51% of SMBs Will Hire New Employees in 2021

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After a very challenging 2020, a new survey shows that 51% of SMBs will hire new employees this year. The Manifest survey indicates that SMBs most likely to bring on new employees also expect a revenue increase in 2021. A similar survey by Indeed shows that up to 25% of businesses anticipate a payroll increase this year. With hiring plans back in positive territory, businesses will want to use all available tools to ensure they bring the right individuals into their organizations.

Who Are They Hiring?

Who are these businesses hiring? The positions most likely to be recruited for include IT (35%), marketing and sales (31%), customer service (29%), operations (23%), and production (21%) departments. In general, these businesses will hire 11 or fewer employees this year. With businesses still scrambling to recover from the pandemic-​induced recession, owners can’t afford to make a hiring mistake. SMBs need to onboard hire individuals who are able to quickly ramp up and use their skills to improve operations.

Many SMB owners reach out through their network in hopes of landing a dream employee — one who understands the industry and the business and who is willing to work as a productive team member. Even with the right attitude and background, managers note that the average sales rep needs six months to be as productive as their predecessor was.

How Are They Hiring

At the start of the recruiting process, 31% of SMBs will turn to a recruiter to help them find good candidates. That percentage aligns with our research. Using an outside recruiter can be a time-​saver as some research shows that companies are receiving an average of 250 applications for an open corporate position. And then there’s the need for someone to initially screen the applicants, a process that can take up to 13 hours.

Having a recruiter narrow the applicant field can improve the efficiency of your hiring process. However, selecting the right person remains the responsibility of the business owner or sales manager. If you’re like many business owners, you understand that a strong account manager in your company can protect the revenue streams you already have. Don’t be tempted to rush into make an offer because the recruiter claims to have found the perfect candidate.

51% of SMBs Will Hire New Employees

Ask your top candidates to take a sales skills assessment. Sales skills are important, but so is job fit. A good assessment measures an individual’s work and decision-​making tendencies. These factors come into play when you’re thinking about job fit. Behavioral tendencies are especially critical in a small organization. Most candidates will do just fine, but other people may exhibit toxic behavior in certain work environments. It’s better to have this information before you extend a job offer. Otherwise, you might be faced with HR complaints from existing employees and a sudden slowdown in work efficiency at a time when you can least afford it.

C. Lee Smith, the founder and CEO of SalesFuel explains the reality of making sales hires. “Job history tells you where they’ve been. Mindset tells you where they’re going.” Now is the perfect time to begin using assessments to reveal the mindsets of the candidates you want to hire.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.