College Students Favor Smaller Employers

A large majority of new graduates prefer small to medium companies as employers of choice

MILWAUKEE, WI--February 22, 2006--In a recent poll at, the #1 Entry Level Job Site, 70% of job seekers said they would prefer working for a medium or small employer. Only 30% said they would prefer working for a large international company.

"This feedback is contrary to the generally held view that college graduates only want to work for Fortune 500 or Global 1000 companies," said Brian Krueger, president of "Not only are college grads interested in small and medium size companies, they prefer them."

In their job search, students and recent grads no longer consider employer name recognition as their primary criterion. College grad job seekers are most interested in companies that will invest in them and provide growth opportunities.

"Today's graduates have seen the cyclical nature of the global and national economies," said Steven Jungman, Division Director for ChaseSource, LP. "Terms like 'downsizing,' 'furloughs,' and 'mass-layoffs' are now a part of everyone's vocabulary and are typically associated with larger firms."

Instead of only chasing the giant paycheck, graduates are now opting for jobs with growing companies who can offer competitive benefits and a balanced work life. Small and mid-size companies offer a strong work-life balance, flextime, volunteer incentive programs and other unique benefits to attract college grads.

Some larger firms are adjusting their recruiting style to target these grads. Maureen Crawford Hentz, Diversity Recruiter for Osram Sylvania explains. "It's a whole new ball game in terms of landing our top candidates," said Hentz. "We spend a lot of time emphasizing our smaller working groups, individual professional development and the ability to move up within the company."

The recently published results of's annual Top Entry Level Employers Survey suggest good news for today's grads. Many listed among the Top 500 are small or medium companies who are significantly increasing their hiring in 2006. The Top 500 Entry Level Employers and their 2006 recruiting plans can be viewed online.

The results of the poll reveal that college grad job seekers want a more personal work experience. They want to be names, not just numbers on a spreadsheet. They want opportunities to have a positive impact on their company, and to see the results.

"So if you are a medium or small employer, wondering if you can compete at the entry level with the large employers," says Krueger, "the answer is a resounding yes."

Following are the overall survey results:

What size company would you most like to work for?

  • A small or medium size company - 70%
  • A large international company - 30%

The survey was conducted nationally using an online poll placed on the home page. The results are based on nearly 500 respondents.

About is the #1 entry level job site on the Internet and is the leader in the field of entry level research. Brian Krueger is President and Founder of and author of the best-selling book for entry level job search, College Grad Job Hunter.

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