Vacancy Costs Calculator

Your vacant positions are costing you revenue

Vacant positions in your company carry many problems and not all of them are obvious at first sight. To counter this and clarify these costs, we have created a Vacancy Costs Calculator. Using the average salary for each position, factor of relevancy and average vacancy days, we can estimate how much revenue you are losing on a yearly basis.

Vacancy Costs Calculator

What are vacancy costs?

Vacancy costs are the estimated losses in revenue that a company’s faces due to vacancies and describes the business impact of the shortage of skilled workers. Today, many organizations tend to have a strong focus on cost minimization, overlooking the potential long-term and negative impact of how they handle vacancies. Consequently, there is a discrepancy between understanding a vacancy as saving costs or as an investment.

Unresolved personnel issues are widely spread among German medium-sized businesses. As a result, companies suffer from lost sales, unmanageable workloads and an overall reduction in productivity and profitability. At first glance, savings in salaries, overheads and benefits seem to increase the company’s turnover. However, a profound confrontation with the issue quickly reveals that the opposite is the case.

Problems with vacant positions become increasingly significant, depending on the relevance of a position for a company. If, for example, a company is struggling with deficiencies or problems in sales, such a vacancy is more severe than in a stable situation. This is why it is extremely vital to analyse the economic consequences of the lack of an efficient employee in key positions within your company.

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So, what causes the problem of vacancy?

Most top managers are aware of the challenges behind vacancy costs and consider them critical to the success of their business. However, the right measures are not always the ones taken. This is usually due to the following causes:

  • Lack of investment in HR Strategy
  • Strong focus of companies on cost minimization¬†
  • Salaries reported in the balance sheet as an expense (not as an investment)
  • Missing key figures and calculation models on the true loss in value¬†
  • Inadequate emphasis on the relevance of this topic

What are the consequences of open vacancies?

Open vacancies present various direct and indirect problems for the company. Significant consequences include:

  • Direct loss of revenue: projects or orders are unable to be fulfilled or are not executed in the desired form
  • Reputation loss: Customers book fewer orders due to unsatisfactory or unfulfilled projects
  • Declining morale and performance of the existing workforce: Redistribution of current orders leads to overwork, reduced productivity and frustration

What are the potential solutions to the problem of vacancy?

Unfilled vacancies may be a challenge, but they are certainly not unsolvable. But clear and targeted solutions are required:

Be aware that factors like the adoption of tasks by less qualified employees, the slowing down of any competitive advantage of the company or an increased dissatisfaction of existing employees due to increasing workloads will negatively affect the profitability of your company. In the worst case scenario, this may also lead to a loss of corporate culture.

For determining vacancy costs we use the average salary per position in Germany, the factor of the business relevance* of the employee for your company and the average number of vacancy days for filling this position. Of course, in this context, we provide you with the average vacancy times per position. In addition, you can also insert a salary according to your salary expectations.

*Explanation of the business relevance factor:
The criterion of business relevance depends on the
degree of seniority and the direct impact on turnover generated by the core business. The coefficient is divided into three levels according to the respective weighting.

Factor 1: This factor corresponds to the lowest level of business relevance and refers to an employee with low seniority and no direct relevance to the core business.
Factor 2: This factor corresponds to the medium level of business relevance and refers to an employee who EITHER proves to have a high degree of seniority OR has a direct influence on the turnover in the core business.
Factor 3: This factor corresponds to the highest level of business relevance and refers to an employee who has BOTH a high degree of seniority AND a direct influence on the turnover in the core business. 

Average Vacancy Days

Vacancy days for open positions are frequently underestimated by HR managers and recruiters. For this reason, the following section provides an overview of the vacancy days for various positions. These numbers can be used as references in the Vacancy Cost Calculator above. 

  • Software Engineer – 171
  • System / Network Administrator – 130
  • IT Specialist – 120
  • App Developer – 151
  • System Integration – 120
  • IT System Kaufmann/frau – 128
  • Database Developer – 130
  • UI/UX Designer – 109
  • Programmer- 177
  • Project Coordinator – 130
  • Quality Assurance – 130
  • Software Salesperson – 128
  • IT Consultant – 158
  • Bioinformatics – 109
  • Data Scientist – 109
  • Computer Mathematics – 73
  • Computational Visualistic – 115
  • EDP Expert – 130
  • Integrated Systems Consultant – 120
  • Technical Software Consultant – 151
  • Game Designer – 115
  • Geoinformatics – 109
  • Industrial Systems Engineer – 130
  • Industry Technologist – 158
  • Informatikkaufmann/frau – 120
  • Information and Communications Engineer – 129
  • Interface Designer – 123
  • IT Account Manager – 128
  • IT Tester – 130
  • IT Sales Representative – 128
  • Medicine Informatics – 109
  • System Scientists – 73
  • Environmental Informatics – 109
  • Web Designer – 115
  • Software Engineer – 171
  • Account Manager – 114
  • Call Center Agent – 111
  • District Manager – 128
  • Specialist for Distribution and Retail – 104
  • Head of Business Development – 79
  • Sales Consultant – 84
  • Sales Manager -128
  • Sales Staff – 112
  • Sales Engineer – 128
  • Sales Specialist – 135
  • Certified Business Economist – 114
  • Visual Marketing Designer – 140
  • Head of Marketing – 87
  • Marketing Assistant – 111
  • Marketing Specialist – 114
  • Media Consultant (Audiovisuell) – 112
  • Media Desinger/ Consultant – 84
  • Online Marketing Manager – 114
  • PR Manger – 65
  • PR Specialist – 65
  • Product Manager – 114
  • Call Center Agent – 111

Please note

Of course, the factor of business relevance cannot always be clearly determined. Consider the example of an eCommerce-shop: You need both customers and a functional shop. In case you have additions to the approach described here, please send your suggestions to¬†[email protected].


This calculator is an on-going project that is subject to constant changes. Please note that the average vacancy days are given by official sources of the German government. The calculations are based on an Harvard University study. As we are always seeking to create the best tool possible for your use, please contact us at [email protected]¬†for any questions, feedback or suggestions.