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Why Small Businesses are Struggling with Hiring and how they can compete

The transformation that we've seen in the labor market during the past few years has been fascinating. Between the initial layoffs and high unemployment at the beginning, to the great resignation and incredibly low unemployment that we are seeing now, it's been quite a ride. Most of these changes have made staffing incredibly difficult for small businesses.

The comments in this article discuss the perception that small businesses may be struggling with staffing because of compensation concerns. What I would add to that conversation would be that many people that are looking for a job now are going to take into greater consideration factors surrounding compensation that aren't just salary, such as retirement and healthcare benefits, paid time off, work-life balance environment, location, hybrid/virtual flexibility and technology. The unfortunate truth is that many small businesses simply don't have the infrastructure or ability to even acquire the resources necessary to compete with larger organizations. Therefore, regardless of the specific salary amount, it's going to be challenging to compete for talent with any larger business willing to provide advanced benefits to job seekers.

In a survey study that I conducted a few years ago, I found that Millennials prioritize pay, work-life flexibility and career advancement opportunities over everything else. They are also attracted to companies in which their values are aligned with the the mission of the company or industry, and they feel that they can have an impact in the company and on the environment. Small businesses should keep this is in mind as they craft their messaging when trying to attract talent. Create unique messaging that displays the mission and culture of your business that'll resonate with candidates.

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