Jobs: Open Positions are Costly to the Company

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Open Jobs

Unfilled Jobs Cost Companies Big Bucks

Companies lose an average of more than $14,000 for every job that stays open for more than three months, according to a new study from CareerBuilder.

You would think that a figure like this would serve as a big motivator for companies to fill open positions fast, yet 54% of the employers recently surveyed by CareerBuilder have positions for which they can’t find qualified candidates.

Thirty five percent of all employers have positions that stay open for 12 weeks or longer, the firm said.

CareerBuilder points to these statistics as examples of a costly “skills gap” in the U.S. labor market. Companies complain that there simply aren’t applicants coming in with the skills necessary to do certain jobs. So those jobs remain open – at great cost to those companies.

These costs accrue do to lost productivity, lower employee morale (since existing workers have to make up for the work not being done due to a job being unfilled), delays in deliveries and reduced customer service, among other things.

The types of jobs most likely to be unfilled long-term include ones involving computers, mathematical skills, architecture, engineering, health care and legal disciplines. This makes sense, since jobs in these areas usually require specialized skills and training. However, other categories with unfilled jobs include sales, production and management.

Some of these jobs no doubt demand skill sets for which even $14,000 wouldn’t cover the training costs.

Yet, we can’t help but think that other jobs are going unfilled simply because HR departments require a laundry list of skills that may or may not be absolutely necessary to do the job. Or ones for which a modest amount of training might prepare an applicant.

In such cases, companies should perhaps consider investing some money in training. The cost of training may in fact be less than the cost of leaving a job unfilled for months on end.


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