Quiet hiring had always existed, even before the term was coined. However, when the pandemic hit, many companies adopted this strategy to acquire new skills into their existing workforce. This helped companies get back on track to keep their business operations afloat amidst the economic downturn and the Great Resignation caused by Covid-19.
In this post, we’ll explore the nuanced practice of quiet hiring in the workplace and how employers can implement this strategy effectively.
Understanding How Quiet Hiring Started
Before we understand quiet hiring, let’s look back to what started it: quiet quitting. Similarly, this phenomenon had been around for years, and employers were already experiencing it before the term came along.
However, the term is not about employees leaving their jobs for their last day. It’s about employees doing the minimum required tasks and not giving more. It’s about keeping one’s efforts based on the agreed contract and job description—not one bit more. The term ignited and spread like wildfire as people voiced their experiences of always being tired and burned out when their efforts didn’t seem to matter; thus, the term became popular.
On to the Next Trend: Quiet Hiring!
Quiet hiring is when a company utilizes the skills and expertise of its internal talent or taps contract workers instead of seeking talented candidates externally to fill the position. While quiet hiring became a popular trend to help employers address the issues of quiet quitting, it is not really about making employees do more tasks.
It’s when organizations rely on their current resources to find people with the necessary skills and redeploy their talents toward a new goal or where it is most needed, whether by reassigning roles, upskilling and expanding responsibilities, or hiring temporary employees from staffing agencies for short-term support.¹
Quiet hiring is when a company or organization gets new skills without “actually” hiring new full-time employees. At times, this entails using temp workers and contractors, and other times, it involves encouraging employees to move into new roles within the organization temporarily.” – Emily Rose McRae, Sr. Director of Research at Gartner
The Pros of Quiet Hiring
So, why do companies adopt quiet hiring in their operations? Here are some of the advantages it offers employers and employees.
1. Fast-Filling of Positions
One of the main perks of quiet hiring is the time it takes to find employees. Plus, when filling positions, one of the most important aspects is the quality of hire.
Employers can communicate directly with internal candidates and gain insights into their existing employees’ capabilities, assuring them they can find the right person for the job. This increases the chances of finding high-quality candidates compared to filtering people on job boards.
With quiet hiring, companies can forgo having to sift through dozens of resumes from candidates they need to assess. Instead, they can be more selective with whom they’ll process for the position, focusing on their current employees or tapping into staffing firms (like Portfolio Creative!) for temporary employees.
3. Efficiency and Satisfaction
Since employers can opt to fast-track employees’ growth, this builds appreciation and professional satisfaction for their team members. Whether your current employees are looking to climb the corporate ladder or just want a better work-life balance, you can sit down with them, ask about their goals, and align them with the skills and responsibilities you’re looking for.
Your staff is one of your most valuable assets, and it’s only reasonable to help them achieve their best by placing them in the right environment and utilizing their skills and expertise. Whether it’s a new position or department, express genuine care in their career growth. Aside from aiding their career journey, it will also benefit your organization.
The Cons of Quiet Hiring
Of course, there are disadvantages, like everything else. Let’s look at some of the cons of quiet hiring.
1. Limited Pool
Since you’re no longer mass searching for candidates, there will be an opportunity cost of not considering other talented individuals, limiting your talent pool and reach.
2. Lack of Diversity
According to Forbes, 66 percent of the time, diverse teams make better decisions.² Quiet hiring can be counterintuitive to diversity since most people will be tapped through referrals or a company’s own workforce.
3. Negative Impact on Employee Morale
While being promoted is always good news for the one being promoted, it may negatively impact the morale of those who don’t get promoted.
How to Implement Quiet Hiring
Shifting from the traditional hiring strategies can be confusing and daunting for some employers. However, you can follow a structure to make it easier and faster. Here are some of the things to keep in mind to properly hire quietly. Shhhh…
Leverage Hiring Solutions
If you don’t have the right internal employee for an opening, one of the primary solutions is to hire externally. Seeking help from a recruiting or staffing firm for their hiring solutions is a great option. Staffing firms are experts in finding the right candidate for a position as they focus on ensuring a high quality of hire, ultimately saving time and effort.
Understand the Link Between Quiet Hiring and Employee Engagement
Quiet hiring can help you maximize the current resources you have in your company. You can try involving your employees in specific tasks and projects, giving them the chance to explore new skills and experiences, and can present the opportunity for change and growth.
Moving current employees from one role to another can help break barriers, encouraging collaboration and teamwork because of shared skills and experiences.
Their shared ideas can lead to improved processes and workflows, innovative solutions, and a better and deeper understanding of the organization.
Enhance Internal Mobility
When employees learn they can be promoted or switch roles, they tend to engage and invest more in the organization, committing to quality excellence and success. Quiet hiring can improve processes and encourage employees to exert their best efforts.
Building Bridges Beyond Silence: Nurturing Relationships Externally
One prime component of quiet hiring is working with contractors or freelancers directly. But let’s face it–it’s hard to find great talent! So, whether you found them on your own or through a firm like ours, if you’ve worked with high-quality external talent before, your best bet is to keep them. Here are some of the best practices in building relationships with freelancers and contractors:
Let them know what they’re doing well and what needs attention so they can continue to improve. Instead of immediately letting someone go, you can retain and develop employees already familiar with your organization.
2. Autonomous Work
Micromanaging employees may make them feel limited. Try consistently setting deadlines and communicating your expectations rather than directing their every move.
3. Accommodate Their Needs
Understand what they’re looking for and try meeting them halfway for their requests. It might be that they need time flexibility or access to tools that would require money. And those investments might be 100% worth it.
4. On-Time Payments
Say it with me–always pay people on time. Nothing sours freelancers and contract workers more than missed invoices and late payments! If a mistake has been made, notify them and correct it immediately.
5. Set Milestones
Agree on the project parameters and schedule deliverables to ensure everything is on the right track. This saves you a difficult conversation later about output and results.
6. Check In
Chat with everyone you’re working with at least once a week (more is better). Ask them about the challenges they’re experiencing. Make them feel like they’re part of the team!
ENHANCE YOUR QUALITY OF HIRE WITH PORTFOLIO CREATIVE
Quiet hiring is not entirely different from traditional hiring—just a different strategy. Whether you’re traditionally hiring employees or adopting alternative concepts like quiet hiring, don’t forget to tap into the resources of a recruiting or staffing firm.
Finding pure skill and talent can be tricky, especially in a competitive market. That’s why Portfolio Creative is here to help you get top-quality marketing talent that matches your organization’s needs. Elevate your hiring to the next level and get creative candidates that have been assessed, categorized, and filtered effectively.
Contact us today, and we’ll embark on your journey of getting high-quality candidates for your company together!
1. Piñon, Natasha. “Quiet Hiring will dominate the U.S. in 2023, says HR expert–and you need to prepare for it.” CNBC, 04 Jan. 2023, www.cnbc.com/gartner-hr-expert-quiet-hiring-will-dominate-us-workplaces-in-2023.
2. Larson, Erik. “New Research: Diversity + Inclusion = Better Decision-Making At Work.” Forbes, 21 Sep. 2017, www.forbes.com./new-research-diversity-inclusion-better-decision-making-at-work.