Labor Woes Easing for Small Business Owners: Report

How Main Street companies are filling job vacancies

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Like the old U.S. Marines recruitment pitch, small businesses may still be looking for a few good men (and women), but it’s finally getting easier to find them.

In a recent Wall Street Journal survey of 650 small business owners, nearly 25% said it was easier to fill job openings in December than at the beginning of 2022, up from the 18% who reported improvement in November. What’s more, the poll marked the first time since last July that more respondents found it easier, rather than tougher, to bring on new staff.

To do so, these Main Street entrepreneurs are resorting to such measures as providing higher pay, revamping their help wanted ads, offering flexible hours and schedules, and creating apprenticeship programs. Others, like Dale Lemmons, owner of Signature Transport Inc. and Interstate Wood Products Inc., two trucking companies in Kelso, Wash., said they are also benefiting from a pullback in hiring or even layoffs at their competitors. “We have seen it be a little easier, mostly because some of our competitors are slowing down,” he told the Journal. “It’s not quite the hot job market it was.”

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But while many see this as an indication that the worst of their labor woes are behind them, small businesses are still struggling to fill vacancies amid an historically tight job market. Indeed, 20% of the survey respondents said it was more difficult to find workers in December than at the start of last year, and 56% said hiring challenges made it difficult to operate at full capacity.

BrandSource members facing labor constraints are encouraged to leverage HRSource, AVB’s sweeping human resources initiative that includes a comprehensive HR Playbook, expert advice from industry veteran Daniel Abramson, and a recruitment solution through a partnership with national recruiting software company CareerPlug.

The Wall Street Journal poll was conducted for the publication by Vistage Worlwide Inc., a business-coaching and peer-advisory firm.

Hat tip to The Wall Street Journal.

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