According to Wasp Barcode’s State of Small Business Report, which was released late last month, 50% of small business owners said that hiring was their greatest challenge.
It’s unfortunate that owners feel this way. I think there are some factors that may help with hiring now.
Competing with large employers
It is true that smaller companies can’t offer the same menu of benefits that larger ones do. But small businesses can offer prospective workers many valued benefits and, as a result, compete successfully for good talent. For example, small companies can offer flexible work arrangements, mentoring and training, and opportunities for advancement.
Small businesses that address the concerns of prospective employees, such as offering health coverage and paying appropriate compensation for the job, will be able to compete against larger companies for new workers.
Impact of immigrants
Immigrants continue to flock to the U.S., providing a growing pool of workers. (There’s an interesting article about the impact of immigration on jobs from The Wall Street Journal. ) While many immigrants are unskilled, a considerable number bring impressive skills and talents to the labor force. There are no signs that immigration is abating (even if more controls are used to restrict illegal immigration), so there will continue to be an expanding workforce.
Impact of robotics
It’s estimated that by 2020, robotics will have replaced 7.1 million jobs, two thirds of which are in white collar office work. (Of course, some jobs will be created, with a net loss of 5.1 million.) Can this mean you’ll be able to do with fewer employees? It all depends on what you do and how robotics can be used. Explore how you can use technology to do some work and obviate the need for new employees.
It was, is, and always will be challenging to find the right employee for the openings you have. But I don’t think small businesses should be discouraged about the prospects of filling positions; there are factors working in your favor.