Business is obsessed with size – specifically making things larger and larger. It’s everywhere we look; BIG 4, BIG tech, BIG oil, BIG data, BULGE-bracket banks.
But while there’s nothing wrong with being big, there’s a lot to be said for thinking small.
There’s a simple phrase which may just be the most important lesson for any recruiter – it’s one I repeat constantly to my team; ‘if you don’t believe in this opportunity there’s no way you’ll convince anyone else to believe in it’.
It’s not an invitation to hone one’s acting skills though – I mean genuinely believe in it. And if I had to boil it down, I’d say I mostly believe in those firms in growth phase. The boutiques, specialists, disruptors and innovators. Those firms thinking small but with big ambitions.
By being less bogged down with internal process, tradition and set-in-stone methods, these firms – by nature – can be more agile, freer thinking, be more attentive to their clients, offer deeper expertise in their fields and take a more entrepreneurial/start-up approach – and the roles they can offer people will be equally so.
Selfishly I get a kick out of being a firm’s ‘go-to recruiter’, finding great additions to their team, helping them take that next crucial step as a company, and of course making good money. But it goes deeper than that.
I like calling up my candidates to offer them something they hadn’t already considered. Maybe a firm they’ve never heard of before. Maybe a way to use their expertise they hadn’t looked at. Maybe even a location that wasn’t on their radar. Maybe a chance to own something, to help grow something, to be impactful, be visible and make a difference.
Now those are options to believe in. It’s not just me that gets a kick out of helping build something of course – don’t we all?
To be clear, this is not a David v Goliath thing. I don’t think big companies are bad, nor do I think they can’t be innovative, interesting or offer worthwhile career options to people. After all I work with some amazing large and multinational firms who do incredible work.
But I want my Goliaths to think more like the Davids of this world. I want my hares to act more like the tortoises.
Size can often bring restriction more than invention. Surely we all want less bureaucracy but bigger development and learning opportunities? Lower emphasis on ‘cash at all costs’, and greater emphasis on relationship building and delivery?
I guess it’s not actually size that matters, it’s whether you believe in what you’re doing or not. Remember, if you don’t believe in it then who else is going to?
- by Tariq Siraj