With unemployment in May at 12.7 million according to the Department of Labor, small businesses should have no trouble finding workers to hire, right?

Think again. According to a recent report from Achievers Intelligence: Insight into Today’s Workforce, human resources recruiters and CEOs have an inaccurate view of what employees actually want in the workplace—to be recognized and valued.

In addition, a recent survey from hiring firm Manpower found 49% of companies are experiencing trouble finding talent to hire, despite unemployment numbers.  Losing talented workers today  is a greater loss the survey said, because finding replacements is more difficult than it was in the past.

Workers want to feel “valued and rewarded,” the Achievers survey found, with 46% of respondents naming these as their top factors in choosing where to work. In addition 64% of working Americans leave their jobs because they don’t feel appreciated, according to the Department of Labor.

Only 9% of employees “strongly agree” that they are regularly recognized on the job, and 57% of CEOs either strongly agree, or agree, that their workers are regularly recognized, Achievers reported. Seventy percent of workers said they are recognized annually or not at all. 

In addition, Bersin & Associations talent management firm found that companies with recognition programs that are “highly effective at enabling employee engagement” had 31% less turnover than companies with ineffective recognition programs.

 Achievers found that $46 billion is spent annually on rewards and  recognition programs for workers, but employers are unaware of what they  actually get for their money.

Achievers surveyed 1,800 employees on their own personal experiences, as well as 232 CEOs who were asked to evaluate the experience of the employees in their organizations. In addition, 645 human resources professionals were asked to evaluate the experiences of employees in their organizations.

Follow Kate Rogers on Twitter at @KateRogersNews