Why should you work for an SME?

Ready to leave university and head off to the big city to find work? If so, then you are, perhaps surprisingly, in the minority. Recent research carried out by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has found that less than one in ten millennials want to work in the capital.

Gareth Oakley, Managing director of SME Banking, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said:

Our research shows that the vaunted ‘brain drain’ to the capital – where the brightest young minds abandon their home towns to seek opportunities in London – isn’t as evident as previously thought.

Millennials no longer see SMEs as being the poor relation of international corporations. Instead they value their entrepreneurial culture, which they see as being supportive, creative, and full of opportunity to take on responsibility.

SMEs may need to invest and be willing to change their working practices to remain attractive, which can seem daunting, but they don’t need to go it alone. They should speak to their bank or a local mentoring network for guidance on attracting and investing in the young talent they need to successfully grow their business.


The link between young talent and SMEs is becoming increasingly important, with nine out of ten SMEs saying that the future growth of their business depends on being able to recruit millennial talent. Lloyds estimates that by 2020, millennials will account for over half of the global workforce, so they are an invaluable resource for SMEs.

But why should graduates work for an SME?
A recent article in The Independent cites 5 key reasons why graduates might choose working for an SME over a graduate scheme.

The social culture of an SME is something that is hard to find in a larger corporate. You are more likely to know most or all of your colleagues in an SME, and there is a real communal spirit. You will find yourself with multiple responsibilities, but with this comes the chance to progress swiftly through the business, and age rarely matters, so even graduates can really develop their personal careers. It is much clearer to see exactly where you fit in, and what input you’re making to the business as a whole: “It’s incredible to truly feel like you matter to the company, rather than being a tiny cog in a massive machine.”

Another obvious incentive is that SMEs hire all year round and often require new hires to start as soon as possible. This avoids the lengthy process of applying for graduate schemes.

Gradintel helps connect students and graduates with opportunities, such as graduate roles with innovative SMEs. If you are a student or grad who is interested in the dynamic nature of working for an SME, you can create a profile (if you have not already been pre-registered by your University!) to help you be discovered for some fantastic opportunities.

If you are searching for millennial talent to help develop your business, like 9/10 SMEs, please register here  to start targeting from our rich pool of student data!


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