New York Area Marketers: Budget Better by Learning the True Cost of Hiring Employees

The cost of hiringAs companies think about future budgeting and staffing needs, it’s important to consider marketing hiring plans and the possibility there may be openings to fill. These positions, whether created through attrition or developed from a department need, must be populated within a reasonable time frame in order to sustain productivity and keep costs down.

For comparison, data collected for our 2016 Marketing Hiring Trends report showed marketing managers in New York planned to hire about the same or more full-time marketers than the previous year. Most of them also planned to use interim workers to fill their needs. Most importantly, those with digital marketing and marketing strategy experience would be in high demand. Soft skills were also on the rise, with most marketing managers looking for those with keen problem solving and analytical thinking capabilities and the ability to articulate their thoughts. The proper company culture fit was also deemed important.

With all of this to think about, a reputable staffing firm can help find the perfect fit for an organization while allowing marketers to do what they do best – be marketers. Sometimes job openings in New York are challenging to fill because of the sheer volume of responses received for each job posting. But, the longer a company takes to hire it risks losing out on qualified and interested candidates. Recruiters have access to top talent who can fill all types of roles on an interim or permanent basis, quickly. They can help staff a project, fill a leave of absence or find someone with a specific skill set for a newly-created position.

By evaluating the true cost of unfilled positions and those for hiring and training a new employee, a company can make the best choice for its marketing staffing needs. It will also be better able to budget for the coming year.

The Real Cost of Unfilled Positions

According to an article by, hiring managers must get someone in an open role as quickly as possible in order to be cost effective. The longer a role remains open the longer it will take to answer customer concerns or complaints, complete orders or grow new business. offers a two-step calculation that can be used to figure out how much an open position is truly costing.

Step 1: Calculate Revenue per Employee by dividing annual company revenue by the number of employees (R/E = Revenue per Employee)

Step 2: Calculate Daily Revenue per Employee by dividing the annual revenue per employee by 365 days in the year to get the daily revenue by employee.

That calculation is offered as a base, as different roles have different costs per day based on how much revenue they bring into an organization. The costs of keeping a role open need to be weighed against recruitment costs in order to figure out the best plan of action.

In addition, there are other hidden costs to consider. Finding the right person for an opening can be a lengthy, time-consuming process and a marketing professional should be focused on what he or she does best – marketing – not on being a recruiter. Every hour spent posting job ads, scouring LinkedIn and culling through hundreds of resumes is time that could be better spent on managing projects, providing deliverables and completing tasks. The hiring and interviewing process could actually become counterproductive as the marketer’s workload may get out of control quickly. When marketing deadlines aren’t met targets are missed and this could have a negative impact on ROI.

Are You Taking Too Long to Hire?

Results of a “Time to Hire” survey released by staffing giant Robert Half in August 2016 show hiring managers who take too long to make a hiring decision after an interview may lose out on qualified and interested candidates. More than one-thousand people who work in office environments were surveyed and 57 percent said the most frustrating situation in the job search is the long wait to find out if they got the job or even advanced to the next step. When asked how long is too long to wait after the initial job interview until an offer is received, 39 percent said seven to 14 days while 24 percent said 15 to 21 days.

When faced with a lengthy hiring process, 39 percent said they lose interest and pursue other job openings and 32 percent said it causes them to question the company’s ability to make other decisions. After an interview, 46 percent of candidates said they are willing to wait one-to-two weeks to hear from an employer before losing interest in the role but only 23 percent would wait up to one week.

Consider Using a Staffing Firm

Whether an organization needs someone for a specific project, to cover a maternity leave or with a specific skill set a staffing firm can help. Some focus on niche areas such as marketing, healthcare or IT and can fill a company’s needs with the right candidates, quickly.

In addition, recruiters at staffing firms are more in tune with industry trends and best practices and have access to top talent who can get in there and hit the ground running. They will work with hiring managers to find someone who has the right mix of skills, education and experience.  Also, if a company has an established relationship with the staffing firm, there is an added bonus: the firm will be able to refer candidates who would also be a good cultural fit.

In New York, for example, recruiters can help candidates who worked in other industries break into coveted roles in media and digital technology companies. By focusing on transferable skills and by creating a story from that angle, there is a greater chance of landing a new, exciting role. Companies in the New York City area that are looking for people with a specific skill set will benefit from the knowledge and experience these workers gained in their former roles. In addition, recruiters can find those marketers with digital marketing and marketing strategy experience that would also be a good cultural fit.

Staffing firms also vet the talent, conduct reference and background checks, and even offer medical coverage. While a company may pay a higher hourly rate for these workers, it actually saves money associated with administration, payroll taxes, health insurance, workman’s compensation claims and unemployment benefits. Also, these temporary workers are only paid for hours worked. This allows their workload to be scaled down if a project or product launch slows down unexpectedly.

Try Before You Buy

By using candidates on a contract-to-hire basis, organizations can take a test drive, so to speak. They can determine if the person has the right skills to do the job and if they fit in. Job descriptions and resumes can only tell so much about a candidate but through observation, everything will become clear. It’s the ultimate hedge against a potential bad hire. If it all works out the company can hire the person as a full-time employee. If not, they each go their separate ways without a lot of red tape.

This is also a helpful practice for newly-created positions. Often, it’s hard to gauge what personality or skill set will best fit a role when it never existed. There is no baseline for comparison for good or bad performance.  The “try before you buy” concept allows for trial and error as the role is defined and refined. Also, sometimes a full-time position is created for a specific project but once that project is complete a FT employee is left without a clearly-defined role.

Contract-to-hire allows for flexibility to keep or convert someone if they turn out to be a great fit and if there is more work to do. Many contractors do end up converting, which is a win-win for both parties. It can also be a plus when headcount is not approved for a department. Contractors can be line items in a budget instead of FTEs until there is money to bring them on full time.

By budgeting properly and by using a staffing firm for their marketing hiring needs, New York-based marketers can focus on what they do best while ultimately saving their company time and money. Who knows, they could even find their next superstar employee.

by McKinley Marketing Partners