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Small Business Recovery — prices, pay, and labor all at play

Let’s start with four charts about the small business recovery.  Link in the show notes.. and reading them, the stats that jump out:

51% of companies have unfilled job positions.

30% are planning to raise pay

4% who say poor sales are their biggest concern

46% planning to raise prices.

West Monroe’s Quarterly Executive Poll for Q4 indicates that executives have a positive outlook about the US economy—75% are bullish while 25% are bearish, according to the report.   Yet, at the same time, 18% of executive respondents listed the Great Resignation as the biggest impact on their business in 2021.

Then research from job search site Ladders – 14.67% of high-paying jobs are now remote.    That’s up from 12.80% in Q2 2021, and 3.69% back in Q4 2019.  

Of course…. Companies are doing more monitoring too., a business review platform, looked at monitoring software.     Most employers surveyed used monitoring software – and only 14% hadn’t notified staff about it.    81% said productivity increased after installing monitoring software.    IT employers were among the most likely to be using tracking software.

Finally, if you want to dig into what’s broken in the hiring system, recode has a piece to dive in.     A theme – a lot of jobs out there are not ones people want.. and beyond that, job seekers are having troubles finding or connecting to the ones they do.      And systems that screen are not helping.  

Why do we care?

The market does not have a sales or buying problem.    Prices CAN go up.  It has a labor problem.    This data is important to use for strategic planning – we all see the end of the year coming and our 2022 plans on the horizon.

I’m not going to claim I have some magic solution on the hiring problem.   I am going to observe that seeing this mismatch is an opportunity… be it a smaller company’s ability to be nimble, or a larger one’s ability to leverage people and process (and maybe not technology) to address.