According to recent data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses today comprise more than 99 percent of the nation’s employer firms and account for around 64 percent of all jobs created. Despite this, small business owners face distinct challenges in maintaining their employee base, particularly in today’s economy.
Major Challenges Facing Small Business Employers
Here are some top issues that threaten the solvency of the majority of employers in the U.S.
- Healthcare costs continue to be an issue for small business employers. According to a 2014 study conducted by Bank of America, 72 percent of small businesses are concerned about rising healthcare costs, which pose a distinct challenge to current employment levels. This has only been exacerbated by the complications inherent in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Small business owners are still worried about economic conditions and how this might impact their business in both the short and long term. In the same 2014 BoA study, 63 percent of small business owners expressed concern about current prices of commodities. Additionally, over 50 percent reported that they were also concerned about consumer spending metrics and the strength of the U.S. dollar.
- Small businesses have a much smaller safety net in place (compared to large corporations). This renders owners much more vulnerable to threats, particularly in light of today’s employment demands: threats such as unfavorable economic shifts or new laws or regulations that place additional burdens on businesses.
Are Staffing Agencies the Solution?
According to a recent study conducted by the American Staffing Association, 80 percent of those businesses queried reported satisfaction with using a staffing agency, with 77 percent of hired employees also reporting a positive experience. Staffing agencies offer small businesses a number of benefits and can help owners address many of the challenges cited above. Here are some of the main advantages of working with a staffing firm.
- Staffing agencies can easily accommodate inconsistent production schedules. This can be invaluable for those small business owners who annually see seasonal spikes and drop-offs in sales, as well as those businesses that are project oriented. A staffing agency can help this type of business to meet its current needs without having to commit to full-time employees.
- Staffing agencies streamline the hiring process. The agency vets and hires all of its available staff, taking the burden of this process off small business owners. In addition, small businesses are able to save on advertising expenses and the time needed to recruit, interview, and hire a prospective employee.
- Staffing agencies offer a wide range of talent. Thus, a staffing agency is poised to meet practically any employment need a small business might have. Most agencies offer highly skilled associates who hold diverse certifications and can fill any position from clerical work to professional IT engineers and accountants.
Funk, Bob. “Small Businesses and Staffing Firms: A Perfect Match.” SmallBizDaily. 2/24/15.