That’s why Oasis, a Paychex® Company, conducted this survey1 of 299 U.S. small business owners and managers to ensure you are aware of the latest movements and changes in direction when it comes to important issues affecting your businesses.

What Lies Ahead for Small Business Owners?

Attracting Competent Staff Is Increasingly Challenging When we asked small business owners what they believe will be more challenging in the year ahead compared to last year, 36% reported “attracting strong, competent management and dedicated, capable staff” as the anticipated biggest challenge for their business. This issue was also the top concern in 2018, with 33% of respondents citing it. In the 2019 study, this issue was more prominent for business owners who employed between 20 and 49 people, who earned more than $1 million in revenue, and who had been in business for 10 or fewer years.

Other notable concerns were “offering competitive compensation and benefits” and “developing employees and future leaders for succession.”

Overall, HR administration challenges were prioritized as stronger concerns for the year ahead than when the survey was conducted a year ago.

Top Three Challenges Expected

  2019 2018

Attracting strong, competent management and dedicated, capable staff

36% 33%

Offering competitive compensation and benefits

32% 31%
Developing employees and future leaders for succession 27% 23%

When competing for talent with much larger employers, being able to offer competitive compensation and benefits packages can make the difference in who wants to join and stay with your company. Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) like Oasis help small businesses offer world-class benefits packages and be more competitive in the hiring landscape. Utilizing the PEO’s increased buying power can help enable the business owner to offer a broader array of benefits packages and perks.

Business Owners Plan to Step-Up Hiring U.S. small business employers are optimistic about 2020, with one in three (34%) companies predicting more hiring than in the past. Twenty percent reported “more hiring than in the past year to fill existing gaps in the business,” and 14% said they would “considerably step up hiring to drive growth.” For those businesses stepping up their hiring efforts, this was most pronounced for those who had been operating for 10 or fewer years and who earned between $500,000 to $999,999 in revenue. Only 9% of respondents said they expected “less hiring than in the past year.”

Small businesses are used to running lean, which means that every employee has an impact on the performance of the company. Having gaps in the workforce as a result of not being able to attract quality talent impacts productivity, morale and customer satisfaction.

If you’re interested to download a complimentary copy of the complete study, please visit

1 The online interviews took place between November 11 and December 2, 2019, using a National Web Panel by SSRS, an independent market research company located in Glen Mills, PA.

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