Staff Shortages Especially Hard on SMBs

Ann All

In today's tight labor market, finding skilled employees must be especially tough for big companies since they have lots of positions to fill, right?


Several experts interviewed in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story say staffing shortages actually hit SMBs especially hard because they often lack the resources to match the salaries and other employment incentives offered by their larger competitors.


"It has a lot to do with what they can afford. They have less revenue. They don't have as much to work with. They can't put together a benefits package," says the president of a human resources company.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private businesses overall with fewer than 49 employees paid an average hourly wage of $16.18, $7.32 less than the average hourly wage of $23.50 at companies with more than 500 employees. And businesses with more than 100 employees are more than twice as likely as SMBs to offer retirement benefits.


One expert in the article says that SMBs can counter this effect by offering non-monetary perks such as flextime. High-tech companies, including giants such as Google and Microsoft, offer a bevy of unusual benefits, ranging from free transportation to gourmet food.

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