The Real Cost Of An Open Vacancy

Everybody knows that empty seats cost money. A vacancy means you can’t take on as much work which then means that you don’t generate as much turnover and, ultimately, you realize lower profit margins. But did you know that each vacancy costs more than that?


The Cost Of Recruiting

For every open vacancy that you are actively recruiting for, you are paying wages for your HR team to run adverts, handle queries from interested job hunters, review CVs and application forms, support managers with HR best practice and at interviews, draft letters to both successful and unsuccessful candidates and provide feedback where it is requested. This means that not only is your vacancy resulting in reduced productivity, but it is also costing you money.


Once you have selected a candidate, there will be a delay before they become effective. This is due to the need to train them, and to embed them into the team and the established ways of working. They will need time to become familiar with the software and corporate approach to delivery, the needs of the clients and the style of the business.


The Soft Impact

Vacancies also affect your existing staff. Staff that have to take on additional responsibilities or work longer hours to ensure that the work gets done when a vacancy has not been filled can become stressed, demoralized and unhappy. They can begin to feel as though the business doesn’t care about them, especially if there is no end in sight to the extra workload or if they are not being appropriately rewarded for their extra efforts.


This may not cost you money in the short term, but dissatisfied staff are not productive and low morale could lead to increased staff turnover, which is disastrous for business, not only resulting in more vacancies and less productivity but further recruitment costs to try and backfill.


Time To Hire

The time to hire is critical. A recent study by LinkedIn [1] revealed that it can take up to 49 days to fill a vacancy. That is 49 working days – seven weeks! When you add in a month or two for training and development, this represents a huge amount of time for a business to be operating at a sub-standard level and is why businesses should incorporate proactive HR strategies into their operating model.

Making sure that the employee value proposition that you offer is sound and will improve staff retention. This means providing adequate financial compensation for each employee and offering opportunities for career development. Paid training and career enhancement initiatives go a long way towards building a productive culture in which staff commit to the business in order to develop their own skills and experience. Meeting the work life balance needs of your employees can include offering flexible working strategies, including the option for remote or hybrid working patterns.


By investing in your existing employees, you don’t just improve retention, you can almost eliminate the need for recruitment for all except specialist and short-term roles as developing your own pipeline of talent means that staff can be deployed flexibly within the organization to suit its needs at any particular time. Investing in resource allocation software also allows you to identify future skills gaps early, allowing time to recruit and avoiding a situation whereby you are forced to cover a gap.


This isn’t to say that external recruitment can be entirely avoided, but there are ways in which you can streamline the process, and one of these is to employ the services of a dedicated talent management company such as Clear Recruitment. We have access to a pool of talented job hunters and can identify the most appropriate candidates for your upcoming and existing vacancies, thus reducing the time and cost impact to your business. For information on how we can support you with filling your vacancies, please contact us today.


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