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What is the cost of a vacant position?

Dec 23, 2022

No, your company is not saving money by leaving a position unfilled. In most cases, even considering the savings on salary and benefits, the longer it takes to fill an open position, the more it’s costing your company.
Glassdoor estimates the value of 5.1 million unfilled jobs advertised online in America is worth more than $272 billion. Why such a big number? Depending on your industry and the vacant position, there are several factors to consider:

Product Development and Productivity

Schedules and plans are disrupted when a department is unable to fulfill their tasks. If a key technical position is unfilled, projects may need to be put on hold or abandoned.

Team Impacts

A vacant position disrupts the cohesiveness of a team. There can be loss of productivity, experience, leadership, ideas, and skills when a team member leaves.

Individual Employee Impacts

Other employees will be tasked to fill-in for the vacant position. Employees could become overworked and this could cause employees to resign due to stress or frustration.

Customer Impacts

Excessive vacancies may send a message to customers and suppliers that your company is weak. Suppliers and customers will be confused as to who they can contact and this will weaken your relationship with them.

Competitive Advantage

A large number of vacancies means you are losing employees, which could mean a weak company culture. Having vacancies for top manager positions may send a message to your competitors that you are vulnerable.

Image and Recruiting

​Increasing number of vacancies will cause your current employees to think that the company is heading downhill. Word will also get around that your company is unable to retain employees and this will affect future recruitment.

Once you take all these variables into account, set a timeline for your whole recruiting process. Calculate how long your company can keep that position vacant and make sure to stick with that timeline. Also, don’t be afraid to look for alternative recruiting solutions to help make the process easier.

Consider outsourcing individual stages of your recruiting process. If you have the time and resources to screen and interview candidates, consider outsourcing the ‘sourcing’ stage of your recruitment process. If you find yourself with a list of qualified inbound candidates, but no time to sort through them, consider outsourcing the ‘screening’ stage.

Outsourced sourcing and screening will not replace your current recruiters or recruiting processes. Outsourcing certain stages of your recruiting process can enhance and streamline your current recruiting system to ensure that you are getting the best candidates in the shortest amount of time.

Dr. John Sullivan, January 8, 2001, Calculating the Cost of a Vacant Position. http://bit.ly/2xL14xO

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