3 Ways Empty Seats are Hurting Your Team

Posted by Adam Kaiser


If you have open positions at your company, you know it's not only stressful for talent acquisition and HR teams. The truth is open positions can have wide reaching effects throughout the rest of company. It is not just a monetary effect, but a company's culture and perception can suffer as well. This is why you must be prepared for job vacancies by having a pipeline of quality candidates to fill those positions in the shortest amount of time possible.

Here are 3 ways open seats are hurting you.


1. Direct Cost


When you calculate how much your open positions are actually costing you, it can come as quite a shock. Most employees generate 1-3 times their annual salary in terms of production for the company, making 2 the median.

So how do you calculate the cost of an open position?

Let's say that an employee makes an annual salary of $40,000. To calculate the cost of an empty seat, you divide the salary of that position ($40,000), by the number of work days in a year (260), and then multiply the result by the median number (2), in regard to employee revenue generation.

In this example, when you crunch the numbers the one empty seat is costing your company $307.69 per day. If that position is vacant for an entire month it will cost you over $9,000. The larger the salary for that position, the more money your company is losing by the day.

Higher employee salaries are typically connected to the higher degree of skill required to perform that job. We're not exactly breaking ground with that. But the direct cost, in terms of lost production, does speak to how vitally important it is to have a talent pipeline of qualified candidates ready to fill a high impact job in the shortest amount of time.


2. Culture


When it comes to empty seats, the revenue lost from those positions is not the only concern for employers. Just because there are job vacancies doesn't mean that those jobs don't still need to get done. This means that someone, or multiple people, need to pick up the slack.

The additional workload can not only cause stress and potentially even animosity toward employers, but it can cause things to fall through the cracks and results will suffer. While giving this extra work to individuals already in the organization may seem like it will fix the lack of productivity, it is not sustainable.

Employees will burn out and can become disgruntled while managers will encounter stress and frustration when they can't hit their goals due to understaffed teams. Filling those empty seats with qualified workers is the only real long term solution.


3. Perception


Job vacancies at a company can mean one of two things. Either the jobs are not getting done, or there are one or more people picking up the extra work. Regardless of which scenario plays out the result is the same, there is a lack of productivity.

When job vacancies directly have an impact on a company's customers, public perception begins to turn sour.

Maybe it's because customer service is spread thin and customers aren't getting the information and assistance that they need in a timely fashion. Maybe it's that sales reps are bogged down by the extra work and as a result customers feel as though they are being reflected. This can look a lot of different ways depending on the situation, but across the board it means the perception of the organization is being damaged and its reputation will suffer.


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Topics: Recruitment Marketing, recruitment strategy, talent recruiting tips, talent shortage, employer brand

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