- Recruiting and retention are among the top three business issues facing small and midsized businesses, according to a survey of 100 corporate clients conducted by Missouri-based Enterprise Bank and Trust.
- Among clients with less than $1 million in annual revenue, 83% cited finding the right people as their most challenging issue. With unemployment at its lowest level in almost two decades, small businesses in particular have had to work harder to meet the shift in candidate expectations, Enterprise Bank and Trust said.
- Over half (53%) of respondents cited salary and bonus as the most effective way to address staffing needs. Focusing on retention and upskilling less experienced employees can help, but smaller businesses have the opportunity to be "nimble" in addressing employees' cultural and emotional needs, said Jeff Fromm, president of Kansas City-based firm FutureCast, and a source cited by Enterprise Bank and Trust.
The pressure of low unemployment may have more of an impact on small and midsized businesses than their larger counterparts, and current predictions don't suggest that the issue of scarce talent will let up. But it's not entirely impossible for small employers to compete. Such organizations can appeal to skilled talent by presenting opportunities for career growth and skill development.
While many offer in-house training and career development to attract and retain, some are looking to large learning platforms that are responding to the market with content made specifically for the small business employee. Previous data suggests career development can be an invaluable retention tool for any size business. But companies who utilize the tool will need to be transparent about what employees can expect, how training and upskilling will advance them, and how timelines will help them meet goals.