Revival Talent Solutions

The True Cost of a Vacant Position: Why Using a Recruiter Pays Off

Vacancies in your company aren’t just empty desks—they represent missed opportunities, increased workloads, and financial implications that can impact your bottom line. From lost productivity to decreased morale, the cost of leaving a position unfilled can add up quickly. However, partnering with a recruiter can help mitigate these costs and even save you money in the long run. Let’s delve into the financial impact of vacancies and why using a recruiter is a smart investment.

Understanding the Cost of Vacancy

When a position remains vacant, it’s not just the absence of an employee—it’s a disruption to your business operations and finances. Here’s how the cost of vacancy breaks down:

Hard Costs: These include expenses like temporary staffing services, contract employees, overtime pay, and recruitment fees. Additionally, there are turnover costs associated with sourcing, attracting, and hiring a new employee, including marketing the role, onboarding, training, and ramp-up time to full productivity.

Soft Costs: Lost productivity is a significant soft cost, but it’s not the only one. Other impacts include decreased morale among existing employees, reduced quality of customer service, and damage to your company’s image or reputation.

Lost Opportunities: A vacant position hinders your company’s ability to seize growth opportunities, explore new ventures, and innovate. This can lead to missed revenue and hindered business development.

Calculating the Cost of Vacancy

The cost of vacancy (COV) can be calculated using various methods. Let’s break down a hypothetical example using the simple salary multiplier approach:

Formula: Average daily value x average time to hire = cost of vacancy

• Assume a role with a salary of $100,000 per year.
• Research indicates that an employee’s organizational value is between one and three times their annual salary. Let’s use the middle ground and say $100,000 translates to $200,000 in value per year.
• Divide this value by the average number of working days per year (260) to get a daily value of $769.23.
• If the position remains vacant for 42 days (the average time to fill a position in the US), the total vacancy cost would be $32,307.

Cost of Hiring with Recruitment Fees

Now, let’s factor in the cost of hiring with recruitment fees at 25% of the annual salary ($100,000):
• Recruitment fee: 25% of $100,000 = $25,000
• Total cost of hire: Salary + Recruitment fee = $100,000 + $25,000 = $125,000

Impact of Vacancy Duration on Costs

To illustrate the financial impact over time, let’s look at the cost of vacancy for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months:
• 1 Month: $32,307
• 3 Months: $96,921
• 6 Months: $193,842

Specialist Recruiter’s Impact on Time to Fill

While the average time to fill a position in the US is 42 days, partnering with a specialist recruiter can significantly reduce this timeline. A specialist recruiter can often fill positions in an average of 20 days, sometimes even quicker, due to their expertise, networks, and focused approach to sourcing top talent.

Why Using a Recruiter Makes Financial Sense

Partnering with a recruiter can help you avoid or minimize the costs associated with vacancies. Here’s how:

  • Access to Talent: Recruiters have extensive networks and resources to source top talent quickly, reducing time-to-fill and minimizing productivity losses.
  • Expertise in Evaluation: Recruiters are skilled at assessing candidates’ skills, experience, and cultural fit, reducing the risk of bad hires and turnover costs.
  • Negotiation Power: Recruiters can negotiate competitive salaries and benefits on your behalf, ensuring you attract top talent without overspending.
  • Streamlined Process: Recruiters manage the entire hiring process efficiently, freeing up your internal resources to focus on core business activities.
  • Cost Savings: While there are fees associated with using a recruiter, the potential cost savings from avoiding bad hires, reducing time-to-fill, and maximizing productivity often outweigh these expenses.

Recruitment isn’t a cost—it’s an investment in your company’s future success.


The cost of leaving a position vacant goes beyond the dollars and cents—it impacts your business’s productivity, morale, and growth potential. Partnering with a recruiter isn’t just a smart move—it’s a strategic investment in your company’s success. By leveraging their expertise, networks, and resources, you can minimize the financial impact of vacancies and ensure you have the right talent in place to drive your business forward.