Recruitment – No Vacancies!

Staff turnover is part of being in business. However, vacancies cause disruption and enhanced workload for those covering. The skill is to be proactive on your recruitment policy, not reactive. Build a ‘squad’ of staff who you can bring in to the business as soon as you receive a resignation.

How much easier would it be to run a business that has no vacancies?

You would have no recruitment agency costs, no business disruption whilst finding a replacement for the person who has left.  Your remaining staff won’t have to undertake extra work, covering for the person who has left and your customers would not have an interrupted service.

With staff turnover for 2023 averaging 35% across all industries (some like hospitality being over 60%), this may seem like a pipe dream.  However, one industry with a managerial turnover last year of 70% and general staff turnover over 40%, achieved this goal of ‘no vacancies’.  Slight caveat – when they had vacancies, they were only for up to 4 weeks.


So what industry is this and why are they so successful at filling vacancies?

The answer is the Football Premier League.  Last season 14 out of 20 clubs changed their manager during the year with 4 clubs changing twice!

Additionally, the player turnover per match is frightening.  This is because of players leaving in the two transfer windows, players getting injured, suspended, disciplined or being ‘dropped’ for loss of form.  Y

Yet, every single match played last season always fielded 11 players and had a Manager present on match day.


How important is this?


Staff quality is essential but so is quantity.  E.g. If Manchester City are playing Sheffield United, a 3 – 0 result would not be a surprise.  However, if only 8 Manchester City players turned up for the match, whilst Sheffield United fielded all 11 players, you would expect the ‘poorer quality team’ to win quite easily, just because they have the correct quantity of players.

Yet how many businesses constantly trade with vacancies?


So how do football clubs ensure they have no vacancies?

They have a squad, typically of 22 players to fill the 11 places required on the pitch.  For smaller clubs who might not be able to afford the extortionate wage bill, they might loan out some of these players to other clubs, who will cover the wages.

So the solution for your business is quite simple – have a ‘squad’ of staff available for selection.  Then, when a member of staff leaves the business, you immediately call on another squad player to fill the vacancy.  Until this point, the ‘squad player, is working and being paid by another Company.  They are likely to need to provide 4 weeks’ notice before joining you but you know that business disruption is now limited to a maximum of 4 weeks, plus the additional workload your existing staff have to carry is only temporary.


So where do you find your squad players?

If a manager has 10 staff, they need another 10 ‘squad players’

They could be made up from:

  • Job candidates that you have interviewed previously but did not have enough vacancies at the time to offer more than one person a job.
  • Referrals from staff recently joined – everybody can name a quality member of staff from the organisation they previously worked.
  • Networking events
  • Research (LinkedIn)


So what do Managers need to do differently?

Instead of advertising for a vacancy when a member of staff resigns, build an appropriate size squad NOW, then stay connected with the squad.  Then, when you have a vacancy, pick up the phone to your squad and conduct job interviews the same week.

If you ‘lose’ a squad player, a high priority on your ‘to do’ list should be to replace that player.

Too many managers are reactive to the need of staff recruitment.  The successful managers are proactive – which is why Premiership football matches always start 11 players versus 11.

Here at Unlock Staff Potential, we are committed to supporting and training your managers to ensure they have ‘no vacancies’. Contact us for a bespoke training quotation.