Working for Smaller Contractors as a Quantity Surveyor | Pros and Cons

Posted by Daria Tkach, Senior Recruitment Consultant on Friday, March 25, 2022

Here at Maxim Recruitment, we enjoy working with smaller construction companies, and have successfully collaborated with small to medium size contractors to find suitable Quantity Surveyor candidates for years.

In the property and construction sector, it is a common assumption that working for a larger, well-known company will have more advantages to your career as a Quantity Surveyor. Without a doubt, bigger corporations tend to have a larger benefits package and more formal training programs set up, along with other benefits. However, there are different, less obvious advantages when you are working as a QS for a small or smaller construction business.

Below I have complied some of the pros and cons Quantity Surveyor candidates should carefully consider before choosing the size of their next employer for their next quantity surveying or cost management job.

Your Responsibilities May be More Varied

A QS job role at small construction companies is often less specialized than at large firms. With smaller contractors Quantity Surveyors may be required to provide input and generally assist in other areas of work slightly outside the typical Quantity Surveying duties, such as involvement in pre-contract stage of projects, working closely with the Planners and the Design team. This can be beneficial as you will have a 360-degree view of company-wide operations.

Greater Involvement

Within a smaller team, it is more likely that the key decision-makers of your construction organisation will be working alongside you. This means that you will be aware of the strategic decisions that are being made within the business and have opportunity to provide your input and advise. For example, quantity surveyors working for smaller property developers have more autonomy with running projects, as well as input with how developments are run.

Your achievements are visible and recognised

Accomplishing something significant as a Quantity Surveyor at a large company will often go unnoticed, and it can be hard to feel like you and your efforts make a difference. At a small company, Quantity Surveyors are likely to interact with Commercial Managers and Directors on a regular basis, in turn getting noticed and praised for your strong performance. Because, these Quantity Surveyor employees have more visibility, it often can be easier for them to advance in a smaller organization, compared to large one.

CONS of working as a Quantity Surveyor with a Smaller Construction Company

There May Not Be Many Career-Building Perks

You (may) encounter fewer opportunities for growth and promotion at a small construction firm. The option to transfer to other departments may be limited or non-existent. Big companies tend to have clearer structures and development plans. No clear road map of how you can advance or even what the next step at the company is for you means less forward momentum in your career. Additionally, growth of the small business can be also limited.

Not having a well-known employer on your CV

A large contractor often comes with a known workplace culture and reputation. An established name on your CV is certainly a strength when it comes to moving on and upwards. Within quantity surveyor recruitment —recruiters and hiring managers will be familiar with your current company. With smaller employers on your resume, you may find yourself spending time in your interview explaining the company, rather than talking about your accomplishments.

Fewer Benefits

One of the obvious benefits of working for a large company is that there are a lot of perks. Smaller construction companies typically don't have as extensive of a benefits package as larger companies do. For example, health insurance and good maternal/paternal leave.


There is no right answer for which one is better. As a Quantity Surveyor you need to make sure that the company you choose is going to match your personality and career aspirations. Whether you are interested in joining a large company to benefit from its perks or to work on varied, bigger projects or you want to feel a great sense of community and that your input makes a difference in a small firm.

Maxim Recruitment team can assist you with choosing the right construction company, depending on your needs and career goals.  We are currently working with a number of exciting small construction companies in UK, alongside top, leading main contractors.

Please, contact me if you would like to explore your options or take a look at all of our different Quantity Surveyor opportunities here.

Daria Tkach
Daria Tkach
Senior Recruitment Consultant
Maxim Recruitment

Daria is a Senior Recruitment Consultant with day-to-day responsibility for researching, shortlisting, contacting, and interviewing premium construction industry candidates. Daria works with our UK team to help construction industry jobseekers into exciting new construction jobs with our market leading employer clients. Daria also covers the Canadian market as part of her international recruitment responsibilities. Her focus is on Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and other major cities in Canada.