Choosing between a Small Company or a Large Company

gard2372

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hello all,

I have a couple of opportunities in the very near future of being employed as a Quality Manager. One company is a small family owned defense contractor (over 30 years) so they are stable. The other is a multi-national start-up business in which I do have start-up experience, and they have been around since 1994, but since then have already claimed the No. 2 spot in their industry and growth is inevitable.

The question I pose is one in which I think I know the answers to, but I always like different perspectives from seasoned individuals from here in the cove.

1. The small company- I am all but hired (waiting on the papers to sign) THe interview process took all but 3 days as I'm a perfect fit for their organization. As the Director of Quality I would have full reign and support in facilitating the QA initiatives reporting to the president/owner as these things were expressed by him "Quality is Paramount". My end users would be DCMA and the military of which is one of my alma matters USMC. I believe I would be happy there with a nice work environment and average salary w/bonuses. But I do know the employment things that are typically associated with small companies having worked for them in the past. Do I accept this job which I will be in the final stages of the interview/offer process in the very near future or wait on the big fish I may or may not catch?

2. The large gowing company "big fish"- I have been involved in the interview process now for over 2 months. First the process was very quick going through a small HR service which worked directly with the large company's HR Manager. (The same small HR company that recruited the large company's HR manager) There are ties there. :agree1: I interviewed well with the HR recruiter, the company's HR manager, and finally the company's VP. All interviews went well. I am told I will here something after a few more interviews. After 3 weeks I get a phone call telling me I'm in for round 4 of interviews. I think it's a good thing that I'm still in contention but I'm not sure if I'd be happy or overworked/understaffed with the large company which is similar in size and infrastructure as the company I curently work for. Do I wait on further word of this job in which I probably won't here anything until after the other company has made an offer?

I need to tactfully tell the large company to *&^% of get off the pot as I'm seriously entertaining an offer from another company which has expressed genuine enthusiasm and zeal in their intent to hire me.

In short I'm asking on opinions between working for small companies vs. large companies as a QA Manager, the small one is a defense contractor reporting to the Defense Contract Management Agency DCMA and the militatry, and the large company is reporting to internal/external customers.

I eagerly await for the cover's viewpoints.

Rob
 
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Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#2
gard2372 said:
Hello all,

I have a couple of opportunities in the very near future of being employed as a Quality Manager. One company is a small family owned defense contractor (over 30 years) so they are stable. The other is a multi-national start-up business in which I do have start-up experience, and they have been around since 1994, but since then have already claimed the No. 2 spot in their industry and growth is inevitable.

The question I pose is one in which I think I know the answers to, but I always like different perspectives from seasoned individuals from here in the cove.

1. The small company- I am all but hired (waiting on the papers to sign) THe interview process took all but 3 days as I'm a perfect fit for their organization. As the Director of Quality I would have full reign and support in facilitating the QA initiatives reporting to the president/owner as these things were expressed by him "Quality is Paramount". My end users would be DCMA and the military of which is one of my alma matters USMC. I believe I would be happy there with a nice work environment and average salary w/bonuses. But I do know the employment things that are typically associated with small companies having worked for them in the past. Do I accept this job which I will be in the final stages of the interview/offer process in the very near future or wait on the big fish I may or may not catch?

2. The large gowing company "big fish"- I have been involved in the interview process now for over 2 months. First the process was very quick going through a small HR service which worked directly with the large company's HR Manager. (The same small HR company that recruited the large company's HR manager) There are ties there. :agree1: I interviewed well with the HR recruiter, the company's HR manager, and finally the company's VP. All interviews went well. I am told I will here something after a few more interviews. After 3 weeks I get a phone call telling me I'm in for round 4 of interviews. I think it's a good thing that I'm still in contention but I'm not sure if I'd be happy or overworked/understaffed with the large company which is similar in size and infrastructure as the company I curently work for. Do I wait on further word of this job in which I probably won't here anything until after the other company has made an offer?

I need to tactfully tell the large company to *&^% of get off the pot as I'm seriously entertaining an offer from another company which has expressed genuine enthusiasm and zeal in their intent to hire me.

In short I'm asking on opinions between working for small companies vs. large companies as a QA Manager, the small one is a defense contractor reporting to the Defense Contract Management Agency DCMA and the militatry, and the large company is reporting to internal/external customers.

I eagerly await for the cover's viewpoints.

Rob
Never! Repeat - Never tell a prospective employer to get off the fence and make a decision because you have a job in hand, but will take theirs if it is good enough. If you did that to me, I would immediately tell you to take that job and drop you in my "never accept his call again" file.

Consider the following scenarios:
  1. You take the small company job and the other company NEVER calls.
  2. You take the small company job and the other company calls in 30 days with an offer not much different than the small company already gave
  3. You take the small company job and the other company calls in 60 days with a much better offer than you expected
  4. You don't take the small company job and the other company never calls.
  5. You don't take the small company job and the other company calls and says they've decided to go a different direction.
  6. You don't take the small company job and the other company hires you thirty days later and you find your worst fears about the actual job have been far exceeded - it is the job from he!!
  7. You take the small company job and tell the other company, "Thanks for the opportunity of being considered! Let's keep in touch and maybe we can do some mutually beneficial business down the road."
There are probably other scenarios, too. What seems most likely? What will keep your conscience clear? If you stiff the small company, how will you break the news?

