Around 22% of small business owners anticipate taking on new staff in 2011, latest research has revealed.
The figure from the Forum of Private Business is concerning for the state of the economy because it is 8% down on the number of employers who said they would feel confident about recruiting in December last year.
The survey showed that small business owners are most worried about new recruits not being able to "fit in" properly at the workplace, with 37% admitting this. Other common fears from employers include hiring staff who do not have sufficient technical or specialist skills (36%) and not being able to comply with employment legislation (36%).
Small business owners were also worried about new workers having a poor attitude to work and not being willing to learn (31%), the tax system stopping employers from taking on new workers because it is too expensive (23%) and prospective employees having a lack of basic literacy or numeracy skills (23%).
Tom Parry, FPB research manager, said: "It is concerning that small business owners' confidence in their ability to create jobs in the current economic climate and drive recovery is falling, and clearly there is still a pressing need to address barriers such as employment taxes and red tape, steep recruitment costs and skills issues."