Original article found at Sys-Con Media.
While 97% of small businesses anticipate that they will either grow or remain stable in 2016, a majority of businesses report that finding qualified talent to support growth is a major concern. This was the key finding of a recent survey conducted by Dealstruck, the online direct lender with flexible financing options for small businesses.
The survey results indicate that small businesses are actively looking to bring on new talent, as 56% say they plan to hire in 2016. However, along with optimistic growth prospects come hiring challenges, as 70% say they are unable to find qualified talent and 15% cite the lack of availability of qualified personnel as the greatest current threat to their growing businesses. Consequently, 26% of small businesses have recently been forced to turn away new business that they are not able to handle.
As sourcing good talent becomes increasingly difficult, small businesses are still heavily reliant on “word of mouth” for both hiring and marketing their businesses. When asked how they most often look for talent, 46% indicated word of mouth, 16% advertise, and only 10% said they primarily use a career website like Monster or Indeed.
The same was true for marketing, where 45% indicated that their primary marketing channel was word of mouth. Only 13% of small businesses said they prioritized advertising and 9% said they used social media most when promoting their business. Ten percent of respondents said they do not do any marketing at all.
“In many cases, small businesses don’t think they can afford to hire and end up turning away business and leaving revenue on the table,” said Candace Klein, Chief Strategy Officer at Dealstruck. “Most small businesses we speak with are simply not aware of all of the funding sources available to them and therefore miss out on opportunities to use financing strategically to bolster longer term growth.”
According to the survey, accessible financing was a factor in keeping small businesses from hiring as 22% of small businesses that need to hire cited that they are not able to afford it. Transparency concerns around small business lending still remain, as 36% of businesses currently receiving financing were unsure of their current APR and 8% had no idea what they were paying.
“The small business sector is healthy, but hiring and financing transparency concerns still remain. Small business owners need more education and awareness around the financing options available to them so they can put resources to work and focus on hiring the best talent possible,” added Klein.