The hunt for top talent: Small business owners say that staffing is their No. 1 challenge, according to Vistage Survey

San Diego (July 11, 2016) — Small business owners reveal that hiring and retaining talent is the most significant business challenge, according to a quarterly survey by Vistage Worldwide.

Vistage, a global organization, which assembles and facilitates private advisory boards for CEOs, conducts a quarterly survey covering a variety of small business topics. More than one-third of the 1,300 respondents cite staffing as the most significant issue they are currently facing, including identifying qualified candidates, hiring, retaining valuable staff members, and training. Additionally, CEOs note that their companies’ biggest barrier to innovation is talent, pointing to a common theme, and the importance of having a talent management & acquisition strategy in place.

“Talent is key to the success of any organization, especially in small business,” said Michael Molina, Chief Human Resources Officer of Vistage Worldwide. “Having processes in place to recruit top talent, transparent communication with employees, and a program for the CEO’s growth and development are critical to keeping an organization moving in the right direction.”

In the second quarter of 2016 CEO optimism in the economy declined across the board to its lowest level in three years. Political uncertainty during times of presidential elections has influenced confidence in the past, with a low point following the 2012 presidential election. With half of survey respondents planning to increase their firms’ total number of employees in the next 12 months, other notable findings include:

  • 83 percent note that their team is made up of multiple generations – college interns through employees nearing retirement. And half of respondents are planning to hire recent college grads.
  • Due to the influx of millennial workers, nearly two-thirds of companies have adapted their management style in the past five years, and 57 percent of respondents now offer different benefit packages or perks to attract young talent.
  • Although 82 percent of CEOs conduct performance reviews of their employees, 60 percent of CEOs do not have a system in place for a self-review within their company.
  • The biggest barrier to innovation for 30 percent of small business CEOs is finding employees with the right talent and skills.
  • 83% of CEOs encourage all their employees to use their vacation days, although about half expect employees to check and respond to email while on vacation.

To review more survey results visit:

About Vistage Worldwide, Inc.
Vistage Worldwide members get results. Founded in 1957, Vistage assembles and facilitates private advisory groups for CEOs, senior executives and business owners. An exclusive community of more than 45,000 business leaders across a broad array of industries in 35 countries, Vistage provides powerful networking opportunities and allows members to tap into different perspectives to solve difficult challenges, evaluate opportunities and develop effective strategies for better professional and business performance. Vistage groups are facilitated by successful independent leaders who provide valuable professional insight, executive coaching and corporate training based on their own extraordinary achievements.  Vistage: Leading executives to achieve more than they ever imagined possible. Visit for more details.

About the Vistage CEO Confidence Index
The Vistage CEO Confidence Index, established in 2003, is a quarterly survey of small- to mid-sized business CEOs about the U.S. economy. The Q2 2016 Vistage CEO Confidence Index includes responses from 1,300 U.S. CEOs, surveyed between June 6 and June 15, 2016 with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. Since its establishment in 2003, the Index has proven to be a reliable indicator for changes in GDP and employment, two to three quarters hence.

Media contact
Diana Dixon, KemperLesnik