Have You Heard of ‘Quiet Hiring’?

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A few months ago, it was all about the Great Resignation and the high number of workers leaving their jobs. Now, it’s time to explore quiet hiring and why it’s been on everyone’s lips.

Quiet hiring is part of a trilogy of terminology that also includes quiet quitting and quiet firing. Many experts believe that the latest addition to the trilogy will have a great impact on the future of work. It’s time to explore quiet hiring.

What Is Quiet Hiring?


Don’t let the name fool you, quiet hiring is a practice that has nothing to do with hiring new staff. Since its name may be a bit confusing, let’s unpack this concept. 

Emily Rose McRae, Senior Director at consulting firm Gartner, has been one of the key figures in identifying the growth of this new phenomenon. Quiet hiring is a strategy for companies to acquire new skills and competencies within its workforce without having to hire new employees. How? By using external providers, for example — but above all, by assigning new responsibilities to existing employees; responsibilities that are outside the scope of their current job. This can happen by changing departments and assigning different projects to employees.

What Are the Benefits for Companies?


The main benefit for a company practicing quiet hiring is that they can efficiently and cost-effectively address the lack of skills within their workforce. It’s a way to do more with the same resources without sacrificing productivity, time spent in recruitment processes and, at the same time, increasing talent retention through upskilling.

But why is it called quiet hiring? There are several theories. The first is that it’s a direct, contrary and combative response to quiet quitting, so it made sense to give it a complementary name. It also has a lot to do with the gradual, “slow-cooking” and almost silent way in which an employee takes on a new role or new responsibilities. It’s not a change or strategy that’s implemented overnight, or at least it shouldn’t be.

Other Advantages of Quiet Hiring 


For a successful implementation of quiet hiring, the responsibility will lie with the company and, specifically, with the managers and human resources department. They will be the ones to carry out the actions based on their knowledge of the staff and by establishing limits on the workload. One of the most commonly associated terms is “win-win”, because both the company and the employees should benefit. These are some ways in which both can win:


1. The company will not incur additional hiring costs, which may be the main reason why this practice is becoming a trend.

2. It highlights the importance of an employee in the company’s structure and rewards them with new tasks that add new knowledge, develop their professional profile and challenge them to continue growing.

3. It improves the job profile of each member of the staff by developing new skills. This point is linked to the previous one. The new tasks will allow the emergence of skills that were not previously considered. Employees move away from their specialty and face new horizons.

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Challenges that Arise from Quiet Hiring 


While there are many positive aspects to the practice of quiet hiring, it’s important to recognize that there are also challenges to overcome. If not integrated correctly, it may not always be a win-win situation and could potentially result in a lose-lose scenario.

1. It’s essential to analyze the workload before implementing excessive responsibilities, as it could lead to quick burnout among workers. This might be the main downside of this concept. The overwhelming volume of work can demotivate employees, not only affecting their performance in new tasks but also in essential ones.

2. Not everyone is willing to take on new responsibilities or develop their skills. When these types of measures are proposed, many workers may not be interested in exploring new skills in uncharted territories for them.

3. Trying to take on different projects can end up in a dispersion of time and attention. Its immediate consequence is a delay in the delivery of projects and conflicts in priorities of importance. All of this must be considered, taking into account the limited number of workers in the company.

Quiet hiring can be a really positive dynamic for both companies and their employees, as both can benefit from improved functions and development. However, it’s important to implement it sensibly and with mutual agreement. Keeping a close eye on employees’ day-to-day workload, assessing their capacity and avoiding demotivation, stress and burnout is crucial.

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