July 25, 2024

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Small businesses get creative as they still struggle to hire

Small businesses get creative as they still struggle to hire

The challenges are prompting some entrepreneurs to look for more creative ways to fill the labor shortage at a time when they were expecting employment to become easier.

Lindsay Goodson, owner of Keith McDonald Plumbing in Milledgeville, Ga. , than finding a sufficient number of experienced plumbers. So I spent $700 to build a camera system that would let junior plumbers live stream their work while Mrs. Goodson or another more experienced plumber would oversee from the office.

“It’s going to be a piecemeal end-to-end training from afar,” said Ms. Goodson, who first tried the system in early September, and said it would allow the 20-person company to get more clients.

More than a third of small businesses said hiring challenges worsened in the three months to September 1, according to a Goldman Sachs survey of nearly 1,500 small business owners. 47 percent of them said finding and retaining qualified employees was the single most important problem small businesses faced, up from 43 percent in the survey released in June.

Lindsay Goodson couldn’t find enough experienced plumbers for her job.

The data suggests that labor market cooling does not have the same effect on small businesses as it does on large US companies, some of which have reported this Recruitment just got easier. Show government data Tight US labor market slipped slightly in Augustwith employers adding fewer workers and more people looking for work.

“Although the news is about opening up the job market, we haven’t really felt it yet,” said Wendy Mackenzie Pease, owner of Rapport International, a Boston-based translation services company.

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Ms. Pace and other small business owners say they find it more difficult to match the salary and benefits offered by larger companies. Ms Pace said Rapport, which has seven full-time employees and five part-time employees plus hundreds of contractors, has been unable to fill two full-time jobs even though it has raised wages by about 10% this year. She considered adding health insurance coverage but concluded she could not afford it.

A worker on the job site, above, wears a camera on his head as she watches Lindsay Goodson from her desk with a staff member.

Nearly 60% of small businesses report that a labor shortage is affecting their ability to operate at their full capacity, according to a survey by Vistage Worldwide Inc. In September on more than 725 Small Business Owners, a peer-to-peer business coaching and consulting firm.

Southeast Constructors Inc. In Des Moines, Iowa, the labor shortage was created by the establishment of its own training school. The new academy, due to open early next year, will offer three months of instruction in building basics such as how to hang drywall, paint, and drive a Bobcat. Heavy Construction is hoping to hire some graduates of the programme, which is expected to start with 50 students.

“During Covid, it was really difficult in terms of hiring. After Covid, it was even more difficult,” said Perla Deluca, the 22-year-old president of the company that specializes in bridges, roads, parking and other government projects.

Perla Deluca, president of a company that specializes in bridges, roads and other government projects, says hiring has become more difficult since early in the pandemic.


picture:

Perla Deluca

Ms. DeLuca borrowed approximately $750,000 to purchase and renovate a former middle school to house the program; She plans to collect $4,200 for the three-month class.

Overall, small business confidence rose slightly in September, as the outlook for the national economy improved and the portion of entrepreneurs who expect profits to increase or stay at current levels rose, according to the Vistage survey.

Nearly 80% of small business owners said they have raised wages and compensation in response to employment challenges, according to the survey, and another 11% plan to do so. Additionally, 60% of small businesses revised their hiring strategies, while 46% boosted employee benefits.

Some small business owners say they see the job market slipping on the sidelines. William Duff Jr., founder and managing director of William Duff Architects Inc. In San Francisco, the company is getting more applications for entry-level jobs that require six to seven years or less experience. He said that it is difficult to find great architects. The 30-person company, which struggled most of the year to fill jobs, distributed increases at the beginning of the year and again in the summer.

“At the end of the summer, sort of going now, we’ve seen a much better group of candidates” responding to job openings and coming through recruiters, Duff said.

Corona, California-based Boudreau Pipeline Corp. says it has turned away more than $13 million in business this year, roughly 22% of the amount it was awarded, because it does not have enough employees. The company of approximately 350 people installs underground utilities, water, sewage and storm drains.

Amidst a string of record US employment, economists are watching for possible wave reversal signals. Anna Hertenstein of the Wall Street Journal investigates how rising interest rates, high inflation, market sell-offs, and recession risks are challenging the growth of the American workforce. Photo: Olivier Doolery/AFP

“It’s frustrating,” said the company’s president, Alain Boudreaux. The company has raised wages by 22% over the past two years and added three internal employees. It offers hiring bonuses of up to $2,500 and retention bonuses of up to $5,000, provided workers stay for at least a year. In early 2021, the company boosted referral bonuses to as much as $1,500, up from $150 four years earlier. Mr. Boudreaux said referrals are the best source for new hires.

In August, Vladimir Gendelman removed college degree requirements from all job positions at his Company Folders Inc. , a Pontiac, Michigan company, that manufactures custom presentation folders, binders, and envelopes. He came up with the idea after promoting his executive assistant to a print project manager job, even though she had no skills or training in print, prepress, or graphic design.

“We realized we don’t need an education,” he said. “We need someone who learns on their own, someone who can figure things out.”

Ms. Goodson, the owner of a plumbing company in Georgia, said she developed her default camera system after experimenting with a widely available camera and finding that it was too complex and did not have enough battery life. With this system, she can tell less experienced plumbers to back up if they miss a step. Its lead technician plans to take the camera out of calls to record more complex functions, which will then be edited to create training videos.

John Hollis, a field technician who worked for a plumbing company for about a year and a half, said he was skeptical at first but now sees the camera system as a very useful tool. “It has become an integral part of our daily work,” he said.

Lincoln Vinson obtains tools to perform plumbing repairs at a home in Milledgeville, Ga.

write to Ruth Simon at [email protected]

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