Lucas Select speaks with Clutch on The State of Small Business Hiring and Recruitment in 2019.
Small Businesses Primarily Hiring for Sales and Marketing Positions in 2019, Finds New Report
Tricia Lucas, founder of Lucas Select, provided expert commentary for the survey report. The survey found that more than half plan to hire in 2019, and one-quarter are still unsure of their hiring plans.
Last year saw the lowest unemployment rate since 2000, with 2018 ending at 3.9%. Many small businesses will continue to ride the job market high into 2019, adding new employees accordingly.
More than half (51%) of small businesses plan to hire in 2019, and 20% are still unsure about their hiring plans.
Clutch, a B2B research firm in Washington, DC, surveyed 529 small businesses to determine their hiring plans for 2019. Tricia Lucas analyzed the data, providing industry insight.
Digital Strategists, Marketing Automation Specialists Needed
Of businesses hiring, the largest percentage plan to hire for sales and marketing roles (39%), followed by customer service roles (36%).
These roles most directly support customer growth. “Organizations need strong performers to develop and support their customer acquisition and customer retention strategies which is why we see such a demand for these positions,” Lucas said.
Among sales and marketing roles, Lucas Select sees the highest demand for digital strategists and marketing automation specialists.
“People who understand how to execute marketing campaigns with the right strategy … those are the people who are doing really well in the job market right now,” Lucas said.
In the future, Lucas Select expects to see more demand for data analysts.
“It’s all about the data,” Lucas explained. “It’s critical to understand how your customers engage and convert with you and at what cost.”
Data analysts can expect to make a healthy salary, with the average annual pay in Washington, DC approaching $91,000. Yet, the cost of a skilled data analyst can reap huge rewards for businesses.
“Companies are making the investment in top talent that can dig deep into the analytics to understand customer behavior, what’s working or not working, and optimizing acquisition campaigns,” Lucas said.
Lastly, Lucas believes software-as-a-service (SaaS) sales representatives will see more demand in 2019.
This falls in line with findings that predict the global SaaS market to approach $186 billion by 2024.
Small Businesses Should Pay Attention to Culture Fit
When adding new employees, marketing or otherwise, small businesses should pay attention to the unique environment they’re often thrusting new hires into, especially when it comes to fast-growing, technology-based businesses.
For senior-level employees, small businesses should pay careful attention throughout the recruiting process to how a potential candidate will fit into the company’s culture. Not every person that succeeded at a large company can do the same in a smaller business.
“People automatically think, ‘Oh, that person’s been successful,’ so they bring them into their organization thinking the same thing is going to happen,” Lucas said. “It doesn’t because you already set that person up for failure because you’ve put them in an organization that they’re not going to respond well to because it’s too new.”
Meanwhile, newer employees sometimes need more guidance and mentorship than smaller businesses often provide.
“I see companies bring people onto the team and…there’s not enough guidance and mentorship to help a person to be successful,” Lucas said. “They tend to forget what it’s like when you’re walking into a smaller organization that might seem chaotic depending on how young it is.”
Yet, some entry-level employees may not ever succeed in a small team environment.
“Not everybody is a good fit for a small company or a startup,” Lucas explained. “Some people do better by being led for a while. Some people need that structure. They’re more conservative. That’s okay. There’s a right place for those people. You just have to find the right company environment for that.”
Small businesses can potentially benefit from hiring outside expertise, such as a recruiting company like Lucas Select, to help them find the best match for a particular position.
Overall, small businesses plan to hire primarily for sales and marketing positions, with a particular aim toward data-driven and strategic roles. These small businesses should carefully consider how they are hiring employees that can succeed in their unique work environments.