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Professional growth

The Employee Benefit Office–How Size Can Determine How Much You Grow


Does size of the company matter when it comes to choosing an employee benefits job. Choose a small organization and you may find yourself doing everything. Choose a large one and you may find yourself bored stiff. What size benefit office should you choose depends on your likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. Both have pros and cons, and it is important to explore them before you say, "yes" to a job offer.

The number of employees an organization has may not always dictate the size of the benefit staff. I worked for two different organizations with about the same number of employees, one had two and a half (2.5) benefit personnel and the other had eight (8). And the one with 8 staff members relied more on outside benefit consultants to assist with compliance than the one with just 2.5 members. However, in general, the smaller the organization you work for, the smaller the benefit staff. In some cases there is no dedicated benefit staff member but rather an HR generalist performing this role along with other duties. Larger organizations usually have several dedicated full-time benefit staff members.

Pros and Cons of Working in a Small Benefits Office

Let's start with the Pros:
  • More opportunities to learn all aspects of the employee benefit function
  • More opportunities to increase your problem solving, negotiation and communication skills
  • More opportunities to be creative
  • Fewer personalities (other benefit staff) to deal with
  • Fewer layers of review and approval of work
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