What are SMEs’ hiring intentions in 2017?

Are skilled workers going to be plentiful in the year ahead or will competition heat up as employers increasingly look to expand their workforce? A recent survey of SMEs reveals all.

According to Andy Scott, head of research at Momentum Intelligence, majority of SME owners surveyed in January 2017 are optimistic about their growth in the year ahead, and an increasing number are looking to add additional employees to their team.

“We had about 74 per cent of people say they weren’t hiring [in late 2016],” says Andy.

“But I think what’s encouraging to see, and even though it’s a small change, there’s a higher percentage of people who are looking to hire this quarter.Business handshake recruitment

“It’s only gone up 1 per cent, but every time there are people looking to hire, it means job creation and job creation is good for the economy.”

Figures from the quarterly Australian SME Business Sentiment Index showed that a quarter of businesses (24.5 per cent) are currently recruiting for between one and three new positions.

Interestingly, the number of businesses recruiting for 10 or more employees jumped fourfold, albeit from a very small base.

Given the uptick in businesses seeking to expand their workforce, Andy says it is no surprise that around a third of businesses are forecasting an increase in capital expenditure over the next six months.

Check out more insights from Andy on SME sentiment, including business profitability and the take-home pay expectations of business owners, on the My Business Podcast now!

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