Growth Optimism Spurs Hiring and Wage Changes at Small Companies

November 7, 2006 ( - Seventy percent of small companies plan to hire next year, but employers are concerned they may be scraping for talented workers, according to a recent survey.

Aside from hiring, according to a release, the survey found employers also plan to:

  • Drop workforce numbers, 5%
  • Increase employee compensation, 59%
  • Maintain their current compensation levels, 33%
  • Pay more overtime, 64%
  • Increase capital spending, 44%.

Even though employers’ biggest worry was being able to find qualified workers, 67% of employers surveyed for Administaff’s Business Confidence Survey said they will focus on employee retention next year, according to the release.

Some retention strategies cited by those surveyed included increasing bonuses, improving commissions and benefits packages; offering training and development; enhancing recognition programs; and adding flex-time scheduling.

After hiring, employers ranked the costs and availability of health care as their top business concerns, followed by controlling costs, employee retention, the economy, and increased business competition.

Administaff also released third-quarter compensation data compiled from its client base of more than 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country, which found that average compensation is up 7.1% in 2006, compared to a 5.8% increase in 2005, Administaff chairman and CEO Paul Savardi said in the release. Bonuses are up 12% and commissions are up 5.2%.”

A copy of the Business Confidence Survey can be purchased here .