Holding the Advantage

by Andy Quirk, (A.M.ASCE), Design Engr.; Nallamala and Wilson, P.A., Winston-Salem, NC,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1999, Vol. 69, Issue 8, Pg. 58-59

Document Type: Feature article


Small firms are constantly under a number of business pressures, and competing for qualified engineers with both large and small engineering firms is just one more challenge to contend with. Large firms can entice job candidates with a myriad of benefits and big-firm prestige. But small engineering firms have their own distinct advantages, and it's critical for the firm's managers to identify those elements and point them out to job candidates. Small firms have advantages such as: early reasponsibility, one-on-one training, schedule and policy flexibility, convenient locations, and niche specialization. Owners need to understand what type of candidates they are aiming for and consider some of the less tangible motivations for joining a small firm. This and other practices, such as potential partnership or decision-making empowerment, can help retain those same employees later on.

Subject Headings: Engineering firms | Engineering profession | Managers | Training | Scheduling | Owners | Motivation | Decision making

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