Professionals “taking flight” from large companies to work for small businesses

UK's "healthy small enterprise culture" proving increasingly attractive to employees; LinkedIn finds 16% increase in those working for small firms

More and more UK professionals now want to work at small businesses and start-ups and are opting to leave jobs at larger firms on the basis that “small is beautiful”, according to new data released today by LinkedIn.

Based on a sample of 3.5 million UK members from March 2015 to March 2016, LinkedIn found a 16% increase in the number of people now working for a small firm with fewer than 50 employees, as well as those that have gone self-employed.

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When it came to sectors, employees in professional services, technology and financial services were found to be the most likely to work for a smaller firm.

Pointing to a rise in “healthy small enterprise culture”, the research also found a major decrease in the number of people opting to work for a large corporate (over 10,000 staff) with a drop of 14.3%.

University of Oxford economist Dr Craig Holmes said the data “corroborates broader labour market trends”:

“As well as a growing number of new start-ups, there have also been increases in the number of people engaged in the ‘gig economy’ and other forms of self-employment. The improving economic outlook will certainly have been important in the growth of small enterprises, while cutbacks in public sector is one of the factors behind the growth in independent consultants and contractors.

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LinkedIn UK country manager, Joshua Graff, added:

“Small and medium enterprises are the lifeblood of the economy so it’s great to see our data suggesting that the country’s small companies are growing and recruiting more staff as a result. Whether they are setting up new ventures or downsizing, more of our members have decided that ‘small is beautiful’ when it comes to their professional lives.”


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