Optimism hit its one-year high at 75 percent in the May 2014 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. Small business owners appear to be encouraged by a break in the weather and relative stability in the economy. And while hiring remains slightly down (0.1 percent), 67 percent of small business owners said if they saw an increase in demand for their products and services they would start hiring.
This was by far the predominant reason small business owners would hire, according to the survey. A third said they would hire for specific expertise or because there is “too much to do.” Last year, only 30 percent said an increase in demand would cause them to begin hiring.
Of course, simply wanting to hire is not the only factor for small businesses – 40 percent said finding qualified candidates is a challenge and 34 percent said named finding the right candidate for the salary offered is a big challenge. In 2013, only 19 percent said it was hard to find the right candidate for the salary, suggesting an improving marketplace for job seekers. A mere 6 percent said they didn’t have the HR expertise to manage the process and 7 percent said it was a challenge understanding exactly what was needed in a new person. Three percent cited finding time to interview.
Other factors that would cause small businesses to hire included mistakes that have caused their service to suffer (7 percent). Surprisingly, almost no one (0.2 percent) needed help coordinating administrative or operations tasks, a drastic shift from last year when 28 percent said that would cause them to hire. It seems those positions have either been filled or small business owners are finding other ways to handle those areas internally.