Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are a lot of things. They’re favorite local hangouts, trusted family-run companies, tight-knit teams, and familiar institutions in their communities. These businesses typically employ 2 to 100 people, and medium businesses employ 100 to 250 people.
Though small in size compared to companies that employ thousands, these businesses, in fact, make up 99.7% of all businesses in the US and employ about 50% of the total labor force. What’s more? Our ZipRecruiter data shows that the majority of job seekers would prefer to work for a small or medium-sized company over a large company. To find out why we took a closer look at what draws job seekers to SMB jobs and what drives them away.
Most Job Seekers Want to Work for SMBs
We surveyed over 1,000 job seekers to learn what types of companies they most want to work for, and why. Well over half of our survey participants (63.9%) said they would prefer to work for a small or medium-sized company. Only 36.1% said they would prefer to work for a large company.
When asked to explain their choices, respondents who preferred a small or medium-sized company said that SMBs have closer-knit teams that feel more like family and that smaller companies offer a unique opportunity to directly interact with everyone. Survey participants who prefer a larger company cited better networking opportunities, greater stability, and the advantage of a more recognizable company name on their resume.
Advantages of SMBs
Job seekers selected two top reasons why they would prefer to work for a small or medium-sized business.
- 27.4% of survey takers said they prefer the personal feel of a small business.
- 24.8% said they would like to be able to see their impact on the business.
Advantages of Large Businesses
Job seekers who would prefer to work for a large company pointed to practical and career-related reasons for motivating their choice.
- 23.6% of survey takers said they prefer large companies because there are more opportunities for advancement.
- 20.9% said their choice was motivated by the opportunity for better pay.
ZipRecruiter data shows that most job seekers would prefer to work for an SMB over a large company. Each job seeker is motivated by different reasons, but some general conclusions can be made about this preferential divide in the workforce. Job seekers who would prefer working for an SMB want to cultivate a better day-to-day quality of workplace-life. These job seekers value building strong relationships with their coworkers, and they like to see the impact of the work they do.
Job seekers who want to work for a large company are motivated by future-oriented goals, like their long-term career advancement and earning a higher salary. No matter each individual’s reasoning, it’s clear that while the majority of job seekers would prefer to work for a small or medium-sized business, different people will always be drawn to companies of all sizes for a variety of personal reasons.