Nothing any of us say about small company vs. large will be valid for your particular case because each organization has a different culture, regardless whether it is big or small. I know of dream jobs in all sizes of organizations, just as I know of jobs from he!! in all sizes of organizations. I'm sure most folks would admit that no one answer will fit every large organization or, conversely, every small organization. Even if we had direct experience with the organizations involved, there is still individual perception to consider (our perception of the organization; the organization's of us.)
 
R

ralphsulser

#3
Here's my take on it.
I would accept the offer from the small company where you report to the President/Owner who fully supports Quality.This is obviously a company with a cohesive management team that is proactive. This is important, and I miss the one time I was in that type situation. Plus, you don't have to go through various layers of management to get approvals on improvement activities.
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Leader
Super Moderator
#4
I have worked at a lot of places - both big and small. I generally prefer small-med places, but like Wes said, each company has a unique culture. I was once fired from a small place by the owner's wife who came in a couple of times a week for a few hours.:rolleyes:
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
Cari Spears said:
I have worked at a lot of places - both big and small. I generally prefer small-med places, but like Wes said, each company has a unique culture. I was once fired from a small place by the owner's wife who came in a couple of times a week for a few hours.:rolleyes:
Randy says you are an example of fine womanhood. I bet you big bucks the owner's wife was more worried about her husband's roving eye than your work product. Bummer!
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Leader
Super Moderator
#6
Randy is too kind - but, I will admit that there was a bit of an "alpha female" battle going on. I lumped it and left without looking back - if the owner would let her make such a bad business decision (I'm really good at my job if I must say so myself:tg: ), I had cause to question all of his business decisions.
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Leader
Super Moderator
#7
Large companies do have an advantage that there can be a larger customer base for quality tools. Fluor Hanford is about 4,000 employees. And of late I have had more access to the Fluor Corporation itself, which is world-wide, and another Fluor subsidiary, Fluor Fernald.

I suppose it depends are you one to "not put all your eggs in one basket", or one to "put all your eggs in one basket . . . and watch that basket" (Mark Twain).
 

gard2372

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Thanks for all the responses,

First off Steve, wonderful article in the Sept. issue of QP and kudos for getting senior mgmt's attention!

I believe I would be happier at the small company where Quality is truly valued. It's been a long time since I was in an organization that valued quality.

I earned my QA training wheels a few years ago while serving in the the Marine Corps as a QA rep for the Presidential Helicopter Squadron "Marine One". It was in the military where I learned the value of a small department cohesiveness could be very succesful when fully supported by senior management.

I think I will make the right decision. :agree1:

Thanks,

Rob
 

Helmut Jilling

Auditor / Consultant
#9
Wes Bucey said:
Never! Repeat - Never tell a prospective employer to get off the fence and make a decision because you have a job in hand, but will take theirs if it is good enough. If you did that to me, I would immediately tell you to take that job and drop you in my "never accept his call again" file.

Wes, I'm curious about this comment. Please elaborate why. I thought this was common practice. Thanks.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#10
Quote: (Originally Posted by Wes Bucey) Never! Repeat - Never tell a prospective employer to get off the fence and make a decision because you have a job in hand, but will take theirs if it is good enough. If you did that to me, I would immediately tell you to take that job and drop you in my "never accept his call again" file.
hjilling said:
Wes, I'm curious about this comment. Please elaborate why. I thought this was common practice. Thanks.
Nobody stands for extortion.

When we were kids on the playground, we hated the kid who said, "If I can't play the position I want (or if I don't get a "do over"), I'm going to take my ball and bat and nobody can play!"

We may have knuckled under once, but as soon as we could find another bat and ball, we ostracized the arrogant S.O.B. who forced us to play by his rules.

Nobody who gets to be an executive with the power to hire and fire is so stupid he doesn't recognize extortion, no matter how subtle. In the same vein, the executive realizes he can't show weakness to any other employees or soon everyone will be using a similar tactic to take away his authority.

I spent forty years as a suit in the executive suite. All my friends and acquaintances in similar positions are of the same mind: "If a prospective employee tries to extort his way into a job, he will continue to use the tactic to get things once he's hired. It's only natural for him to think, 'If it worked once, it should work again.' Therefore, we can't allow that kind of disruptive individual around to infect others with the same attitude."

I repeat, "Never tell a prospective employer to get off the fence and make a decision because you have a job in hand, but will take theirs if it is good enough."

This is completely different from something like calling and saying, "I really would like to work with you and your company. Is there anything more you need to make a decision? Do you have a target date for making that decision?"

Telling him you have a job in hand is arrogance. Telling him you want the job is eagerness. Which would you want in an employee?
 
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