61 per cent of small business owners feel the pressure to compete with large companies to attract top talent, reveals American Express Small Business Monitor
MARKHAM, ON, Dec. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - 'You're only as good as your team', is something small business owners (SBOs) take to heart when attracting and retaining staff. The Quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor reveals over three quarters (77%) of SBOs believe recruiting and/or keeping talent is important to their company's success.
Understanding that employees are an extension of them and their business, just over one quarter (26%) of SBOs admit finding a qualified employee keeps them up at night as 67 per cent believe finding the right candidate for their business is getting harder. Taking this into consideration, SBOs are constantly on the hunt for top talent and over half (55%) say they rely on word of mouth to attract job applicants, with 51 per cent believing that is the most effective tool.
Gen Y forces SBOs to revaluate job expectations
The end of baby boomers' working lives is a concern for half of SBOs who are grappling with the unknown new habits of Millennials. In particular, the top two social forces SBOs believe will influence staffing in the coming five years are aging boomers (51%) and young workers' demands for greater flexibility and new benefits (43%). Additionally, 69 per cent believe corporate culture is important in their company so many SBOs are adapting their businesses to attract young workers.
"With the prominent shift in generations, the ability of SBOs to tailor their businesses, offerings and approach to attracting younger staff will be critical," says Athena Varmazis, Vice President and General Manager, Small Business Services, American Express Canada. "Remaining competitive and understanding the candidate pool is clearly the best way to attract and retain top talent."
While business owners are adapting to the needs of Millennials, half of SBOs say they're worried about the lack of qualified candidates to replace employees set to retire. Despite expressing concern, a third (33%) report an improvement in the quality of students fresh out of school.
Big perks for small business employees
Small business owners acknowledge the success of retaining top talent is often dependent on their ability to be competitive, but they also see value in promoting the advantages of working for a small business. In fact, almost all (93%) SBOs agree small businesses have better relationships between staff and management.
While it's evident there's a great emphasis on creating personalized relationships with employees and creating a culture of innovation, three quarters of SBOs agree small businesses provide more potential for employee growth. Despite over half (61%) of SBOs stating they are at a competitive disadvantage to larger companies when it comes to investing in talent, they continue to attract talent by appealing to the changing needs of candidates.
SBOs' optimism on the rise
Heading into the last quarter of the year, the continued surge in optimism year over year from SBOs signals an overall sense of stability. The majority (88%) of SBOs are confident about business prospects over the next six months, up six points since November 2013.
"Heading into the last quarter of 2014, business owners are exuding confidence," says Varmazis. "With three strong quarters behind them, they're enthusiastic and feel well-equipped for the future."
Over half (52%) of SBOs report their business' current financial position has improved, up six points since August 2013. More than one quarter (28%) of SBOs are willing to take above average or significant risks for their business in the next six months, up six points since November 2013.
About the American Express Small Business Monitor
From Oct 14 and Oct 20, 2014 Northstar Research Partners conducted an online survey on behalf of American Express Small Business Services with a sample of 548 Canadian small business owners each employing between 1 and 99 people. The margin of error for the total sample is ±4.2%, 19 times out of 20. In order to ensure the results are representative of the entire population of small business owners in Canada, the data have been statistically weighted for small business by region according to Statistics Canada. Respondents were located across Canada and came from a variety of industries, including health, social services, education, tech, sales and skilled trades. Due to rounding, some results may add to over 100 per cent.
About American Express Small Business Services
American Express Small Business Services (SBS) is dedicated exclusively to the success of small business owners and their companies. SBS supports business owners with exceptional service. We offer tailored products and services that deliver purchasing power, flexibility, cash flow management and rewards to help customers run their business. Specifically, business owners can leverage an enhanced set of products, tools, services and savings, including charge and credit cards, robust online account management capabilities and savings on business services from an expanded line-up of partners. To obtain more information about SBS, visit www.amexforbusiness.ca or www.facebook.com/AmexforBusiness.
SOURCE: American Express
For further information: or a full copy of the report, please contact: Christina Peck, (416) 644-2295, [email protected]