The Hidden Costs of an Unfilled Position

The Hidden Costs of an Unfilled Position

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Searching for that perfect candidate can be a hassle. So much so, that many companies put off the search process, claiming that they are too busy to focus on hiring, or that the company is trying to save money this quarter.

Sure, hiring a new employee is a time intensive and expensive endeavor, but it is one that will certainly pay off for your organization. Leaving a position unfilled is terrible for the company. There are many costs associated with leaving the position open, some tangible and others that are harder to determine. These can include, but aren’t limited to:

Delayed Product Releases

Without having your teams fully staffed, it is extremely hard to stick to R&D and production schedules. Even just a short delay in getting your product or service to market can result in lower profit margins, loss of the first entry to market, and a lower overall market share. These all equate to lower revenues.

Lost Sales

This is especially true if the unfilled position is in a sales/business development type role. Without that person going out and bringing in new business for your firm, you will be at a loss, having to do with decreased sales efforts.

Poorer Customer Service

When positions are unfilled and the remaining coworkers are left to cover, stuff slips through the cracks. With less time to work on projects, employees also have less time to dedicate to providing high level customer service. Instead, with increased response time for getting answers and problems solved, it is the customer that will suffer. When the customers suffer, the business will suffer.

Higher Stress for Managers

Understaffed teams require more effort for managers to lead. On a daily basis, they must instruct employees which tasks must get done and which ones to let slide.

Lower Morale in the Office

Other employees in an understaffed department can quickly feel overworked and stressed when there is an unfilled position. Their productivity and creativeness suffers, as they focus on simply getting the work done, not producing their best quality work.


Maybe your trepidation stems from the fact that you had an amazing employee in the role, and know you won’t be able to match what they did for your company. That person learned a lot while they were working for you that allowed them to excel. The same will be true with your new hire.

Rather than search for a candidate who is exactly the same (because that simply doesn’t exist), look for someone who is capable of doing the job, by combining their previous experience with on the job training. After all, Dr. John Sullivan discovered in his research that having an unfilled position can have a trickle down effect on the entire organization, negatively affecting not just one department, but the organization as a whole.

Don’t let your unfilled position affect your team’s success for 2017. Let Key Resource Group find you that perfect person to round your team today.

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