Small business owners across the United States are struggling to find the workers they need. This was the finding of the US Chamber and MetLife State of the Workforce report.
The report involved polling small business owners on the challenges they currently face. The poll was taken from September 30 until October 7, 2021.
Small Business Hiring Struggles Persist
Nearly half (49%) of the small business owners who were polled and are actively hiring say they are finding it difficult to find candidates with the right skills. This marks a significant jump from the 34% of small businesses who admitted they were facing hiring challenges in June.
44% of small businesses are now finding it harder to fill open positions, up from 34% in June. 42% said they are now facing more issues competing for talent with larger businesses, up from 26% in June.
Majority of Small Business Follow Vaccination Standards
The research also shows that small businesses are adhering to vaccine requirements with more than half (51%) being likely to require proof of vaccination from customers. This is up from 38% in June.
The research provides important insight for small business owners into the current hiring climate. It also shows that when it comes to vaccination policies, the majority are keen adhere to standards to keep everyone safe.
Worker Shortage Crisis
Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the US Chamber of Commerce, commented on the hiring difficulties currently facing small businesses:
“Small businesses are ready to hire, ready to welcome back customers, and support vaccinations to keep customers and employees safe. However, the worker shortage crisis threatens the economic recovery of Main Streets across the country, and many small business owners have simply given up on finding new staff. Congress needs to focus on making it easier for small businesses to hire the people they need to grow, compete and thrive.”
Millions of Jobs Available
The data surrounding the current plight of many small businesses across the US comes just weeks after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in August there were 10.4 million job openings in the country. This followed a record high of 10.9 million in July.
Knowing that filling open positions with the right talent is proving challenging, small businesses should take proactive steps to help important positions be filled. Things like mentioning company benefits in the job description, such as work from home opportunities, will help small businesses compete with larger firms for talent and fill open vacancies quicker.