U.S. Job Numbers Weak in May: Are You Hiring?

Marketing Plan Example - A One Page Marketing Plan Anyone Can Use

The U.S. economy continues to add jobs, but the pace may be slowing, some figures indicate. Small businesses could again be a key factor in hiring and employment over the next few months, with most hiring happening at smaller companies while corporate giants cut back. Is your business hiring or planning to? Here’s a look at the employment situation and tips for when you plan to add people to your payroll.

Overview of Hiring

U.S. economy in May – creates fewest jobs in the last year. The U.S. economy added 69,000 jobs last month. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually the fewest new jobs created in the last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. At the same time, unemployment increased to 8.2 percent. What about the small business community heading into June? Will you be adding jobs? Yahoo! Finance

Small business hiring still growing slowly. A separate report from ADP, a firm providing payroll services, shows hiring is still increasing but has slowed its pace since the beginning of the year. ADP’s numbers reflect hiring at small businesses with fewer than 50 employees and still show more job growth at these companies than during the previous month. The Washington Post

Hiring continues to increase at smallest firms. The best news on the hiring front may be happening at the smallest small businesses, those employing fewer than 20 people, says Intuit Inc., creators of online payroll software for smaller companies. These companies added an estimated 40,000 jobs last month, a 0.2% increase through May 23. An economist working with Intuit says a similar growth rate over two years would be required to bring small business hiring back to 2007 levels. The Wall Street Journal

Tips & Outlook

Vetting new candidates through social media. With unemployment high and resumes becoming more creative, there are also more ways to check and see whether potential hires will fit on your team. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter to blogs, there are many tools to get a feel for potential hires before you meet them in person. Here are some details. The Washington Post

The best interview questions. Ten business leaders share their top interview questions in this post. How important is the interview process in your small business and how much does it tell you about potential candidates? What can you learn from the interview styles of these top leaders? Huffington Post

When it’s time to hire. Be careful when sending a job offer letter to a potential new employee. Just a few poorly chosen words can open your business to legal action in the event of a later termination. Be sure to avoid some key mistakes when making your initial offer, especially if it is made in the form of a contract. Business Management Daily

Small businesses gearing up. A report from the National Federation of Independent Business indicates small business hiring was down in May, despite other figures. But an NFIB survey also indicated the number of small businesses planning to create new jobs increased. Reuters

Getting Best Results

How to keep newly hired employees on the payroll. Once you’ve hired a new employee you think will work for your business, it’s a great idea to make every effort to keep them around. An estimated one fourth of new employees leave their companies within one year. Here’s a look at why and how to keep it from happening in your business. Small Business Trends

Incentives to keep employees happy. You’ve hired some new employees and know that keeping them happy will boost morale and profitability in the long run. Here are some tips for creating an incentive program that will show your employees how much you value the work they do and encourage great performance in the future.  Small Biz Diamonds

Other Options

Hiring consultants is another option. Help can come not only in the form of employees, but with the hiring of consultants who provide information and guidance on how to run your business better. The key is to make sure hiring a consultant is a prudent business investment. The Young Entrepreneur Council has these suggestions. Fox Small Business Center

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.