The true costs of not filling open positions

March 24, 2021 Christina DeBusk

Employees sometimes quit or retire. Or they require extended time off to tend to an illness or injury, whether their own or if they need to care for a family member.

The longer it takes your business to fill that open position, the greater the costs. Here are just a few of the ways a vacant position can negatively impact your company both short and long-term.

Increased expenses

When an employee opening exists, someone has to pick up the slack. This need is usually filled by having other staff work overtime, driving your personnel expenses higher than expected. If it goes on long enough, your budget is blown and you’re left wondering how to make up the difference.

The sooner you can get someone in that open seat, the lower these expenses. Choose a staffing firm that can respond to your needs quickly. For instance, we’ve helped our partners lower their overtime costs by as much as 55%.

Reduced productivity

Maybe your business is extremely budget-conscious, so you decide to forego overtime. In this case, you’re likely to experience reductions in productivity. It takes longer to get the same amount of work done due to limited staff. As your output decreases, so do your profits.

Keeping a stable level of staff enables you to hit your productivity targets. This is especially critical during your busy periods when not having enough “boots on the ground” can really limit your output.

Missed deadlines

Leave an open position unfilled and you also increase the risk that your business is going to miss upcoming deadlines. The bad part is that one missed deadline has the ability to tarnish your business’s reputation long-term. This creates consequences that last well beyond when that position is finally filled.

Hit all of your important milestones by ensuring that all of your positions remain filled. All it takes is one broken link in the chain to prevent you from fulfilling your orders and other customer obligations.

Lower quality products and services

You can’t go without a team player for too long before it starts to show in your products and services. Stretching staff too thin reduces their ability (and desire) to make quality a priority. Their sole goal becomes to simply get the work done, which generally results in subpar results.

When you partner with a quick-responding staffing and recruiting agency like SMX, there are fewer disruptions to your day-to-day operations. You’re able to continue to provide the same level of products and services that your customers have grown to expect.

Higher turnover rates

When employees are forced to pick up the slack for an open position, it may be okay for a day or two, but this increased work demand is bound to create frustration, stress and fatigue if it goes on for any length of time. Their level of job satisfaction decreases and, before you know it, they’re turning in their resignation.

In this regard, filling open positions as quickly as possible can help limit employee turnover. The lower your turnover, the less time you have to spend training new staff. Plus, it makes your business a place where people want to work, giving you a more talented pool of applicants.

Falling out of compliance

All of these factors together make it easier for your business to not meet its regulatory compliance standards. Best case scenario, you’re able to get into compliance before it becomes an issue. Worst case scenario, you’re forced to shut down.

While this may be an extreme, it can also become a quick reality if there are multiple open positions or if you lose some of your key players and don’t replace them quickly enough. This is an incredibly high cost to pay and one that can easily be avoided by not letting positions remain open for too long.

Find a trusted recruitment partner 

If you have open positions that you’ve not filled, Staff Management | SMX can help you avoid all of these costs.

We operate using an onsite workforce management model which, in simple terms, means that we are right there to respond when an opening occurs. This enables us to fill that position quickly, helping you stay on track financially, operationally and more.

Contact us today to discuss what we can do for you!

About the Author

Christina M. DeBusk creates small business content for a variety of publications, some of which include Businessing Magazine, Compendent, Chiropractic Economics, and more. She is also the author behind the column, "The Successful Solopreneur.

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