5 Staffing Problems Common to Small Businesses

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By Lisa Hutchinson

Topics: Hiring


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5 Staffing Problems Common to Small Businesses--.jpgRunning a small business doesn’t mean you face less hurdles, in fact in Canada entrepreneurial pursuits and startups could face more barriers than larger businesses to accelerate. From the conflicts of a family-owned business, to lack of access to growth funding, small businesses do not always have it easy. Their operations are on a different scale. A small business’ largest struggle, however, is arguably proper staffing.

Staffing problems for small businesses are unique, as your time and resources for hiring are already stretched thin from the get-go. When you need talent fast, you must ensure that you are hiring the right talent the first time around.

Curious about what five staffing problems most small businesses face? Read on for the most prevalent hiring issues for small businesses, and their solutions.  

1. Cultural Fit

This problem wasn’t listed first at random. Cultural fit is the top reason that small businesses face staffing problems. Depending on your business’s resource limitations, your hiring tactics might become desperate and you bring in the first candidates that appear to fit the bill.

Even if your candidates do indeed possess the niche skills you’ve been looking for, turnover is all but assured if they don’t share the same values as your team or operation. But when skilled talent is scarce enough as it is, small businesses often feel forced to “make do” with the candidates they’ve found.

2. Costly Pros

This next staffing problem goes hand-in-hand with the first. You want the best fit possible for your startup, especially if your startup will be handling projects that require niche skills. But are you able to hire the cream of the crop?

Most savvy small business owners and hiring managers are focused and know what specific talent they need to make their vision a success. But hiring top talent often comes with a high price tag, which may not be in the budget for a small business. Startups and entrepreneurs must always balance professional experience with cost.

3. Rushing the Initial Hiring Process

Small businesses that are just starting up have a lot of wrinkles to iron out. You haven’t had a chance to work with a team yet, so there’s no way to gauge what your company culture and environment is like. Your venture also doesn’t have a clear picture of what revenue streams will look like, but you know that time wasted is just as crippling as bad hires.

A lot of staffing problems of a small business are related to good time management. Small business owners need to place equal importance on cultural fit as they do maximizing their time spent in the hiring process. Time lost can’t be regained, but bad hires means you lose valuable time and resources.

4. Inflexible Candidates

When small businesses are just starting out, it will take a while before every role is covered in a team. Often in the early stages, small business operations find it hard to land candidates who are flexible enough to satisfy more than one role. This problem is a tricky one to solve, as a young small business might have needs that frequently change.

There’s a few ways you can solve this staffing problem, but the best of them is to engage a staffing agency who can provide temporary and permanent solutions. Staffing agencies work to provide you with qualified candidates, to solve evolving staffing issues.

5. Retention of Talent

Finally, your small business ideally wants talent that won’t be subject to frequent turnover. Other than working on emphasizing the benefits of working at your startup, you should consider hiring with a “try before you hire” strategy. When you hire temporary-to-permanent employees, this ensures cultural fit as well as skills and flexibility. And staffing agencies can provide such employees easily. 

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Lisa Hutchinson

I started with Liberty Staffing in 2004 as the Regional Business Manager of the London office. I have over 20 years of experience in the customer service and retail sectors, as well as leadership experience including Store Management, People Development and Recruiting. In 2016, our London location moved to a larger office in order to accommodate growth of our business, which included adding a Clerical Division.

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