In 2022, we witnessed a trend called “quiet quitting” and the less-known “quiet firing,” which led to a new term in the business world: “quiet hiring.”
This trend involves hiring for job openings from within the existing workforce, assigning more responsibilities to current employees, or bringing in temporary contractors to fill roles.
Let’s go deeper into this recruitment approach and understand how it’s reshaping workplaces.
What is Quiet Hiring?
Quiet hiring is a process where companies prefer to fill job vacancies through internal promotions, giving extra tasks to current employees, or hiring temporary workers. Employers find this approach more cost-effective and less time-consuming compared to recruiting entirely new staff. Moreover, splitting roles among existing employees can be a strategic move for HR. But how will this trend impact the workplace and employee morale?
How Will Quiet Hiring Shape the Workplace in 2023?
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way we work, shifting the focus from productivity to employee and customer safety. To adapt to pandemic challenges, employers embraced flexibility by allowing remote work and relying more on digital communication.
You can see the significant changes in the business world by looking at recruiting statistics in the Resume Genius report. In 2023, employers are struggling to find skilled workers, while job seekers are demanding fair compensation, flexibility, and growth opportunities.
The impact of COVID-19 on small and medium-sized businesses The pandemic not only altered daily operations but also led to widespread business closures and service restrictions, resulting in job layoffs and substantial revenue losses globally.
Compounding these challenges, Fair Work went ahead with the scheduled national minimum wage increase in 2022, which was a heavy burden for many overwhelmed business owners.
It’s unclear whether workplace culture will return to its pre-COVID state, as employees prioritise work-life balance and are willing to accept lower salaries or reduced benefits to achieve it. While employers are trying to recover financially and fill job vacancies, a significant shortage of skilled talent is evident.
The Advantages of Quiet Hiring for Your Business in 2023
Small and medium-sized businesses, which took a big hit during the pandemic lockdowns, have turned to a strategy called “quiet hiring” to reduce costs and safeguard resources during these uncertain times. This new trend in hiring practices makes a lot of sense from an employer’s perspective.
Recruiter.com emphasises the importance of careful hiring in times of potential recession, stating that companies should avoid over-hiring. With so much at stake and a shortage of skilled workers, quiet hiring may be a necessary survival tactic for business owners.
Quiet hiring is expected to be the most significant recruitment trend in 2023. Let’s explore some of the key benefits of using this workforce development strategy:
- Cost Savings: By sidestepping traditional recruitment methods like job board postings or hiring through agencies, businesses can achieve significant cost savings. Additionally, quiet hiring can help reduce payroll expenses.
- Skill Enhancement Among Staff: Offering employees opportunities for growth increases their value and provides coveted professional development and learning experiences.
- Enhanced Employee Mobility: Employees who can transition between departments or locations and take on higher responsibilities as needed are a tremendous asset to any business.
- Improved Employee Retention: People tend to enjoy the work they excel at. Allowing employees to apply their skills in high-value areas within the business can lead to higher overall job satisfaction.
- Agility in Responding to Market Changes: Small businesses and startups cannot afford constant hiring and firing. Quiet hiring enables businesses to stay nimble and adapt to changing market conditions without losing key staff or incurring increased payroll costs.
However, it’s essential to note that improper or unethical implementation of quiet hiring can harm your business’s reputation, hinder customer service, and damage staff retention.
The Right Way to Implement Quiet Hiring
While a strategic move for employers, the benefits of quiet hiring extend to both employers and employees, as long as employees are fairly rewarded for the additional responsibilities, and employers prioritise staff well-being to prevent burnout.
To increase your chances of successful quiet hiring, consider the following:
- Fair Compensation for Additional Responsibilities: Even though quiet hiring is a cost-cutting strategy, employees should be compensated fairly for their increased workload. Fair compensation is not only ethical but also essential to retain high-performing individuals.
- Diverse Compensation Methods: Besides salary increases, consider other forms of compensation like bonuses, extra time off, flexible work hours, and hybrid work arrangements. Hybrid work arrangements, in particular, are gaining popularity and allow employees to work part-time in the office and part-time from home.
Simplified Guide to Making the Most of Quiet Hiring
Consider Hiring Short-Term Contractors or Freelancers
Sometimes, internal quiet hiring isn’t an option. If your team lacks the necessary skills or flexibility, external quiet hiring can be the solution. Hiring contractors or freelancers can bring in the skills you need for specific projects or short-term roles.
An additional advantage of hiring freelancers or contractors is the ability to address specific needs without incurring extra employee expenses like taxes, retirement contributions, sick leave, or paid time off. Platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer, and various recruitment agencies are excellent sources for skilled freelancers and contractors.
Identify Employees to Invest in or Promote
Quiet hiring may not follow a traditional hiring process, but it’s essential to approach it thoughtfully when filling vacancies. Clearly defining the role’s objectives and required skills ensures a good fit within your team.
When you hire the right people, it’s worth investing in them, even if they don’t currently possess all the required skills for the role.
Consider the following when selecting the best candidate to upskill or promote:
- Ambition: Are the employees interested in this role?
- Advancement Opportunities: Can you offer a title change or promotion along with additional responsibilities?
- Compensation: Can you negotiate fair compensation?
- Quality of Work: Does the employee have a reputation for going above and beyond their duties?
- Transferable Skills: Are there existing staff who can easily transition to a new role?
Seeking input from mentors and colleagues can provide valuable insights into the chosen candidate’s suitability for quiet hiring. This discussion may also uncover other potential candidates within your network who might have been overlooked.
Communication Is Key
Quiet hiring might seem self-serving, but open communication with your employees is crucial to ensure a positive perception of this hiring approach.
Maintaining transparent communication about the business’s needs and providing opportunities for employees to contribute to problem-solving and decision-making empowers them. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they’re more willing to go the extra mile.
The Take Away
Quiet hiring is gaining popularity in the recruitment world in 2023 for a good reason. We hope that this practice can benefit businesses of all sizes and industries as we are navigating post-pandemic challenges like skills shortages and economic fluctuations. Remaining flexible in how you fill roles within your organisation will serve you well in this evolving business landscape.