Recruiting Challenges for Small Businesses and How to Mitigate Them

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Recruiting top talent is never easy, even for companies with robust talent acquisition teams and bottomless pockets. Today, we’ll look at the recruiting challenges small businesses face and how a flexible benefits plan can help.

How tight is the Canadian job market?

Predictions for 2020 salary increases range from 2.5% to 3% according to salary surveys by Gallagher Benefit Services Group, Morneau Shepell and Aon. And a 2018 Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) report indicated that 39% of small and mid-sized businesses find hiring new workers difficult. BDC surveyed over 1200 Canadian entrepreneurs for this report and they suggest that labor shortages won’t improve for a decade or more.

While this may be positive for top talent, a tight job market makes it more difficult for small businesses to attract and retain experienced employees. But that’s only one reason recruiting is so challenging!

Recruiting challenges for small businesses

Family businesses create almost seven million jobs in Canada and 97.9% of Canadian businesses are small businesses, employing 1 to 99 employees. Unfortunately, many small businesses struggle when it comes to finding and hiring top talent.

5 reasons small businesses have recruiting challenges:

  1. Lack of differentiation – Recruitment is about marketing your work culture and if you don’t have a team to focus on this, top talent won’t learn why they should get excited about working with you.
  2. No deep pockets – Small businesses don’t typically have the same budgets as large organizations do. Plus, their budgets can’t compete with start-ups that have oodles of venture capital to invest on talent and growth.
  3. Shortage of talent acquisition expertise – Businesses without experienced talent acquisition and/or human resources staff often don’t have the expertise to attract and secure the best employees for the job.
  4. The warm body syndrome – Businesses without experienced talent acquisition and/or human resources staff often don’t have the expertise to attract and secure the best employees for the job.
  5. Inflexible or non-existent benefits Employees love benefits and top talent expects benefits as part of their total compensation plan. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to offer employees flexible benefits plans that don’t cost you an arm and a leg.

This list of challenges may seem daunting but, with discipline, small businesses can overcome four of these five obstacles and attract top talent, even without deep pockets. Let’s look at how a simple, flexible and affordable benefits program—like the BeniPlus Benefit Wallet—can help.

How the BeniPlus Benefit Wallet helps small businesses attract top talent

According to Aon’s 2019 Rapid Response Survey about employee benefits, 56% of employees now expect a high degree of personalization in their employee benefits program. This is good news for small businesses because traditional group benefits are typically too complicated, expensive and inflexible for them to purchase. So, even when small businesses offer employees the same type of group benefits as large employers, it’s not necessarily meaningful to candidates because employees desire flexible benefits.

The Benefit Wallet features that help small businesses attract top talent:

  • Flexible spending account – The Benefit Wallet is a flexible spending account that allows employees to spend their benefit dollars on the benefits they want. What good is an unlimited drug plan for employees who don’t use prescriptions, but really want glasses and massages? As the employer, you choose how many benefit dollars to allocate annually and which options to include in their account. Options are a healthcare spending account, wellness spending account, RRSP account, personal insurance and charitable giving.
  • Tax-free medical benefits – With the healthcare spending account (HSA), medical expenses are tax free. When an employee uses $1,000 of benefits on medical expenses, it’s like getting an extra $120 because they don’t pay income tax on the $1,000.
  • Traditional options – The Benefit Wallet is so flexible, it allows employees to purchase elements of traditional group benefits including major medical, travel, life, long term disability and critical illness insurance.
  • Fast and user-friendly claims process – Submitting a claim is as easy as uploading a receipt—and employees are typically reimbursed within days!

In this tight job market, why not make your small business stand out by offering top talent the benefits they want at a price you can afford?

Take 10 minutes today to get a quote for our simple, flexible and affordable employee benefits program.

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