Why Would You Join a Small Recruitment Company?

In a previous article on Hunted, we covered 6 Reasons to Join a Large Company, which highlighted all of the benefits you could gain from joining a ‘blue chip’ agency. Whatever stage of your recruitment career you’re at.

In this article, we’re reversing the advice and offering the many benefits you can gain by joining a small boutique recruitment company. And there are lots out there.

1. Broader coverage

Starting with a small company in recruitment means the individual divisions and specialisms are probably more expansive than larger companies. Where a large company will diversify as much as possible in order to accommodate the growing numbers of staff, it’s less likely in a smaller company.

That’s not to say they’re generalist in nature.

It may in fact, mean the opposite. Maybe the company itself covers one industry. Like a lot of Tech or Digital and Creative agencies.

The difference here is that while your desk might focus on one particular niche, you’re less likely to be constrained over geography or by seniority. You’re able to go about recruiting without the worry of stepping on a colleague’s toes.

2. Lower cost base

Generally speaking, smaller companies have less outgoings. They spend less as a unit on everything, from fixed overheads to employee wages. Why’s this a good thing?

Well, it means the rewards available can be increased for the average consultant. That might mean they can offer a highly rewarding commission scheme instead of a profit share or discretionary bonus. Or that there’s a chance for equity. Or perhaps simply an extra trip to the sun or slopes every year.

Most of the smaller recruitment companies in the recruitment industry will be privately owned and pump money back into the business. You may be able to directly influence how this money is spent and ensure it’s for your benefit.

3. Unique benefits

Following on from this, it’s highly likely that small companies will offer you a wider range of possible benefits for working there. Whether this is a higher level of autonomy, flexible working hours, or merely deciding the incentives you and your colleagues venture out on.

Yes, there’ll probably be a bigger christmas party at a conglomerate. But, it’s worth asking yourself whether you’d rather that or something more substantial as a reward for your efforts in making this business a success.

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4. More say in the business

If you you work for a company where you have regular interaction with the owner, it’s highly likely they’ll be asking for your input in some key decisions. This could be areas of investment, team incentives, infrastructure or even defining the culture.

If your boss wants words written on a wall to inspire greatness. You might as well help choose them.

The layers of the hierarchy, if there are any, are almost certainly fewer than a company with number of employees above 50. This makes your job more strategic and inflates your importance as a consultant and employee.

It also means that when leaving this employment,the strings to your bow will be greater, making you much more employable.

5. Higher up the chain

Assuming the small company you join has aspirations to grow, you’ll be one of the first through the door. While recruitment’s a meritocratic job, having a longer tenure means you’ll stand a higher chance of promotion and progression. There’s also every chance you could be offered equity if you rise through the ranks quickly.

Every recruitment company would rather promote from within than hire talent from other companies. You’ll know the brand, the people and the direction of the company. Especially if you’ve had a hand in creating it.

In comparison to a larger company where you may have to wait for management to move on, there are less restrictions to hold a Recruiter back at a smaller employer.

6. Higher agility

Agility in recruitment means being able to closely monitor the market and make changes to impact your success.

This could mean sponsoring new industry events in emerging markets or simply moving into specialist niches as they arise. You’ll have a harder time reaching the CEO of a conglomerate to discuss your career direction than giving your boss at the same desk a nudge to run an idea by them.

Perhaps you hear of a new company hiring that in a larger company wouldn’t be in your remit? Perhaps a new geographical location is turning out to be a hub? Maybe you can represent a business case to funding talent generation in a particular area? Or even as small as trialling a new job board?

Agility’s a critical success factor for recruitment consultants. Increase yours and you increase your chance of success.


There are plenty of smaller recruitment companies that are enjoying success all over the world. You’ll be able to find one to fit your personality and references right here. And if you’re wondering how a smaller company would stack up against a larger firm… we’ve got that covered too.