Multinational or SME – A 2023 Guide
When finding the right employer, the choice between a multinational corporation (MNC) and a small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME) can be difficult.
Both types of organisation have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, however the decision ultimately comes down to what you value most in a job and what will satisfy your professional requirements.
Multinationals, because of their size, are usually very organised and structured organisations and with that comes highly defined positions. Every aspect of the role will come with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with very clear goals and deadlines in place. These larger companies tend to have a defined career path and if you produce the goods there is transparency to your next role up the ladder.
SMEs on the other hand, tend to be all-encompassing roles, covering all areas of the business. While there are deadlines in place typically, it can often become a fire fighting role which can often involve a bit of HR, IT, reception and whatever your actual role involves as well. The major problem mooted within SMEs is always career progression, unless your superior leaves then you can be stuck, so people in this area often tend to change companies to get to the next level.
We have asked our Finance Recruitment Manager, Alan Grant to take a look at some of the benefits and challenges of each working situation and what can help you make your decision between both.
Multinational Corporation (MNC) – A Closer Look
Multinational corporations, or MNCs, are large, global companies that have operations in multiple countries. Some of the advantages of working for an MNC include:
- Career advancement opportunities: MNCs tend to have a more hierarchical structure, which can provide clear pathways for career advancement.
- International exposure: If you’re interested in working in different countries or with people from different cultures, an MNC can provide that opportunity.
- Financial stability: MNCs are usually well-established and financially stable, which can provide a sense of security for employees. For example, the average salary for a professional in an MNC in Ireland is €69,000, compared to €51,000 in an SME.
- Access to resources: MNCs have access to a wide range of resources, including technology and equipment, which can be beneficial for employees.
However, there are also some downsides to working for a Multinational:
- Bureaucracy: MNCs often have a lot of bureaucracy and red tape, which can slow down decision-making and make it difficult to get things done.
- Lack of autonomy: Because MNCs have a more hierarchical structure, employees may have less autonomy and decision-making power than they would in a SME.
- Less personal touch: Because MNCs are so large, it can be difficult to develop personal relationships with colleagues and managers.
Small-to-Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) – A Closer Look
SMEs, on the other hand, are smaller companies with fewer than 250 employees. Some of the advantages of working for a SME include:
- Autonomy: Because SMEs are smaller and have flatter organisational structures, employees often have more autonomy and decision-making power.
- Opportunities to wear multiple hats: In an SME, employees may be required to take on multiple roles and responsibilities, which can provide a sense of ownership and investment in the company.
- Close-knit team: Because SMEs are smaller, it’s often easier to develop personal relationships with colleagues and managers.
- Opportunities for rapid career advancement: With a smaller organisational structure and less bureaucracy, SMEs can be more agile, allowing for employees to advance quickly in their careers. For example, SMEs account for 68% of all employment in Ireland and are responsible for two-thirds of new jobs created each year.
However, there are also some downsides to working for a SME:
- Less resources: Because SMEs are smaller, they may not have access to the same resources as MNCs, which can limit the scope of projects and opportunities.
- Less financial stability: Because SMEs are smaller and less established, there may be less financial stability, which can be a concern for some employees.
- Lack of international exposure: If you’re interested in working in different countries or with people from different cultures, an SME may not be the best fit.
Making your Decision
What type of person are you? What do you enjoy? What makes you tick?
These are all questions that factor into your final decision for your chosen career path. The choice between a multinational corporation and a SME is a personal one that depends on the individual’s goals and values. The MNCs offer opportunities for career advancement and international exposure, while the SMEs offer autonomy and opportunities to wear multiple hats.
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each type of company and consider what you value most in a job before making that final decision.
If you are interested in learning more about the possible benefits and disadvantages of working in each type of organisation, our recruitment team is happy to help.
You can also take a look at our current available roles today where we recruit for both MNCs and SMEs in Ireland’s core industries.