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To SME or to MNC? That is the question

Submitted by mmkcn_admin on

As a recruiter, I need to research the labor market and help candidates find suitable jobs. During my interview, I keep asking candidates one question: what’s your preference for your next job? On the other hand, lots of candidates come to ask me what kind of positions the are suitable for.


Not all profiles are the same! People with the same title in different kinds of companies actually do different things. The focus and emphasis of their jobs are quite different. For example, an “FP&A Manager” in a Small-to-medium sized company may cover reporting, commercial financial analysis (sales and marketing analysis), strategic planning, etc, while an “FP&A manager” from a Fortune 500 only takes charge of reporting, consolidation or topline analysis or just marketing finance. Their job scopes are significantly different. Thus, in MNC, people are usually in charge of a specific part or area for a big revenue sized business, while those from an SME company take full scope jobs for a small sized business.

Actually, not everyone is suitable for MNCs and vice versa. Those who like challenges and are willing to take on more responsibilities or prefer to be highly engaged in business may be suitable for SMEs. I will suggest those who prefer stable platform and steady career path and specific job scope take MNC as their target.

I will illustrate several points regarding benefits of working in SMEs and MNCs

Working in SMEs:

  • Flexible job scope. SMEs always encourage talents to take more responsibilities

  • Fast decision-making. Decision making in an SME does not need approval from multiple layers.

  • Obvious results. SMEs are usually aggressive in transforming plans into results. .

Working in MNCs

  • Systematic training and coaching. MNCs often have systematic training for employees. Take P&G for example, management trainees in P&G have well rounded training and rotations, thus they develop faster than their peers.

  • Clear job scope. You just need to focus on one area rather than taking more responsibilities.

  • Predictable career progression. MNCs often have relatively sound career progression system.


For fresh graduates, I highly recommend you to consider joining MNCs as your target because you will have systematic training and opportunities to rotate, which are important in shaping your career path. For those who have years of working experience in MNCs and are bored by doing the same job, SME may be your next choice.