How your open position is giving your competition the advantage

April 5th, 2011 | Hiring Resources | No Comments »

How waiting to hire is making you suffer
An open position is not just an empty desk. Letting an important position stay open is like chopping off your big toe, or your right foot, or even your whole leg smack in the middle of a big race. The rest of your body suffers trying to make up the difference, and it makes all the time and money you put into training a complete waste. And, ultimately, you’ll be left limping into last place.

An open position is basically a silent invitation to your competition to take advantage of your weakness. So just how much is that empty desk costing you?

Reduced Productivity

Great employees are the most important resources of any successful organization. Without all the resources your company requires, you cannot produce at the same level of excellence that you would if your teams were fully staffed and functioning at full capacity. Without your greatest resources, bright ideas are generated at a lessened rate and the building of your products and services is slowed to a crawl. Your company simply cannot effectively produce at the same rate or standard until that empty desk is filled.

Strain on Management

When that productivity rate is lowered, it’s someone’s job to pick up the slack. And whether management is you or someone above you, the pressure is on. It’s management’s responsibility to ensure timely and efficient delivery of your product or service to customers and clients. However, these strict goals are made all the more difficult to achieve with limited resources, especially when those resources are people.

Strain on the Team

The same pressure is put on the team when they are forced to fill the gap of an absent valuable “player.” It’s like sending your starting team onto the court of the NBA playoffs, but your recruiting department hasn’t found a replacement for the point guard. Now you have four players on the court, trying to make the shot without their point guard to set the tone for the play. It lowers team morale, and makes the success of the team almost impossible.

Strain on the Individual

Vacancies in any organization weigh heavily on an individual employee, because he or she is now charged with the responsibility of two, three, or even more people, depending on how large the deficit is. So now, not only are you missing one valuable resource, but you’re giving longer hours, more work, and increased stress to another valuable resource. And if that one desk sits empty for too long, the people in those other desks will soon become discontented, and you may even lose yet another asset to your company.

Decreased Level of Service

It’s no wonder that when your company’s productivity is already slacking and the entire staff is under great pressure to make up for it, you’ll soon enter into the ripple effect. Strained resources and overworked employees will inevitably impact your customers, which will cost you in the business you worked so hard to attain in the first place. The ripple effect is dangerous territory to enter. If you don’t do something fast, that one empty desk will turn into many, productivity will drop exponentially, the pressure will become painfully uncomfortable, and that one unhappy customer will multiply into thousands.

Competitive Advantage

It goes without saying that when the ripple effect is in full swing, your competitors have full advantage. If your competition stops the ripple before it even starts and fills that empty desk on day one, they will maintain or even increase productivity, resulting in happy and motivated employees, excellent levels of service, and new customers who have decided to end their loyalty to you and take a new direction.

Bottom Line

When you’re left limping into last place, the complimentary medal of effort probably won’t console you, and it definitely won’t make up for all the blood, sweat, and tears. When you’re missing your key player, that top-notch employee, the cost is great, and the only way to combat this loss is to fill that empty desk, and fill it fast.

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