Small Business Seek To Hire, Retain Workers

Date: December 03, 2015

NFIB Data Shows 80% Of Small Business Have Trouble Finding Workers

As the US economy shows mixed signals of improvement, one key area has been unemployment. Unemployment rates are falling, but the labor market has been tightening. This affects small businesses the most, as they aren’t always able to match the salaries and benefits of larger companies. The New York Times reported that a June 2015 NFIB survey found that “80 percent of employers reported they had difficulty finding, or could not find, the talent they needed.” And, even if small businesses are able to find the right person for the job, NFIB director of research Holly Wade said that “issues come into play when small businesses can’t afford some of the bells and whistles bigger employers can.” As Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicate, “the number of employees voluntarily leaving small companies remains on the rise” even as overall “quit rates in private businesses held steady at just less than prerecession levels in 2015.” The data showed that businesses with fewer than 10 employees reported 1.8 million quits from January to May 2015, a 34% rise from that period in 2014. Companies with 10 to 49 employees saw quit rates rise 12%, and companies with between 50 and 249 employees saw quit rates increase by 9%. In the face of this data, the Times reported that some small businesses are turning to creative solutions to attract and retain hires. Samantha Martin, owner of a 14-person boutique PR firm in Manhattan, Media Maison, “tries to be proactive” to counter possible quits, meeting “frequently” with individual staff, helping “new employees pay first and last month’s rent,” and offering perks like continued-learning assistance and “a free trip anywhere in the world after three years of employment” that help counter a lack of higher salary and 401(k) offered by larger competitors. However, a Randstad USA survey this year of 11,000 employees found that most quit because of “a lack of a career path or growth opportunities” rather than income, and almost “half of respondents said work-life balance was the biggest factor motivating them to stay.”

What This Means For Small Businesses

Small businesses want the best people for the job. Hearing best practices from other small business owners as well as research from job seekers and quitters can help small business owners decide how to best attract and retain workers in a way that helps the business, and its employees, grow.

Additional Reading

NFIB provides resources on how to help small business owners retain their best employees.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

Related Content: Small Business News | Labor

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