Quiet Hiring: What Is It and What Are the Benefits?

Facing an economic slowdown and the pressures of a tight labor market, employers are seeking cost-effective ways to fill talent gaps in their organizations. Quiet hiring is one of these strategies. 

In this article, we will explain what quiet hiring is, its benefits for companies and employees, and everything you need to know about it.


What Is Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring is a human resource strategy employers use to fill up vacancies without hiring new full-time employees. It can mean asking your current employees to handle more tasks outside their roles, moving them to another department, transitioning them into an entirely new role, or shifting workloads. Employers can also work with freelancers, gig workers, and other alternative talents. The assignment can be permanent or short-term.


Why Is Quiet Hiring Becoming More Prevalent? 

When someone resigns, or a new position opens, the typical action of a human resource team is to advertise the job opening and search for a suitable talent outside the company who can work full-time. This strategy is called external hiring and is one of the most common types of recruitment. But this type of hiring incurs significant expenses. On average, U.S. employers spend around $4,000 to hire a new employee.

The risk of global recession has ebbed for the near term, but many countries are still suffering from high inflation. This is one of the factors prompting employers to keep their costs down. Quiet hiring enables businesses to fill roles without incurring the costs associated with hiring full-time employees. This is one of the reasons more employers are adopting this method. 

Also, attracting top talent has become more challenging. So, instead of allocating resources to hire new talents, some organizations look internally to find the needed skills. It’s often easier, faster, and more cost-effective.


Benefits of Quiet Hiring

When done right, quiet hiring can benefit employers and employees.


Advantages for Companies

  • Businesses don’t have to spend time and money on job advertisements, saving them significant resources.
  • Businesses can avoid risks and challenges associated with hiring full-time employees, like onboarding an employee who doesn’t fit in the company’s culture.
  • Employers can find high performers within their organization.
  • Businesses can lower employee turnover.


Advantages for Employees

  • Quiet hiring gives employees an opportunity to hone their capabilities or gain new skills.
  • Employees may get rewards and incentives, like cash bonuses or direct raises, to compensate them for assuming more responsibilities.
  • Additional experience can unlock employees’ potential and make them more marketable.
  • Quiet hiring can drive employee’s long-term careers.


Downsides of Quiet Hiring 

Quiet hiring may seem ideal, especially if your business has a tight budget. However, this strategy also comes with disadvantages businesses and employees should be aware of. 


Downsides for Companies

  • Quiet hiring can lead to a lack of diversity in the workplace. 
  • A lack of fresh talent infusion may lead to organizational stagnation, hindering adaptability and growth.
  • Failure to communicate the reasons behind the hiring strategy and other crucial information may lead to misunderstanding and mistrust within the organization.


Downsides for Employees

  • More responsibilities can lead to burnout and stress.
  • There’s a risk of not getting what you’re promised.


How Does the Pay Work for Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring requires competitive compensation packages, including salary, benefits, and sometimes performance-based bonuses. Employers may also offer perks like flexible work schedules and remote work options to encourage talents to accept new job responsibilities.


Is Quiet Hiring Ethical and Legal?

It is when you do it right. Quiet hiring sounds exploitative, and it can become one if you don’t do it right or give your employees the incentives, additional compensation, and other benefits you promised. 


How Should Companies Handle Quiet Hiring?

Here are a few tips to help make quiet hiring work for your company:

  1. Guarantee effective and transparent communication–Effective communication is crucial, even with quiet hiring. Be transparent to your employees and ensure they understand the situation
  2. Consider redesigning job roles–You need to ensure the employee who will handle new responsibilities has the right skills. 
  3. Don’t forget the perks and benefits you promised–No employee would be motivated to handle more tasks without tangible benefits. You must give the perks and additional compensation that go with the extra job responsibilities
  4. Offer robust support–Training programs, study materials, and other support resources will help your employees successfully handle their new responsibilities.


How Kilpatrick Can Help Companies Handle Quiet Hiring?

With quiet hiring, businesses can eliminate time-consuming and costly processes involved in external hiring. However, companies still need an adept human resources team to ensure the success of this strategy. 

If you need support in handling quiet hiring, you can rely on Kilpatrick Executive. We have expert advisors and HR tech solutions to support the entire human resource management process. Contact us today to find out more.