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Is Quiet Hiring a Way for Employers to Cope with Quiet Quitting?

Published on June 8th, 2023

Quiet hiring is a hiring practice in which companies fill open positions without making a public announcement. Instead, they quietly identify and recruit potential candidates from within their existing workforce or from a network of contacts. This can be done through informal conversations, job shadowing, or trial projects.

Quiet quitting is a term used to describe the phenomenon of employees who gradually disengage from their work and eventually leave their jobs without giving notice. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as burnout, dissatisfaction with their job, or a better opportunity elsewhere.

A recent survey by Monster.com found that 8 in 10 workers have been "quietly hired" at some point in their career. The survey also found that the practice of quiet hiring is becoming more common, with 60% of respondents saying that they believe it will become the norm in the future.

Another survey, conducted by Multiplier, found that 70% of employers have used quiet hiring practices in the past year. The survey also found that employers who use quiet hiring are more likely to report higher levels of employee engagement and satisfaction.

There are a number of reasons why employees might quietly quit, including:

  • Burnout: Employees who are feeling burned out may be more likely to quietly quit because they are no longer motivated or engaged in their work.
  • Dissatisfaction: Employees who are dissatisfied with their job, such as their pay, their benefits, or their work-life balance, may be more likely to quietly quit.
  • A better opportunity: Employees who have been offered a better job elsewhere may be more likely to quietly quit, especially if they are not confident that they will be able to get a comparable offer from their current employer.

There are a number of reasons why employers might be interested in quiet hiring, including:

  • To avoid disrupting the workplace: Quiet hiring can help to avoid disrupting the workplace by preventing employees from becoming aware of turnover. This can be important in workplaces where morale is already low or where there is a lot of turnover.
  • To keep valuable employees: Quiet hiring can help employers to keep valuable employees by giving them opportunities to advance within the company without having to make a public announcement. This can help to reduce the likelihood that these employees will quietly quit.
  • To save money: Quiet hiring can save employers money on advertising and recruiting costs. This can be especially important for small businesses or businesses that are operating on a tight budget.

Potential Benefits of Quiet Hiring for Employers

  • Can help to prevent quiet quitting. Quiet quitting is a term used to describe the phenomenon of employees who gradually disengage from their work and eventually leave their jobs without giving notice. This can be caused by a number of factors, such as burnout, dissatisfaction with their job, or a better opportunity elsewhere.

A study by Gartner found that companies that use quiet hiring are less likely to experience quiet quitting. This is because quiet hiring can help to keep employees engaged and motivated by giving them opportunities to advance within the company. When employees feel like they are valued and have opportunities for growth, they are less likely to quietly quit.

  • Can help to identify and address the root causes of quiet quitting. By quietly hiring employees who are already familiar with the company culture and its challenges, employers can gain insights into what is driving employees to quietly quit. This information can then be used to make changes to the company culture or to provide employees with the support they need to stay engaged and motivated.

A study by LinkedIn found that 64% of employees who quietly quit said that they did so because they felt like they were not being heard or valued by their employer. Quiet hiring can help employers to address this issue by providing employees with opportunities to voice their concerns and to be involved in the decision-making process.

  • Can be a more cost-effective way to find new talent. Traditional hiring methods, such as advertising on job boards and hiring agencies, can be expensive. Quiet hiring can be a more cost-effective way to find new talent because it eliminates the need to pay for advertising or recruiting fees.

A study by Glassdoor found that the average cost of hiring a new employee is $4,125. Quiet hiring can help employers to save money on hiring costs by identifying and recruiting qualified candidates from within their existing workforce or from a network of contacts.

Potential Drawbacks of Quiet Hiring for Employers

  • Can lead to resentment among employees who are not selected for new opportunities. If employees are not aware that quiet hiring is taking place, they may feel like they are being passed over for opportunities or that they are not being valued by their employer. This can lead to resentment and decreased morale among employees.

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 40% of employees who are not selected for a promotion say that they feel like they are not being valued by their employer. Quiet hiring can increase the risk of this happening by making it more difficult for employees to know about and apply for new opportunities.

  • Can create confusion and uncertainty among employees about their future with the company. If employees are not aware that quiet hiring is taking place, they may be confused about why certain employees are being given new opportunities and why others are not. This can create uncertainty and anxiety among employees about their future with the company.

A study by the Conference Board found that 35% of employees say that they are not confident about their job security. Quiet hiring can increase the risk of this happening by making it more difficult for employees to know what is happening within the company and how their job security is being affected.

  • Can be difficult to manage if not done carefully. Quiet hiring can be a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. If it is not done carefully, it can lead to a number of problems, such as favoritism, discrimination, and legal liability.

A study by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that 32% of employees say that they have experienced discrimination in the workplace. Quiet hiring can increase the risk of this happening by making it more difficult to track and monitor hiring practices.

How Employers Can Mitigate the Potential Drawbacks of Quiet Hiring

  • Be transparent with employees about the hiring process. Employers should be transparent with employees about the fact that they are using quiet hiring and about how the process works. This will help to reduce confusion and uncertainty among employees and to prevent resentment from building up.
  • Provide opportunities for all employees to be considered for new roles. Employers should make sure that all employees have an equal opportunity to be considered for new roles, regardless of their tenure or title. This can be done by providing opportunities for employees to shadow other employees in different roles, to take on temporary assignments, or to participate in development programs.
  • Communicate regularly with employees about their career development. Employers should regularly communicate with employees about their career development goals and how they can achieve those goals. This will help to keep employees engaged and motivated and to reduce the risk of them quietly quitting.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use quiet hiring is up to each individual employer. By weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks and taking steps to mitigate the drawbacks, employers can use quiet hiring as a tool to benefit their organization.

Quiet hiring is not a silver bullet. It is not a guaranteed way to prevent quiet quitting or to find the best talent. However, it can be a valuable tool for employers who are looking to improve their hiring process and to retain top talent.

The best way to use quiet hiring is to be strategic. Employers should not use quiet hiring as a way to avoid transparency or to bypass the traditional hiring process. Instead, they should use it as a way to identify and develop high-potential employees and to fill open positions quickly and efficiently.

Quiet hiring is not for everyone. It is important to consider the culture of your organization and the needs of your employees before deciding whether or not to use quiet hiring. If you are not sure whether or not quiet hiring is right for you, it is a good idea to consult with a human resources professional.

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Authors

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Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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