01 Feb Why You Should Be Wary of Leaving a Role Open Too Long
Every company deals with turnover and open positions. Managers might be inclined to think that a team or department being one person short isn’t really missing much — people are willing and able to step up and fill that gap pretty easily. Besides, not having a person in that position means one less paycheck to write, one less person needing benefits — it’s a cost saver!
But leaving a position open for too long can create other problems and headaches that might be bigger than the savings you might enjoy in the short term.
Here’s why job positions should be filled as quickly as reasonably possible.
- Employees will get tired of doing extra work. Most people are willing to pitch in and help fill an absence. Covering for a coworker who’s out on vacation or sick, that’s usually a short-time event and they know everyone will be back in place and pulling their weight soon. But when someone leaves, and a replacement isn’t found in short order, people can start to feel overworked and unsupported. If it appears the expectation is that the team will just buck up and make do, that can breed frustration and lead to more turnover.
- Productivity will suffer. Even if people try their hardest to keep their work up to the level and expectations of what was possible with a fully-staffed team, things will start to slip through the cracks. Being short a person or two will catch up to even the most efficient group of employees. Each individual can only do so much on their own, let alone pulling to help out their coworkers, but it’s unsustainable.
- Morale will suffer. People who feel overworked will, eventually, make those frustrations known. The longer a position is left open, the more each person might feel like they’re just expected to take it, that no one’s looking out for them or fully understanding the extra strain they’re under. If they feel like no one cares, why should they? Why put in a full effort when management can’t make the effort to provide a little assistance?
- Extra overtime costs. To bring this back to perceived cost savings, reconsider those dollars and cents. Instead of paying one person their regular salary and benefits, now your company might need to pay several people a higher rate of pay for working overtime. Those hours tend to cost more per person, which means a whole lot more coming out of your profitability. Is it really the best way to spend your money?
- It might hurt your reputation. Employees talk to their friends and family about work. If one of their friends is looking for a job, and they might be a great fit for your open position, your employee is less inclined to encourage their friend to apply because they might not believe the position will be filled. Or, in an indirect way, they might complain online or leave reviews stating the company showed a lack of urgency or interest in providing a fully staffed environment, that people were expected to do more with fewer coworkers and that management didn’t provide the support needed. In any case, these kinds of complaints and conversations can damage your company’s reputation, with top talent viewing your company as one to pass up instead of submitting an application.
It might take a while to fill a position. In the best of circumstances, it does take a while to review applications, conduct interviews, hire someone and get them up to speed. But letting things slide too long will create more problems, headaches and stress, both for your employees who are shorthanded and for you. Make every effort to fill positions quickly and to keep your team in the loop on how the hiring process is going.
If you’re having a hard time finding quality applicants, or if you’d like to consider bringing in some temporary help, LeadingEdge Personnel can help! We have great candidates who are eager to start work right away, whether you’re looking for full-time, part-time or temp workers. Give LeadingEdge a call and find out how we can help.