Small businesses are struggling to hire workers

November 8, 2017

More than half of all U.S. small business owners found it difficult to fill their hiring needs during the past six months; with more than one-quarter stating that they ultimately were unable to fill job openings, based on results of a survey by SCORE released on November 7.

The survey was part of the Megaphone of Main Street data report series, which presents original, statistically significant survey data on the American small business landscape.

Based on the findings:

  • More than half (55.5%) of the 1,736 small businesses owners surveyed by SCORE said it was more difficult to fill their hiring needs in the past six months than it had been previously.
  • Over one-quarter (27.3%) of respondents said they had job openings that they were unable to fill, and 17.5% of micro-business owners had job openings they were not able to fill.

Why are small business operators finding it so hard to hire? The greatest concern reported by respondents (51.3%) was an inability to find qualified applicants. In addition, participants reported that applicants were demanding high salaries (26.2%) and healthcare benefits (21.9%), which business owners could not provide

Of those that have been successful in finding and hiring new employees, 19% said they used personal referrals from current workers; and 17% used referrals from other business owners.

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