Small businesses get creative to hire hard-to-find labor

As some corporations slow down hiring due to economic concerns, small business owners are falling behind when it comes to staffing.

Nearly two-thirds of small businesses were hiring or trying to hire in September, according to a report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), but 46% reported being unable to fill those openings, well over age 48. historical average of 23%.

The difficulty of hiring has led some small business owners to look for more creative solutions to recruit labor, so they can grow their business or, at worst, simply stay afloat.

“Small businesses are not expanding at the rate they did in 2019,” Homebase founder and CEO John Waldmann told Yahoo Finance Live. “Actually, it’s gotten so bad that we’ve seen small business closures because they can’t hire…This is a real challenge for small businesses and if we’re going to solve it, it’s going to take a lot of different things: including making these jobs more attractive ”.

(Photo: Getty)

Attracting, hiring and retaining quality employees is often a challenge for companies of all sizes. It doesn’t get any easier in today’s times of low unemployment, high competition, and a red-hot job market, making innovative ideas even more critical.

For Diana Manalang, owner of Little Chef Little Cafe in Queens, New York, that means hiring high school students to help overcome staffing shortages.

“It’s working, they show up, they come to work for the most part,” Manalang said. “We feed them two to three meals a day. We bought them groceries, uniforms and shoes. We also order takeout for them and incentivize them in any way, like we get free movie tickets or something, [we] pass it on to them.”

Executive Home Care, a national franchise of home care providers, is addressing labor shortages by changing its technology for onboarding, recruiting and hiring.

“Having our franchisees … get in touch faster with every single candidate that applies has been one of the things that has helped us recruit more caregivers faster,” said Tim Hadley, CEO of Executive Home. Care, to Yahoo Finance.

Another incentive that has worked: offering flexible work schedules.

“It’s not a standard 9 to 5 or 8 to 4 job,” Hadley said. “People can work the hours they want to work with that flexibility, as well as a significant amount of off-the-job training and ongoing training for caregivers.”

Diana Manalang, owner of Little Chef Little Cafe, Queens, NY, has been unable to find enough experienced workers for her business.

Diana Manalang, owner of Little Chef Little Cafe, Queens, NY, has been unable to find enough experienced workers for her business.

However, one advantage that many small businesses cannot accommodate, even though it has increased in popularity since the pandemic, is remote work options.

“We’ve talked to a lot of people who want a job, but want to work from home,” Larry Sutton, CEO and founder of RNR Tire Express, a national franchise retailer of quality tires and custom wheels. “And unfortunately our kind of business that we’re in can’t be done from home.”

What many business owners are doing is what has been proven for a long time: offer more money. Just under half of owners reported raising compensation, according to the NFIB survey, while more than a quarter plan to do so in the next three months.

But that may not be enough in this environment, said Allan Jones, CEO of Bambee, a company focused on solving complex HR problems for small businesses.

“Small business owners, unfortunately or fortunately, have to think about total incentive packages the same way Fortune 500 companies have for a long time. So not only do I make $2 more in minimum wage, but what are the other incentives and benefits of working at this organization beyond salary and compensation? Jones said. “[Small businesses] conspicuously don’t think of full compensation as a recruiting principle. They only think cash, but employees are now looking for that.”

Dani Romero is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @daniromerotv

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