Integrated Human Capital

How Are Small Businesses Competing for Top Talent in Today’s Market?

December 20, 2018

With the unemployment rate at 3.7%, the lowest it’s been in half a century, employees have become more selective when it comes to job opportunities. Over the course of this year, we’ve seen employers strive to retain their current workforce with the most sought out perks and benefits. With a candidate-driven market, how are employers meeting their needs to operate their businesses?


As mentioned, the unemployment rate sits at 3.7% compared to 3.9% in September. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in October healthcare added 36,000 jobs, manufacturing added 32,000, transportation and warehouse added 25,000, and professional and business services added 516,000 jobs. These are just a few industries that have increased the number of people they employ. As of October this year, wages increased 3%, a first in nine years, according to Market Watch. With an increase in wages and jobs, employers have needed to compete with each other to capture some of the best talent in today’s workforce.


Although this year’s job market has sparked initiative and brought back a candidate-driven economy, small- and medium-sized business owners are struggling to keep up with big businesses that are rapidly expanding. According to ZipRecruiter “the booming economy has led many businesses to expand in small and mid-sized cities across the South and Midwest, creating opportunities where there is simply insufficient talent to seize it.” Also, in cities where the number of job seekers is increasing, bigger businesses are attracting a disproportionate share of candidates compared to the rate at which small businesses increasing.  


ZipRecruiter also reported that at larger organizations, for every four people that apply, there is only one position available. These odds are better in a smaller “mom and pop” businesses where there was one position available for every two people that apply. This trend is only expected to increase as the industry level does, which poses a problem for small- and medium-sized business where job openings are projected to increase while applications are projected to decrease.


So how can these small- and medium-sized businesses keep up? In another survey conducted by ZipRecruiter, a majority of workers surveyed claimed that they would rather work for a small business because of the more intimate work environment and chance to have a bigger impact. Of the 40% that prefer to work for a larger company, pay and upward mobility were considered to be much more attainable than working for a smaller organization. For smaller organizations to become more noticeable to job seekers, they have to make their strengths more apparent to better appeal to job seekers.        


Candidates and organizations that are facing the challenges of today’s booming job market can find assistance through Integrated Human Capital’s job portal or can request information regarding our staffing services!  

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