The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey of 601 U.S. small-business owners -- conducted Jan. 7-11 -- found 24 percent of the business owners said their business had been hurt during the past 12 months by their difficulty in hiring highly qualified employees -- up from 21 percent in January of last year.
Nationwide, 17 percent of small-business owners said they were looking to hire new employees. Of these, 70 percent said they were doing so due to increased demand for their products and services, 68 percent because of expanded business operations and 64 percent because revenues were high enough to justify additional employees.
The survey found 47 percent said they were hiring to replace an employee who left, 14 percent said getting additional capital for their business allowed them to hire and 10 percent indicated government tax incentives allowed them to hire.
Two-of-three U.S. small-business owners said word-of-mouth was a major way they found new employees, 47 percent said they found workers from employee referrals, 15 percent said they used the Internet, 9 percent used newspaper ads and 4 percent used recruiters.
The survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.