- According to PYMNTS, the most recent small business employment assessments have been published by ADP, CBIZ, LinkedIn and Paychex —and the results show slow hiring across multiple industries.
- ADP reported that 63,000 new jobs were added by small businesses in August 2016, which is about 21,000 jobs less than last year at this time. LinkedIn reports that 59% of US recruiters are finding it difficult to get candidates with the desirable soft skills that they want.
- The CBIZ Small Business Employment Index indicates that 28.8% of the small business market saw increases in hiring, and in July almost half of the organizations they polled said there would be no changes in hiring new employees. The Paychex IHS Small Business Jobs Index for August indicated dismal hiring of only 0.02% over the previous month, with the largest metro area of Seattle, Washington contributing to 92% of the new jobs in small business markets. This is likely due to above average job creation by startups in the technology sector.
Small businesses have typically been at the forefront of creating new jobs in multiple industries. While the above reports indicate slow to stagnant growth, what's interesting are the number of companies looking for candidates with soft skills.
It seems that there is more to the underlying reasons why companies are holding back than just a presidential election. Generally, with a shortage of jobs, there is a need for hard skills. Why are soft skills in such demand? Recruiters may be learning to offset shortages of other skills by hiring candidates who have abilities that transfer to other types of work — essentially, candidates that are adaptable and teachable.