As the landscape of the workforce continues to evolve, we’re seeing yet another trend that’s expected to take hold in 2023: quiet hiring. Similar to the mass layoffs we’ve seen recently, quiet hiring is another approach that leaders often employ to combat difficult economic times. In fact, Gartner has identified quiet hiring as a top trend for the year.*
If you’re unfamiliar with the expression, let me break it down for you…
Quiet hiring involves filling staffing gaps with existing employees or contractors. In other words, rather than hiring new staff, employers will move current employees into new roles or turn to contingent workers to save money. It’s not about exploiting employees, but rather strategically assessing the talent they have to see where resources can be better allocated to make the biggest impact on the organization.
Is quiet hiring beneficial to employees?
In short, yes. By taking on a new role or expanding their job responsibilities, employees can learn and grow from within to set their careers on a new trajectory. And many employees are open to it. According to one poll of more than 1100 workers, 63% said they viewed quiet hiring as a means to learn new skills, while 39% saw it as an opportunity to spread their wings.**
Plus, not only do they get exposure to other disciplines—and people—within the organization, but they also become more marketable to others while proving they’re an invaluable resource to the company. Taken together, these benefits can result in increased employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
That is… if the employer does it right.
What do I mean by that? In the spirit of doing more with less, maximizing resources, and keeping costs down, it can be easy to fall into the trap of overextending employees. It’s not so much about giving them more work, it’s about reassessing and reallocating while ensuring their workload is manageable and they are comfortable with the shift. By keeping an open dialogue, asking for input, and providing ample training, employers will position team members—and the business—for success. If a business can strike the right balance between expanding employees’ responsibilities, building their skills, and protecting their wellbeing while filling critical staffing gaps, they gain a profound competitive advantage.
Quiet hiring and the contingent worker:
Quiet hiring can also be done by way of flex workers. By bringing in contingent talent, leaders can fill critical skills gaps without incurring the costs of bringing on full-time employees. Also, by supplementing their existing workforce with outside help, they can alleviate some of the internal stressors on their team members, which will help boost satisfaction and loyalty.
Quiet hiring is an interesting trend—and one that I expect to see play out in a range of positive ways as the business community continues to navigate these uncertain times and a competitive labor market. By redistributing tasks among current staff or hiring contractors without hiring additional full-time employees, employers can ensure their essential requirements are met, keep costs down, and give team members more opportunities to grow from within.