Taking on a first employee boosts the average small company’s turnover by 44% and its profit margin by 63% within a year, according to a study by the Partena social secretariat. “Taking on a first employee undeniably brings added value to young businesses,” says Wim Demey, customer intelligence manager at Partena. “Recruitment is very probably the main engine of their growth.”
However, the study noted many barriers to new employment cited by potential employers: 29% of business people blamed administrative red tape, 32% found that it was difficult to find good candidates and 12% felt recruiting staff took too much time.
“Of course, the shortage of skills on the labour market makes it tough to find good profiles,” said Michel Halet of Partena Professional. “However, the fear of the administrative formalities seems largely unjustified to us. Recruiting someone right now is not a question of paperwork.”
“Recruiting a first employee is encouraged by social security,” Halet added, “but one young business person out of three is unaware that (s)he can benefit from social advantages by taking on his/her first employee, so starters need to be informed and guided more.”
The Partena survey was conducted among 893 employers who started up their businesses in 2016. The results were completed with a survey done with 350 enterprises.
According to the Economic Affairs Department, there are 760,000 single-person businesses in Belgium.