How to avoid the small business staff crunch

- February 7, 2023 2 MIN READ


Labour shortages continue to be an issue for small businesses, with staffing issues expected to impact almost eight in ten businesses, according to new research from My Business.

Phil Parisis, Head of Product and Sales at My Business, says the survey results show one of the biggest issues small business owners will face in 2023 will be attracting and retaining quality staff. Parisis suggests business owners need to brace for the worst as these staff shortages will impact all areas of business.

“Whether it be being forced to reduce opening hours, having to put growth plans on hold or being unable to keep up with customer demand, the labour skills shortage is having a huge impact on workplaces across the country,” says Parisis.

Quality applicants in short supply

Parisis said the staff shortage is a very real issue for small business owners, with 77 per cent of those surveyed saying they are struggling to find suitable applicants for advertised roles.

“As a small business owner, recruitment can be overwhelming; not only does it feel like larger organisations have a greater pull power and the ability to outbid workers but there’s also the additional responsibility of having to correctly onboard new staff and ensure everything is above board,” Parisis says.

Industries expected to continue to feel the brunt of labour shortages in 2023 include hospitality, retail, transportation and construction.

5 tips to attract top talent

Parisis offered the following advice to assist business owners in attracting quality staff:

1. Give them equity

“Think about involving your people in the business through an employee share scheme. These are now easier and much cheaper to put in place than previously, and they’re a great incentive to attract quality job candidates that relieves the pressure of having to offer competitive salaries. By allowing your employees to share in the growth and success of your business, you’re also giving them a reason to stay.”

2. Be flexible

“Staff these days value flexibility so don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t just offer remote or hybrid working but reconsider non-traditional working hours and be open to job-sharing.”

3. Be human

“People want to work for businesses that care about more than money. Small businesses have a huge advantage over larger organisations because they can take advantage of their flatter organisational structure to make their staff feel cared for and valued.”

4. Offer benefits

“Re-evaluate what benefits you’re offering staff and what they cost to the business. Some of the most popular benefits you could offer are also cost-effective, such as shorter Fridays during the summer months.”

5. Personal touch

“During the hiring process make sure you respond to all your applicants. Help make them advocates for your business even if they don’t get the job.”

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