SMEs more appealing to candidates

  • Working for market leaders not top priority for employees

  • 60% would choose SME over corporate

  • Regional breakdown of results available

63% of employers think that being a market leader attracts candidates, but this is only a priority for 20% of recruits, according to research released today by secretarial recruitment consultancy Angela Mortimer plc.

The company’s annual Blue Book salary survey of 1400 employers and employees across the country and in Europe, revealed a disparity between what companies offer and what candidates want. In every region across the UK, Paris and Brussells, candidates were consistently looking for a great work environment, career progression opportunities, and a good salary. However, employers thought that being a market leader was more important than salary or the opportunity to develop in the business (see Table 1 below). 

On Thursday, company chairman, John Mortimer, hosted a webinar in which 88 industry figures and candidates came together online to discuss the subject. John comments:

“We’ve been operating for over thirty years and it seems as though SMEs are consistently out-recruiting corporates. They’re more creative in their recruitment processes and tend to be open to looking at what the whole candidate can offer rather than taking a tickbox approach.”

The audience was polled during the webinar, with interesting results: 70% of employees thought that corporates offer better salary packages. However, 60% would take an offer from an SME over a comparable offer from a corporate. This was largely down to the better working environment offered by SMEs (according to 63% of participants). 

Mike Morgan, CEO of the Red Consultancy, was a member of the panel. He commented:

“For candidates big is no longer beautiful. 20 years ago received wisdom was to join a BA or a BT or a big bank. Now they value the flexibility of opportunity that SMEs can offer.”

The debate revealed that this is a phenomenon that is increasingly true for ‘generation Y’. Graduates, who fall into this category, had previously favoured corporates, but more are turning to SMEs which can accommodate their desire for strong work-life balance, need for flexibility, and dependence on communicating with people throughout the organisation.  

John Mortimer is available for interview, and a recording of the webinar is also available.



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