More than three-quarters of small business owners believe recruiting and keeping talent is important to their company’s success, finds the quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor.

While business owners are adapting to the needs of millennials, half of small business owners say they’re worried about the lack of qualified candidates to replace employees set to retire. Despite expressing concern, 33% report an improvement in the quality of students fresh out of school.

Additional findings include the following:

  • 26% say finding a qualified employee keeps them up at night;
  • 67% think finding the right candidate is getting harder;
  • 55% rely on word of mouth to attract job applicants;
  • 69% believe corporate culture is important, so many are adapting their businesses to attract young workers;
  • 61% feel they’re at a competitive disadvantage to larger companies when it comes to investing in talent;
  • 52% report their business’s current financial position has improved; and
  • 28% are willing to take risks for their business in the next six months.

“With the prominent shift in generations, the ability of [small business owners] to tailor their businesses, offerings and approach to attracting younger staff will be critical,” says Athena Varmazis, vice-president and general manager, small business services, with American Express Canada. “Remaining competitive and understanding the candidate pool is clearly the best way to attract and retain top talent.”

A version of this story originally appeared on our sister site,


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