54% of small business owners are trying to hire again, flipping the trend of 2022 Hiring Freezes

 By Chuck Casto from Alignable

Temp work in changing times

As you know by now whenever I read a valuable article regarding hiring, I have to share it.

Read on about tips from Cindy on how to get hired as a Temporary worker and jump on this hiring bandwagon!

The hiring rate is up 8% points from 46% in January and up 28% points from December’s rate of just 26%. This trend matches what some small business owners say is a better 2023, with more stabilized inflation, an increase in revenues, and cautious optimism for the future.

Trend Tracker|Data Insights| Hiring Report:

Boston, MA- February 16, 2023: Alignable February Small Business Hiring Report shows that 54% of small business employers have broken away from the hiring freezes which were common during much of last year.

This optimism was reflected in Alignable’s  January Road to Recovery Report, which showed that 61% of small business owners expect 2023 to be a good year for their businesses.

And 56% went so far as saying that they feel better about what’s to come in 2023 than they did about 2022 this time last year.

So, what about a Recession? And the other 46%?

But this optimism is tempered by economic concerns, for sure.

The majority of small business owners (55%) remain worried that either we’re already in a recession or that it’s coming soon, though fewer are concerned than they were last month (56%) or in December when the figure was 75%.

That said, most small business owners realize that we’re far from out of the woods yet.

In fact, the relatively good news that 54% are actively trying to hire still means that 46% of SMBs have stopped looking for new workers, and don’t expect to start again for several months. That’s because of their personal concerns about ongoing economic challenges, including an impending recession, and rising interest rates.

And while some are seeing revenues go up and they’re effectively combating inflation, the percentage of those who have only one month or less of cash reserves is at 31% this month, up 5% points from 26% in January. While we don’t usually sound the alarm about cash reserves until that number reaches 35% or more, it’s still something to watch closely in the next few months.

Layoffs are still at 6%, but that’s down from Q4

Beyond that, 6% of small business employers continue to lay off their staffers, though that figure shrank from seven percent in January and 15% in December.

These findings are based on an Alignable poll of 3,846 randomly selected small business owners surveyed from 2/4/23 to 2/15/23. This report also includes historical data based on another 25,000 plus respondents over the past five months.

The following chart depicts the current situation with hiring and layoffs, mapping the ups and downs throughout Q4 2022 and during the first part of Q1 2023.

Feb vs Jan SMB Hiring Overview Feb Jan ‘23 Dec ‘22 Nov Oct
Down 7% % In Hiring Freezes, Can’t afford to hire 40% 47% 59% 54% 61%
Down 1% % Implementing Layoffs 6% 7% 15% 8% 6%
Down 8% Total % not hiring 46% 54% 74% 62% 67%
Up 6% Increasing Full-Time staff by 10-20% 28% 22% 16% 21% 20%
Up 1% Increasing Full-Time Staff by 21-30% 4% 3% 3% 4% 3%
No Change Increasing Full-time staff by over 30% 3% 3% 1% 4% 3%
Up 1% Hiring Temporary , Part-Time 19% 18% 6% 9% 7%
Up 8% Total % Hiring 54% 46% 26% 38% 33%


Seeking Regular Help is Up, But so is Temp hiring

Examining this data more closely, it’s encouraging to see the percentage of small businesses hiring full-time, regular staff is up to 35% this month, from just 28% last month and a mere 20% in December.

At the same time, the percentage of temporary or part-time workers being hired is way up over Q4 and continues to climb this year.

Only 6% of small business employers in December hired temporary help, largely because they said they were fully staffed to handle their current business.

Now in 2023, 18% in January hired temps, and the trend continues this month, lifting to 19%.

In many cases, this reflects the economic uncertainty expressed by the 55% of small business owners with recessionary fears.

Being Uneasy Results in Alternative Solutions

The small business owners opting to hire temporary help say they want to hedge their bets and take on who they can afford now, while watching what happens with the economy.

This way, their hiring also can be on a per-project or empty seat for an important role, and they don’t have to worry about paying benefits or future layoffs.

Being a temp worker has its benefits in a changing economy.

What is the difference between temporary and contract work?

Temporary workers are employees of a temporary agency and are paid by the agency.

Contract workers are hired to perform a project,  they are in business for themselves. The company will receive an invoice for hours that the contractor worked and a 1099 at the end of the year.

What to do in order to become a temporary worker

  • Prepare your resume for temporary work.
  • Your summary should state that you are seeking a temporary position. List all your function skills under your summary.
  • Work history under your functional section.
  • Search job boards for temporary positions.
  • Find a temp agency that specializes in your desired field.
  • Know your salary requirements.

First impressions are difficult to reverse, so it is important that you put your best foot forward in your new temp role from the very beginning. You made enough of an impression to land the job, but now is the time to really shine and let your employer know they made the right decision. You never know …. It could lead to bigger and better gigs!

The short-term benefit of a temp job is the paycheck, but you also need to make sure you’re getting the long-term benefit that comes from gaining knowledge, skills, abilities, and relationships.

Temp work has long been an effective way to bridge the gap between full-time jobs. Many workers also appreciate the flexibility and the opportunity to test-drive different employers. As the Alignable article indicates working as a temporary in this economy is the way to go.

Tips for making the most out of becoming a temporary worker:

Follow the 80/20 rule. That is, listen 80% of the time and talk 20 %. You will quickly gain the respect of your employer and your co-workers if you exhibit a willingness to listen and learn.

Go with a gig that matches with your goals. “Always be thinking strategically about your career.

Give it your all. I would recommend that temporary workers approach each task, project or assignment with the same diligence, commitment, and drive as a full-time job.

Develop new skills. Take extra steps to learn new technologies, systems, applications or programs. A temp job is a good way to build up your portfolio by learning, building relationships, and practicing skills you may have never used.

Work on your network. You may not get hired by your temporary employer, but while you’re there you have a great opportunity to work on your network. The people you work with may be able to introduce you to other great contacts and opportunities.

The bonus of temp work is that it can Open doors for full-time employment.

Enjoy the ride and you may have landed your next regular job.

Let me help you create your temp resume.

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