Small Businesses Struggle to Hire Talent as Competition Increases



Small Business Recruiting Competition on the Rise, Especially for These 3 Skills

The hiring conditions for small businesses are getting more competitive as the job market continues to tighten. A new survey by Indeed reveals these businesses are struggling to hire people with leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. And there are other challenges too.



Small Business Recruiting Competition on the Rise

The report by Indeed comes at a time when small businesses are competing within their segment as well as with large enterprises for candidates. Indeed points out small companies are also facing this challenge with fewer resources. For example, hiring managers are not able to fully dedicate the time needed to attract the right candidates because of the many different hats they wear in their organizations.

But this is taking place as small businesses are doing better and experiencing growth. According to the respondents in the survey, 36 percent are expecting more growth within the next 12 months. And another 56 percent said they hired new team members only last year.

So the good news about business growth is being blunted by the fact it is getting harder to find qualified candidates.  Overall 24 percent of small businesses responding said it was more difficult to find employees than it was five years ago. Thirty-five percent said it was just as difficult.

Small Business Recruiting Competition on the Rise, Especially for These 3 Skills

Indeed took the online survey in April 2018 from randomly selected small business owners in the US. The business owners are Censuswide representatives of companies employing 1-249 people.





Data About the Skill Sets

More than half or 56 percent of respondents said it is very (18 percent) or somewhat (38 percent) difficult to find candidates with leadership skills. The numbers for critical thinking and problem-solving skills didn’t fare much better coming in at 55 and 51 percent respectively.

The silver lining in this data is skill sets such as communications and teamwork are easier to hire for.  And when it comes to candidates with the right certifications and education, 54 percent said it is not that difficult, with 22 percent stating it is not difficult at all.

How are Small Businesses Competing?

For 37 percent of small businesses competition come down to money. These companies are offering higher wages to get the right candidate for theirbusinesses. But not all small businesses can do this and for these organizations, it means being creative with the incentives they offer. Twenty-one percent said they offered advancement and mobility within the organization, while another 18 percent did it with generous vacation policies.

According to Indeed’s official company blog, small businesses have an advantage over their larger counterpart: their size. The blog added, “It’s not easy to build a sense of community at work, but many job seekers today look for authentic human connections. A smaller business often results in a tighter-knit group of people, and just as the owners wear many hats, so too do the employees. This gives them the opportunity to work on projects that might fall outside their typical scope of work, allowing them to cultivate a variety of skills.

Where do the Hires Come From?

Small Business Recruiting Competition on the Rise, Especially for These 3 Skills





The biggest pool of hires come from word of mouth or recommendations, according to 57 of the respondents. Social media ads worked for 31 percent of businesses, online job boards for 28 percent and newspaper ads for 12 percent. Even signs on their windows worked for 9 percent of small businesses when it came to recruiting talent.

Images: Indeed 1 Comment ▼


Michael Guta


Michael Guta Michael Guta is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends focusing on business systems, gadgets and other small business news. He has a background in information and communications technology coordination.

One Reaction

  1. Aira Bongco

    Talents now have more options. Usually, these people want more from their companies than a mere paycheck.

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