘layers’. This reduces the duration of hiring tremendously, allowing hiring decisions to be made in the shortest time possible. Moreover, a flatter structure can also be appealing as candidates might get the chance to be interviewed by key board members who can truly inspire them on the business’ visions and this encounter can become a strong selling point.
3. Greater flexibility
MNCs often operate on the back of a strict and robust system that allows little room for flexibility, whereas most SMEs run their businesses in a family-oriented culture that has a stronger focus on mutual trust and open communication. Hence, SMEs tend to have less rigid work structure and are able to offer more flexibility in terms of work-life balance such as remote working options or flexible work hours, both perks which are currently in high demand among employees today.
4. Direct contributions
Good hires constantly seek for the higher purpose of their role within a company and would want to see the results of their hard work. Employees working for SMEs would have a better chance of not just contributing directly, but witnessing the growth of the business, as compared to MNCs’ work structure. Employees who have a direct impact on the success of the company will most likely remain within the company as they would develop a sense of loyalty and ownership.
5. Hands-on work environment
For personal growth and development, SMEs’ hands-on work environment offers new hires a chance to easily try new things, to challenge themselves and hopefully advance or pick up new skills along the way. In contrast, employees working in larger companies are often restricted to only the work for which they are hired. Often, any initiative to learn or branch to new areas of development must adhere to company policies or procedures and be subjected to management approval.
6. Better work culture
Another advantage of being small-scale is that SMEs can easily achieve a strong close-knit work culture. Communication becomes easier as fewer communication barriers exist between employees and their managers. On the other hand, employees in MNCs may not be close with their colleagues or co-workers as there are just too many people doing multiple things in different departments, many of whom they may never even know or meet during their work tenure.
Indeed, SMEs will never win on price against corporate giants, however there are many ways that they can compete in other areas to attract job seekers. Being able to identify these advantages and leverage on these strengths will allow SMEs to compete more effectively and recruit some great hires. Ultimately, employers must know that size isn’t truly everything.
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