Gallup Poll: Small Business Firing Up, Hiring Down

Remember when the nation couldn’t decide if small business hiring was up or down? Well, the saga continues. Gallup released a poll last week that showed more small businesses were letting employees go rather than hiring.

Approximately 603 small business owners were surveyed by Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business. Their answers revealed that hiring was essentially stagnant since January 2010, according to Gallup Economy. Roughly 11% of these small business owners had been hiring, but this figure had also remained stagnant since last January as well as last April.

So what does this tell about small business hiring in general? Fortunately Gallup has discovered the implications of these figures.

Gallup states that though small business hiring is likely to increase this year, it is only by a small percentage. Even worse, the percentage of small businesses planning to add new positions is less than that of a year ago. The survey pointed out that four in 10 small business owners have held back on hiring while one in five owners have let people go because of the Affordable Care Act.

It also inferred from the data that Main Street and Wall Street might be a little overly optimistic of the recovering economy given the reality of small business hiring. Gallup Economy spells this out by stating, “Because small businesses are the key driver of job growth in the U.S. economy, it is hard to see how the recent surge in economic optimism — at least on Main Street — can continue to increase without increased small-business job growth.”

If you happen to be one of the fortunate few small businesses that is hiring now; firstly, congratulations. Second, the hiring process doesn’t have to be what it used to for your small business. There are ways to save money, giving you greater resources to nurture and grow your small business as it recovers as well.

Video Interviews. As you know, there is a cost to interviewing job candidates, but cost is not just limited to traveling interviewees. No one knows better than small businesses that time is money; and when you’re spending time on interviews, you’re losing a lot of that hard-earned money.

Video interviewing allows you the flexibility and the time to check out potential candidates. In the time it takes to conduct one phone interview, you can view several, if not dozens, of one-way video interviews.

Brand your company and job descriptions. Again, don’t waste time during the interview and small business hiring process. Ensure that you’re attracting the right candidates for your job openings by getting specific with your company brand and job descriptions. That may sound like a no-brainer, but take a look at these areas again. Do they seem at all general? If so, it’s time to reassess and tighten these up. Being detailed during the candidate search process can save time and money in the long run.

What’s the current state of your small business’s hiring? Share with us below.

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