Businesses Change to Cope with Competitive Hiring Market

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Contending with a shrinking pool of available employees, franchise and small business owners alike are making changes in their company cultures to attract and keep the right ones.

In a survey of over 1,000 small business owners that Bank of America released earlier this month, a quarter of the participants said they've shifted to a more flexible company culture, recognizing that quality of life is as important, if not more important, than money to many younger workers. More than 80 percent of the survey's participants said they offer job candidates perks or benefits including flexible hours, training and professional development, bonuses and the chance to work at a location they choose.

... Vinnie Sposari has made his Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchise in Seattle more employee-focused, adding benefits and perks because "our trade is a dying breed. They're just not out there, the guy who's been in the trade for a long time.”

... Sposari, who has about 60 employees, said he's constantly looking for candidates — he visits local colleges and is continually networking. Besides offering generous benefits, he offers a $60,000 paycheck after a year of training. Still, he says, it's hard to find prospects. —Joyce M. Rosenberg, AP, ABC News