Quiet hiring is essentially the opposite of “quiet quitting” or when workers do just the bare minimum to get by. It is when companies increase their productivity and fill skill gaps without hiring more full-time employees. To do this, they either give existing employees more work, hire contractors, or even boomerang employees temporarily to cover some of the extra responsibilities.

Instead of engaging staff who have “quietly quit”, companies who practice “quiet hiring” simply outsource their tasks and resist promoting employees who do not put forth the extra effort in their job.

Quiet hiring involves businesses expanding their skill sets without investing in more full-time employees. For employees, this can feel like an exciting new opportunity or a sneaky way of piling on more responsibilities. Much of it depends on the way that employers communicate their strategies to employees and whether or not their practices are ethical.

Does your company have a quiet hiring strategy and is your job changing?

Here’s what to look for within your company’s Quiet Hiring recruitment strategy:

  • Is there communication with existing employees about the plan to implement quiet hiring practices? This should be transparent and explain the reasons why the company is assigning more tasks or contracting new labor.
  • A hiring plan that determines how internal or external candidates will be chosen, which recruitment analytics will be considered, and the skillsets that the company is looking for.
  • Has your company given you reassurance that your position is not at risk and that you are considered to be a valuable member of the team?
  • Additionally, if you have been given extra responsibilities, be sure you are provided with adequate support and training programs.

Although it may sound like quiet hiring is primarily beneficial for employers, there can be advantages for employees as well.

A few advantages to be aware of with this new hiring trend.

It’s fair for employees who are asked to take on extra responsibilities or additional projects that fall outside of their job description to ask for something in return.

  • Salary increases, if you are taking on extra work, ask for a salary adjustment.
  • Clear expectations, you will need to know what your new responsibilities will look like.
  • Extra training, if it’s necessary to learn new skills for the new work required.
  • Take advantage of mentorship programs or company-sponsored courses

Related Trends

To understand why the idea of “quiet hiring” has gained so much recent popularity, it’s important to understand related terms. Here’s a quick explanation of some recent trends that go hand-in-hand, “quiet firing” and “quiet quitting.”

Quiet firing

Quiet firing is when an employer takes actions to purposefully drive underperforming employees away from the company. For example, withholding promotions or pay raises, not offering learning and development opportunities, or taking away responsibilities that employees previously held.

Rather than firing employees outright, companies that practice quiet firing make it more difficult for employees to climb up the career ladder.

Quiet Quitting

Quiet quitting can be thought of as the opposite of quiet hiring. It’s when employees fulfill the minimum requirements of their position to stay on the company payroll. Unfortunately, most of this phenomenon is largely due to the aftermath of the coronavirus. After many months of remote work, for many, there was an unwilling return to the office.

Rather than receiving recognition for their dedication during unprecedented times, many felt that they were being forced back into “normalcy”. And they once again needed to rearrange their lives with little consideration or flexibility from employers.

However, returning to the office is not necessarily “a new normal” for everyone. According to a recent McKinsey study, 58% of surveyed full-time workers reported having the option to work from home for at least one workday every week. That’s roughly equivalent to 92 million working individuals from the United States. And while remote work gives employees flexibility, it also can come at a price.

For many employees, remote work is a tradeoff. It means longer hours, less separation between work and life, and in many cases, mental health problems. In fact, according to a recent study, 81% of Gen Z and Millennial workers experience feelings of loneliness and disconnection as a result of remote work.

Whether it is due to inflexible working conditions or employees battling burnout along with dissatisfaction like never before, this has led many to resign, or “quietly quit” until finding a better alternative.

Right now, there is no real answer to this trend. Just be aware of your company’s actions so you can make the right decision for yourself.

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