The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey indicates that small business owners have been encountering several roadblocks in their quest to seek out and hire qualified employees.

The statistics found based on surveys pulled from a random sample of 601 small business owners demonstrate that 23% have been finding it very difficult to find qualified employees with 30% finding it somewhat difficult. Along with this, 27% of employers claim that the inability to find qualified employees has hurt their business in the past twelve months.With unemployment at 7.9 % as of January 2013, one would think that small business owners would have their pick of the best and brightest around. Unfortunately, as of late, small business owners would appear to have better luck finding a needle in a haystack…However, instead of throwing in the towel, take a look at some of the suggestions we’ve provided below to increase your odds of finding just the employee you’ve been looking for!

1. Broaden Your Horizons

While the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey indicates that 63% of small business owners feel that word of mouth is a major way they look for new employees, you may want to consider some of these alternatives to up the ante…

  • For entry-level positions, try reaching out to local universities and colleges to post on their job boards online! 
  • Grow your network…, and are all great places to look for local events.
  • What makes your business or office unique? Speak with local newspapers to write a piece on your business!

2. Spice Things Up

Company culture is everything. While there certainly isn’t a one size fits all formula, here are a few tips that will improve your company culture inside and out!


How can you better motivate your current employees? Here at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. we embrace, and even encourage failure. We believe your failures are also your greatest assets. So much so that we even have a failure wall in which our employees are encouraged to share their failures for all to see. Encourage employees to take risks or try something new; who knows, a brilliant idea may just come of it!

Celebrate success. Don’t let hard work go unnoticed…

  • Give employees some time to kick back and relax during the day (here at DBCC, we have a yoga instructor come in twice a week to help us shed any unwanted stress!)
  • Keep employees in the loop. Weekly or even monthly team lunches can be just the thing you need to get your team up to speed and keep everyone on the same page.
  • Whether it be as simple as popping in to pay them a visit or leaving a hand written thank you note, the little things really do add up!

3. Look for the Potential in People

When an interviewee or potential candidate doesn’t live up to your ideal standards, it can be easy to turn them away without a second thought. By no means are we saying that you should settle for less, but it might not hurt to consider your options…Rather than just honing in on what the candidate lacks, delve a little deeper to get a better look at the strengths and skills he or she does possess. If you conclude your candidate can be spruced up with a little fine tuning; training, workshops, and/or classes are all viable options to turn people with potential into the people you want to hire!

Do you find yourself facing the same difficulties discussed in The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business survey? How have you managed to find solid hires in the past?