Startups vs Corporations. Is this the 21st century David vs Golliath battle?

February 20, 2020
In innovative domains like digital techs and IT, it looks like startups do not have a chance when fighting corporations for talent. Or do they?
About Us
Radu Țoncu

Startups and corporations are both businesses that drive the modern economies. They are placed at the opposite sides of the organizational structure spectrum, with corporations accumulating size, power and integrating cross-border operations under the same roof, while startups develop fresh ideas and create niches with values too low to raise big companies’ interest. It's true that there are many cases when tech startups disrupted established models and became corporations in no time, but in general it looks like the two are meant to live separate lives. Nevertheless, there is one battle ground where the two meet and fight, and that battleground is named TALENT.

Especially in innovative domains like digital techs and IT, where the skills are developed in loooooong sleepless nights and demand always exceeds offer, it looks like startups do not have a chance in competing corporations. Or do they?

Well, based on our experience at Postis, this statement deserves a discussion. For those who do not know us, we are a rather small team of highly skilled professionals with an average work experience of 15 years, most of it in corporate environments. We are also interviewing a lot of talented people lately, as we need to cope with our fast business growth in Romania and expansion in Europe. In the battle for talent that we are fighting, three questions stand-out:  

Where do startups look for people?

A startup moves fast, or it dies. There’s not much time to invest in growing fresh talent, as the focus is on developing the idea, the product, the experience and the company. There isn’t too much room for personnel redundancies, either. This is why we always select skilled, experienced professionals, able to understand the business, quickly join in and ready to stand on their feet. Therefore, the corporation is a good pool of talent to look into.  

What makes such people not answer a startup’s call?

Simply put, it is the comfort zone. The job seems safer with a big company. You work for a big brand that lends you some of its might and glory. You might have the opportunity, after a while, to go up the ranks or even go as an expat, abroad. You have lots of employee comp&bens. As an employee, you have more time to spare, as deadlines are often measured in weeks or even months. Usually, you have by your side a lot of other professionals for support, and responsibility is distributed in larger teams. The planning is predictable and its execution is rigid, with just few adjustments over the entire year. These are luxuries which a startup will never give you. Because in a startup, if you do, or if you don’t, results will not wait too long to show, good or bad. 

Then, why skilled professionals join a startup, afterall?

It would be the comfort zone, again. Because to a certain breed of corporate professionals, comfort grows into pain. They are those people who proved themselves already and want to show more. The people who have ideas that do not find budgets. People who want to test their skills and expertise outside their familiar bubble. People who want to move faster, to see their work matter. In a corporate environment, they are called intrapreneurs. This is the type of people we, at Postis, team-up with in order to empower delivery operations excellency that builds unmatchable customer experience.


Coming back to the Startups vs Corporations story, we think that such battle does not exist. They are the two sides of the same coin.
The two complement each other, as Startups provide in-depth knowledge, innovation and specialization, while Corporations provide high volumes, power and scale.
The two share resources, as Corporations are schools of business that grow skilled professionals, while Startups discover those underused or withering talents and enable them to bloom.
The two partner, to further build modern economies and make the best of agility, size, innovation, power, specialization, integration.


If you want to join this discussion we started, feel free to drop us a comment in our LinkedIn or Facebook page or drop us a mail, it will be our pleasure to meet. And stay close, we’ll soon post on our site new jobs that, hopefully, will make your heart tick. Again.

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