HR · 6 October 2016

Loyal employees at smaller firms have highest job satisfaction

Some 37 per cent of UK workers would take a pay cut to work for a startup company

The UK’s smaller firms are keeping their staff happier than larger employers, according to new research from social network LinkedIn.

The networking platform looked at job fulfilment levels to reveal greater positivity in the workplaces for small businesses.

The LinkedIn Work Satisfaction Survey questioned over 10,000 professionals and more than 3,500 employers worldwide, finding that UK firms employing ten workers or fewer created the most positive working environments.

Having the opportunity to positively impact on others was found to be a key differentiator in job satisfaction at small and large companies.

Another major difference between small and large companies was the fact that 77 per cent of employees in a small business would recommend their employer to a friend – compared to only two-thirds at the largest companies in Britain.

The study highlighted the potential for decision makers at small employers to use the size of their company as an advantage in attracting candidates to roles.

Not only did one in five UK workers say that they would prefer to work for a small firm than a large one, but 37 per cent of respondents claimed that they would even be willing to take a pay cut for the chance to work for a startup business.

Commenting on the survey, LinkedIn’s director of talent solutions, Dan Dackombe, spoke of the ability of small business owners to offer potential candidates better working conditions. “Our country’s SMEs have a great story to tell and have an opportunity to capitalise on their size when it comes to hiring,” he said.

However, the study confirmed that despite stronger job satisfaction levels, small firms have to work harder to find the best recruits.

Dackombe continued: “Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier for smaller employers to effectively engage potential new hires. However, our research shows that they feel the need to work harder to recruit despite consistently punching above their weight on employee fulfilment.”

The new research from LinkedIn comes alongside the release of two new products on the platform targeted towards small businesses – the Open Candidates tool enables members to privately notify employers of their availability, and the newly designed Careers Page that offers smaller employers better opportunities to demonstrate their business culture.

Further research carried out earlier this year found that employee recognition was felt more strongly at small businesses. Less than a quarter of staff surveyed reported their work to be undervalued by their employer, compared to almost two thirds of employees at large companies.

Read on to find out the secrets to hiring your first employee.

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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