Optimistic about the economy, more small business owners are gearing up to hire new personnel for their sales and administrative teams. That’s according to the just-released SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard, which found that 28% of owners aim to hire a salesperson, while nearly a quarter are interested in adding administrative staffers.
Last year, only 19% of owners of businesses with 10 or fewer employees said they would hire a sales pro; only 17% were interested in increasing admin levels. “Business is picking up in the small-business economy. That's the simple answer," says Andy Roe, SurePayroll’s general manager.
Encouragingly, owners are ramping up efforts to find the best candidates, the survey found. Respondents are using local newspaper ads, job fairs, internship programs and recruiting firms/headhunters significantly more than last year. "You're seeing a much more aggressive approach to hiring, as small businesses market themselves on LinkedIn and other sites, in addition to doing more networking," says Scott Brandt, SurePayroll’s vice president of marketing. "The job market is more competitive and small businesses are looking for good people, so they're expanding their reach in a number of ways that they may not have had the resources to try in the last few years."
Despite the proactive approach to hiring, some 64% of owners still see some barrier to hiring. Of those, 57% identify finding the right candidate as their biggest challenge. Meanwhile, the cost of salary and benefits is the primary concern for 29%, a steep drop from 2014’s reading of 59% of owners. The decline in concern about salary and benefits suggests businesses are performing stronger and have most positive outlooks.
"Last year,” says Roe, “small-business owners were still being very cautious about spending, and so naturally their main concern was the cost of hiring someone. Now revenues are up, profits are up and cost isn't nearly as much of a factor."