Recruitment Issues Affecting Small Businesses

January 6, 2015 Updated: April 23, 2016

Small businesses are thriving; not just in the UK but throughout Europe as well. Business loan provider Everline’s Business Tracker Report shows that an increasing number of people are choosing to go down the self-employed route, but it also found that they are working more overtime than their employed counterparts. The data issued from the report says that the total overtime from small businesses is in the region of £22bn, which is a contribution being made to the economy. Who says we only need large businesses! Other interesting findings from the report reveal that small businesses are spending a large amount of time and resources looking to fill vacancies within the company, although there seems to be a skills shortage within various industries.

Skills Shortages

There seems to be a skills shortage which exists within various sectors which is putting a huge burden on small business owners. The report shows that as a result of the shortages, business owners are having to spend extra time on recruitment, which could be used on other areas. The main skills shortages appear to be in the healthcare and consumer products sectors. The tech industry is enjoying a high level of growth, but it is also facing skills shortages and the inability to fill key roles within the business.


The report by the business loans provider showed that there seems to be a feeling within healthcare and manufacturing sectors that staff are not trained to the level they would like. Only 6% of small business owners within the healthcare industry and 12% in manufacturing felt that staff are knowledgeable within every part of their job. This figure is compared with 17% as a UK average. Small business owners feel that they are having to spend a significant amount of time to train staff, just to get them to the necessary level required of the role. It can cost around 4 hours in a month for training, which could be used for other parts of the business, such as winning new business and expanding.


The skills shortages which exist have a knock on effect on recruitment. Younger small business owners, within the 16-34 age bracket are spending up to 26 hours each month on recruitment, often without success. Older business owners tend to spend less time on it, with only 7 hours per month. The younger owners of small businesses seem to be more comfortable to recruit and delegate duties, while older owners are more inclined to want to handle everything. This means they spend a substantial amount of time on duties such as administration and marketing and explains why they end up working more hours than younger small business owners. With so much time and resources being used for both training and recruitment, it can prove difficult for owners of small businesses to get on with their day jobs and know the work is in safe hands. It is obviously a positive sign that these levels of recruitment are needed but it comes with its own issues.