Everyone is Replaceable - But at what cost?

In a tight job market with people being laid off, it's easy for companies to adopt the attitude of "lay off now, rehire later". Cutting costs NOW trumps future planning and development. In fact, it turns out the lights on everything. But in the background, R & D groups at companies are developing really cool products that are going to save lives and enhance the quality of our lives.

These people aren't worried about their jobs -- but they are likely feeling super stressed at having a bigger workload. When times are tough, top performers get more work and often less life balance. These are the people we need to worry about and help. If this top talent leaves, the cost to replace them is huge.

Posting a job opening for a drug delivery medical device engineer isn't going to glean many applicants. Without outside help, this requisition will remain open for a very long time. In fact, many req's are going unfilled for months and even 12 months. When people are stressed, their productivity slowly goes down. In a recent article in Lifetime's EXPERIENCE magazine, a study of leisure time showed that downtime actually increases productivity, because during downtime, creativity happens. Companies like Google actually allow free time during working hours and flexibility of working hours so that people can focus on nothing. Some of the best ideas have evolved from this downtime. Without downtime, employees start to question their role in their company. They don't have the time to re-energize. Long term, this will lead to turnover. And the cost of replacing these folks is not only loading up the survivors, but more.

An entire day by 8 people, or 64 hours of company time is often spent on one candidate interview. If three people are interviewed, this results in 192 hours of time at an average salary of senior technical people of $95k, this is over $8,000 spent on that interview. Then the wrap up session, not to mention the cost of job postings. Then, the learning curve. The first year of salary paid is actually overhead - at a salary of $90-$120k, this can get expensive. Add to that the cost of an internal recruiters salary, and you're well into half a million.

Of course I have ideas as to how to cut costs, don't we all? Armchair coaches are coming out of the woodwork these days! But why not just work on hiring faster, taking the load off existing employees and streamlining the recruiting process? I think it can, but hiring managers must take on more responsibility to help make this happen. After all, recruiters don't retain employees, they just find them - it's the hiring manager who really has the power to make or break a job for someone. Let's give some control back to the front lines!

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