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Just 1 in 6 senior execs want to work for a small business

Just 16% of senior executives want to work for a small business, new research by Norrie Johnston Recruitment (NJR) has revealed.


The majority of respondents (41%) to NJR's survey identified companies with between 100 and 500 employees as the ideal size to work for.


Exploring the reasons behind this, the research, which forms part of NJR’s guide to The SME Recruitment Challenge, provided some interesting insights:


  • 79% of respondents believe that directors of small companies are paid less than their counterparts at large businesses;
  • 66% of respondents think that career progression opportunities are better at large companies;
  • 68% of respondents feel that larger companies offer a better work-life balance.


Graham Oates, chief executive of Norrie Johnston Recruitment, said, “I find the results of our survey really interesting.  Despite the vast majority of respondents saying they don’t want to work for a small business, 70% of the senior level executives we surveyed agreed that they’re more likely to work for an SME now than at the outset of their career and 76% said that senior executives of smaller companies have greater influence than those at large businesses.  That says to me that, as we progress in our careers, we appreciate and want the different opportunities that SMEs can offer.


“The challenge facing SMEs is how to harness this and reverse the perception that large companies offer the best opportunities as our careers grow.  With small businesses making a very big contribution to our economy, it’s vital that they’re able to attract the very best senior talent to help them thrive.”


In response to this challenge, NJR has developed a guide containing advice from six experts who provide their thoughts on what SMEs need to do to make themselves as attractive as possible to potential top level recruits.


From the importance of building a strong employer brand to offering the right recruitment package to the importance of growing sustainably, the guide provides helpful tips on how to get the best talent on-board from:


  • Martin Campbell, MD, Ormsby Street
  • David Dews, Creative Director at Speed
  • Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library
  • Eliza Rawlings, Managing Director, Festo Training & Consulting
  • Michael Hall, Co-founder and CEO of Cyberkudos and Talent Director hired by DueCourse
  • Michelle Wright, Chief Executive of Cause4

To view and download the full report - The SME Recruitment Challenge - visit


Image courtesy of Pixabay

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