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65% of SMBs Offer Increased Pay to Attract Job Seekers, According to New Data

After a long period of pandemic uncertainty, furloughs, and cutbacks, employees are returning to work with a different outlook and new expectations for their careers. The result? Headlines covering both understaffed restaurants and success stories of small businesses that are raising wages

A new Salesforce Small and Medium Business survey evaluates how hiring and retention at SMBs has changed recently, and what owners are doing to address their challenges. 

Key takeaway: According to the survey, which spoke to 225 small business leaders in the United States, over three-quarters of respondents (76%) faced challenges hiring and retaining employees in the last six months, and over half (53%) say their revenue has been affected by these challenges. Out of those that reported their revenue was affected, a majority (57%) claim they’ve lost 11% or more of revenue.

Fast facts: 

  • Almost half of small business leaders surveyed state the lack of applicants was a specific staffing challenge.
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they are offering increased pay as an incentive to attract more job seekers. Almost half of the respondents said they have offered cash signing bonuses, while other popular incentives include flexible and remote work options, as well as better benefits.
  • Almost a third of respondents (31.6%) have increased pay a significant amount, 11 to 25%. 

The Salesforce perspective: Like many other businesses, small business owners still face an uphill battle to find labor and get back to their pre-pandemic output and revenue.

Small business leaders are likely at the forefront of a forever-changed labor market — over 46% responded that the newly added incentives have made a positive impact on their staffing abilities, and around 61% plan to continue offering them in the long run. 

How small businesses treat new and existing employees can have a long-term impact on the business, as turnover can take up time and energy that would otherwise be better spent on business growth and customer experience. 

Zoom out: Heard of the YOLO economy? As explained by The New York Times, it refers to employees who are leaving stable jobs to redefine how they live their life, typically ready to take more risks without a definite next step in place. 45.8% of the SMB survey respondents noted they have experienced this phenomenon in their employee turnover. 

Explore further: Read the full report on how SMBs face staffing challenges here and on the Salesforce blog


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