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According to a recent 2018 Bank Of America Small Business Owner Report (PDF) entrepreneurs are happy participating in a strong economy but frustrated by the lack of qualified workers to hire. While many owners are anticipating revenue growth in 2019, many are struggling to find employees to maintain that growth.

Close to a third or 27% of businesses said they are planning to hire over the next 12 months. This comes as 58% of business owners in the survey said they are finding it difficult to find qualified candidates for open positions.

In addition to finding the right talent, businesses are also losing their staff. Twenty-four percent said they lost at least one employee over the last year and 11% said they lost at least 10% of their workforce.

With one of the tightest job markets hitting small businesses in half a century, with many reporting difficulty in hiring with “82% of business owners say[ing] less than half of the job applicants are qualified. “

In an effort to attract more potential employees, “small business owners have taken include shifting to a more flexible culture (25%), using social media to attract talent (23%), offering higher salaries (17%), emphasizing community impact or charity work (12%), using an outside recruiter (9%), and offering a referral fee (8%).”

The Fall of 2018 Bank of America Small Business Owner Report Survey was carried out online between August 30 and September 13, 2018 using pre-recruited online small business owners. A sample of 1,067 business owners in the US with two to 99 employees and annual revenues between $100,000 and $4,999,999 took part in the survey.