Feeling Short-Staffed? Bring More Employees to Your Small Business With These Hacks

Here are just three hacks that could help you draw some much-needed employees to your small business.

investment research

Image source: Getty Images

The Great Resignation, while certainly unexpected, isn’t all that surprising.

For years, economists and labour analysts have warned that an aging population, coupled with a decline in labour participation, would cause a major disruption in the Canadian economy. What they didn’t predict, however, was just how quickly it would happen: one pandemic later, and Canada is facing a labour shortage that looks as if it’s not going away soon.

That leaves small business owners in a tough spot. The economy is opening up, but without the HR budget of a big corporation, many small businesses are struggling to attract new employees, let alone top talent.

So, if you’re a small business owner with a dry pool of job applicants, what can you do? Here are just three hacks that could help you draw some much-needed employees to your small business.

Focus on underutilized workers

As BDC noted in their study on Canada’s current labour shortage, small businesses and entrepreneurs could find employees by integrating those groups that are historically marginalized from the workforce: immigrant workers, younger employees (15 to 24), and older employees (55 to 64).

According to BDC, if Canadian small businesses integrated these groups into their workforce, we would add another two million workers. That’s enough to fill Canada’s 870,000 vacant jobs twice, plus some.

What does that mean for you? For one, it could mean lowering the entry barrier. You might want someone who has five years of experience in your industry, with certain certificates and qualifications. But if other small business owners want the same thing, you might do well to look for candidates with less experience. I’m not saying you should hire just anyone — but I am saying you should give younger candidates a chance.

The same goes for immigrant workers. Though you might have been hesitant in the past to hire immigrants, due to their lack of experience in Canada, it’s high time to start looking to immigrants to fill the gap. The same argument could be made for disabled workers or even Indigenous Canadians, both of which are severely underrepresented in the labour market.

Increase wages

This is the most obvious solution: if you want more job applicants, then offer higher pay.

Of course, this is easier said than done. By offering higher pay to new workers, you also have to bump up the paycheques of your current workers. That will cut into your profits, which may still be recovering from last year.

But if you want to stand out among other businesses, offering above-average wages will likely draw more applicants. Alternatively, you could offer a more comprehensive benefits package, something that might cost you money, but significantly less than raising the wages of your employees.

Be open to more flexible arrangements

Finally, you might attract more employees if you agree to flextime, remote work, or some other non-traditional work schedule.

This one can be tricky, however. Not every small business can accommodate to the distinct schedule of each employee. But at a time when many businesses, including large corporations, are rethinking the workday, you’d do well to rethink it yourself.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

More on Personal Finance

Female hand holding piggy bank. Save money and financial investment
Personal Finance

Here’s Why a Big Emergency Fund Is a Terrible, Terrible Idea

Here's why saving more than six months' worth of expenses can be disadvantageous to your household.

Read more »

cup of cappuccino with a sad face
Personal Finance

5 Super-Simple Ways to Completely Ruin Your Credit Score

Building your credit score takes time, dedication, and smart decisions. Tearing your credit score apart — well, you could do…

Read more »

Young woman sat at laptop by a window
Personal Finance

5 High-Paying Side Hustles That Could Help You Save for Retirement in 2022

If you're struggling to save for retirement, here are five side gigs that could give your retirement fund a boost.

Read more »

Hour glass and calendar concept for time slipping away for important appointment date, schedule and deadline
Personal Finance

The Tax Deadline Is Almost Here! Here Are 5 Things You Need to Know if You Haven’t Filed Yet

The deadline to file your taxes is May 2. If you haven't started yet, here's what you should know.

Read more »

consider the options
Personal Finance

New to Investing? Be Sure You Avoid These 5 Newbie Mistakes

If you're new to investing, here are five big mistakes you should watch out for.

Read more »

Couple relaxing on a beach in front of a sunset
Personal Finance

Lazy Canadians: Here’s How You Can Make $200 Per Week in Passive Income

To earn $200 a week, invest money in high-quality stocks or ETFs.

Read more »

gas station, convenience store, gas pumps
Personal Finance

Costco vs. Canadian Tire: Which Rewards Card Will Save You More on Gas in 2022?

The CIBC Costco Mastercard earns 3% back at Costco Gas, and the Canadian Tire Mastercard earns 10 cents per litre.…

Read more »

young woman celebrating a victory while working with mobile phone in the office
Personal Finance

Finally! Apply for a CIBC Costco Mastercard Now to Get a Welcome Bonus!

From now until December 31, 2022, CIBC will give you a welcome bonus on the new CIBC Costco Mastercard.

Read more »