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SMB Owners Hoping To Hire Get Creative

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 11/17/2009

SMBs may struggle to create new jobs and to get through a surplus of applications.

While current news for small business owners suggests that hiring will soon relieve unemployment rates, a new MerchantCircle survey reveals that 85.4 percent of SMB owners expect their employee headcounts to remain the same or decline over the next three months.

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Still, the survey found that 12.6 percent of SMB owners expect to increase their payroll "somewhat" during this period. But a study from George S. May International suggests these employers will be inundated with more applications than they will have time to read.

Razor Suleman, the founder and chief executive of I Love Rewards, recently told the Wall Street Journal how he gets through stacks of applications. Instead of reading through each résumé, he emailed applicants inviting them to an open house in Toronto.

At the Open House, Suleman and his employees arranged a speed dating environment, where applicants had five minutes to speak to several different workers. "It was different but so efficient because you could remove people who aren't wildly enthusiastic," Suleman told the source. By the end of the process, Suleman had selected candidates for more exclusive interviews.

Reports of SMB owners struggles in job creation come as the Labor Department reports that the US unemployment rate jumped to 10.2 percent in October, a 26-year high.

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