Small Business Still Facing Low Volume of Applicants

According to iHire’s latest survey, 64.2% of small businesses say they struggle to attract qualified talent – a trend that will continue into 2020, the recruitment marketing solution provider predicts. The results of iHire’s poll of 258 HR, hiring, recruiting, and staffing professionals from U.S. small businesses can be found in the following infographic:

Next to receiving too many unqualified applicants, survey participants cited a “low volume of applicants per job opening” (55.3%), “difficulty retaining employees/high turnover” (15.2%), and a “lack of budget/resources to support recruiting goals” (15.2%) as their biggest frustrations in the hiring process. Other commonly cited challenges involved difficulty recruiting passive job seekers (12.8%), inability to write compelling job ads (11.3%), and a lack of a strong employer brand that attracts candidates (9.3%).

“Although small businesses are thriving in the current economy, many of these companies are experiencing growing pains – especially when it comes to recruiting,” said Steve Flook, President and CEO, iHire. “To find qualified applicants amidst record-low unemployment rates, small businesses need to adopt new talent acquisition tactics in 2020. For these businesses to start the year off right, iHire recommends focusing on augmenting employer branding efforts, pipelining candidates to fill future roles quickly, and diversifying their recruiting toolboxes.”

iHire’s survey results echo a recent National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) report: 25% of small business owners said “finding qualified labor” is their top business problem – it’s not just an HR issue. The same report notes an 18% increase in planned hiring to keep up with business growth.

Conducted in October 2019, iHire’s survey generated responses from 258 hiring professionals with U.S. companies comprising 500 or fewer employees. Respondents came from organizations across iHire’s 56 industry-focused talent communities and were asked to select all applicable responses to the question, “Which of the following do you consider to be your biggest challenges or frustrations as they relate to your role in the hiring/recruiting process?” To learn more about this survey, visit

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