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Small Businesses Will Primarily Hire for Sales and Marketing, Customer Service Positions in 2019

March 06, 2019

A new survey found the largest percentage of small businesses plan to hire sales and marketing and customer service employees in 2019. Overall, 51% of small businesses say they are likely to hire this year, though this data point may underestimate actual job growth.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 6, 2019 –  Nearly 40% of small businesses hiring in 2019 want to fill sales and marketing roles (39%), followed by customer service roles (36%) and IT roles (32%). 

Clutch, a B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm, surveyed 529 small businesses to learn more about their 2019 hiring plans.

Brian Weed is the CEO of Avenica, a recruiting firm for recent college graduates. He says that these positions may be popular because they most directly support customer growth.

“Over the last few years, it’s been a pretty strong growth market, and those are the types of positions that support growth – either salespeople who are going to create the initial demand or customer service [people] who are going to work with the new demand that comes in,” Weed said.

Tricia Lucas, owner of Lucas Select Inc., a boutique recruiting firm, says her firm sees the highest demand for digital strategists and marketing automation experts.

“People who understand how to execute marketing campaigns with the right strategy, ... those are the people who are doing really well in the job market right now,” Lucas said.

More Than Half of Small Businesses Plan to Hire in 2019

Fifty-one percent (51%) of small businesses say they are likely to hire employees in 2019. 

Experts said this statistic may underestimate the actual job growth small businesses will see this year.

“[51%] feels a little low to me,” said Rona Borre, CEO at Instant Alliance, an IT and financial staffing firm. “I’ve seen a huge uptick in the fourth quarter of 2018 and going into 2019.”

As of October 2018, there were approximately 1 million more job openings than unemployed people in the U.S. Small businesses must consider how they can entice talented candidates in an economy that offers job seekers options. 

Small businesses may lack the HR expertise and higher compensation packages of larger companies, so they should think creatively about their recruitment processes and benefits packages.

One-Quarter of Small Businesses Plan to Fire or Lay Off Employees in 2019

Approximately 1 in 4 small businesses (23%) likely will fire or lay off employees in 2019. 

Small businesses must carefully consider how they display professional courtesy when letting employees go.

“Preparing a consistent message is really important, as is being honest and giving employees as much heads-up as you possibly can,” Borre said.

Small businesses should also be aware of how remaining employees learn about a firing or layoff to avoid misunderstandings. 

Read the full report:

For questions about the survey, a comment on the findings, or an introduction to the industry experts included in the report, contact Riley Panko at [email protected]

About Clutch

A B2B research, ratings, and reviews firm in the heart of Washington, DC, Clutch connects small and medium businesses with the best-fit agencies, software, or consultants they need to tackle business challenges together and with confidence. Clutch's methodology compares business service providers and software in a specific market based on verified client reviews, services offered, work quality, and market presence.


Riley Panko
[email protected]
(202) 899-2779