Each month, LinkedIn produces a monthly report on the U.S. workforce. While the platform does an overall national recap, they also create smaller reports for major cities within the country. Fortunately, Atlanta is included on this list.

If you are an entrepreneur or small business owner in or outside of the Metro Atlanta area, the chances are high that you understand the importance of human capital.

Atlanta is a city that is growing by the minute. New city migrants, mean more opportunities to find the ideal employee, but it also means that you will need more people to help you handle an ever-growing customer base.

So, how can insights from the LinkedIn’s Atlanta Workforce Report help you put your small business into the best position to attract and retain exceptional staff? Read on for our takeaways.

1. Competition is Tightening

Atlanta Workforce ReportCompared to last year, hiring is up 9.4 percent. This information comes from LinkedIn’s “hiring rate” a percentage of LinkedIn members that have added a new employer to their profile in the same month the new job begins, divided by the total number of LinkedIn members.

For entrepreneurs and small business owners, this means that finding the right fit will continue to be a bit of a challenge. So, the development of a strategic hiring plan is essential.  Highlight ways you stand out from competitors and develop more creative ways of finding talent.

2. Accounting and Real Estate Small Business Companies Have a Lot to Pick From

Every city has skills gaps and surpluses. In Atlanta, companies specializing in procurement, negotiation, management accounting, real estate, and personal coaching are in luck as professionals in the city possess these skills in high numbers. Additionally, healthcare, education, and teaching also round out the list. Accounting and real estate are some of the most popular small business industries in the city, so this is excellent news for the vast majority of small business owners in the city.

3. There is a Huge Skill Gap When It Comes to Soft Skills

While Atlanta’s workforce is excelling in broad industry-based skills, many are coming up short regarding soft skills. Oral communication, business management, leadership, and people management are the list of the top four skills that Atlanta employees are lacking.

Many of these skills go hand-in-hand, especially for management and leadership-based positions. So, small business owners who are looking to staff their companies for higher-level positions or for jobs that require customer-facing interactions may still have a tough time getting whom they need.

4. Add Long-Distance Hiring to Your Hiring Practices

Again, data shows that Atlanta’s number of workers is steadily multiplying. However, your next exceptional employee may not be in the city…yet. LinkedIn’s Workforce report revealed the top places many of Atlanta’s new workers are coming from, and the places responsible for the most migrants are Athens, Georgia, Wichita, Kansas, and New York City, New York. This migration presents an opportunity for forward-thinking small business owners. Since many of the workers in these locations seem to be open to making their way to Atlanta, you may want to recruit in these cities actively.

5. Look to Other Places for Retention Best Practices

Atlanta Workforce ReportWhile Atlanta is attracting many professionals, the city is also losing some along the way. Atlanta workers are leaving to go to San Francisco, California, Seattle, Washington, and Denver, Colorado. While professionals are likely relocating to these areas for many reasons, a better job situation is probably one of the most influential factors.

It is no coincidence that Atlanta’s workers are choosing to concentrate their relocation in one specific region of the country. Companies out west are known to be more likely to embrace flexible work schedules, work-life balance, and technological innovations. While this can also be said for many companies on the east coast—and in Atlanta—companies in the west have a greater attachment to these ideas. Small business owners may want to see if there are some common favorable policies from west coast work culture and adapt them to their offices.

Final Thoughts

Atlanta is continuously going through a workforce transformation as new industries, professionals, and innovations enter and leave the city. The challenge of small business owners within Atlanta is determining how these changes impact their hiring needs. Currently, there is much competition for the city’s best and brightest; however, if small business owners can rival companies in offering perks and differentiate themselves from the rest, they can find the talent they need.


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This has been a JBF Business Media production.

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