Results of a recent survey among small-business (SB) owners revealed a startling departure from years past. The survey found 52 percent of SB owners are confident the economy will improve over the next 12 months — up 21 percent over a 2016 SB owner survey. Equally amazing, 60 percent of respondents reported making a capital outlay in the past six months, and a third reported that they plan to make a capital investment within six months.

How will this rising optimism impact your business? For some the challenge will be financing faster growth. For others, production scale-up issues will need to be overcome, as well as sourcing increasing raw materials needs. And for many, many others, attracting the right talent to fuel growth will be the burning issue of 2018-19.

In a very tight labour market, businesses must be smart about what they offer new employees. New hires want to know: How is your company helping me improve my future, increase my earnings and develop my career path? You’ve got to think about their interests now, as well as your own needs. A lot of managers are labouring under the misconception that it’s 2011 and that people are clamouring to get a job. Think again! There are a lot of companies just like yours that are vying for the same candidates you’re interested in. If the supply should become exhausted, you’ll miss out on employing the best candidates as you compete with others.

Consider this advice from Entrepreneur magazine. “You are demonstrating who you are as a company during the job interview as much about determining whether or not you desire the candidate. The longer you stress out a candidate who goes through your hiring process the less likely the candidate will be to accept your offer.” A startling shift from bygone years, but an important consideration today nonetheless.