Quiet Hiring: What You Need To Know

An overworked person sitting at their desk. Publié le 16 February 2023 Par

What you need to know about quiet hiring, the newly coined HR trend affecting workplaces, employers and employees throughout multiple industries this year.

Less than a year after the HR world threatened to buckle under the pressure of “Quiet Quitting,” a new phenomenon has emerged into the workplace, which could potentially do even more harm. Quiet Hiring refers to when a business pushes new responsibilities, tasks and projects being passed onto existing employees, without changing their job title or compensation. If quiet quitting was a threat to the workplace, then quiet hiring should be taken as seriously because it could imperil the long-term wellbeing of employees. 

What Exactly Is Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring is giving an employee the additional responsibilities, tasks and productivity output of an additional employee, but without any increase in compensation or remuneration. For example, let’s say that there is a 3-person team that makes up the graphic design and illustration team for a corporation.  

One person decides to resign from their job to pursue a new opportunity that better aligns with their career goals. The management team announces that they will soon start the recruitment process for the former employees’ replacement, but in the meantime the 2 remaining graphic designers will have to carry the workload formally done by their colleague. 

Is Quiet Hiring Really Happening?

While the term “quiet hiring” is relatively new, it’s clear that similar patterns have been present in the workplace before the emergence of the catchy phrase. As many as 80% of employees report being quiet hired, that is being assigned additional tasks that are not in their job description. Whether this term is used or not, the elements of quiet hiring have been affecting workplaces for years previously. 

Recruitment Takes Time and Effort

Here’s where the problem appears. Hiring is an expensive and time-consuming process. It takes skills and resources in order to source, recruit, interview and hire the right person for a job. A rushed and ineffective hiring process can have a negative effect on the entire team. Given the demands on HR managers, they will want to take their time to find the right person, leaving the remaining team members to handle a lot more of the work than they were responsible for previously.

Layoffs Have Affected HR Departments

The layoffs that have taken place across multiple industries and hiring challenges in others have also affected HR departments. If there is not a robust enough hiring department to conduct a strong recruitment effort, the top level of a company may decide that they don’t need to hire somebody new at all. 

Quit Hiring Is Poor Decision Making

The hard truth is that the higher-ups who would make the decision to let the 2-person team do the work of a 3-person team are misinformed at best and willfully uncaring at worst. These are the types of company leaders who only see numbers and do not think of the human cost of quiet hiring.

The Cost of Quiet Hiring

The most obvious cost of quiet hiring is the toll that the increase workload can have on employees. Many employees already report being overworked, leading to long work hours which throws off their work-life balance and have adverse effects on their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Stress and exhaustion can take a terrible toll on some physical and mental health, and an increased workload will only compound this harmful situation. With levels of employee burnout at all-time highs, there is no reason to potentially make the reason even worse with an unwanted increase in responsibilities. 

For the perspective of the company itself, there is also no evidence that quiet hiring is an effective way to boost the quality of the work being completed. It assumes that people will be able to complete additional tasks at the same level of quality, while overwork often leads to an unavoidable decline in quality. If the practice of quiet hiring becomes widespread, it will undoubtedly affect the company’s bottom line.

Bad for Retention and Recruitment

It is also clear that employees don’t like the overwork that results from quiet hiring, and it will make them reconsider their long-term commitment to the organization. One poll found that being quiet hired would make 27% of employees think about leaving their jobs, contributing to employee turnover. Considering the difficulties that many companies are experiencing when it comes to retaining their best employees, it would not be wise to give them any reason to pursue job opportunities at other companies. Even if they don’t leave, it may have a negative impact on the reputation of your organization – as your employees are your best brand ambassadors, and the same poll found that 41% of employees say that quiet hiring makes their company look disorganized – which may make it more difficult to recruit new people into the company. 

Is Quiet Hiring Good Or Bad?

There is a way to spin quiet hiring in a positive light. Many employees view it as an opportunity to gain new skills and expand their abilities. Considering that most people want a clear career path open to them at their jobs, quiet hiring can be sign as a stepping stone to promotions and career advancement. The issue is that HR managers and company leaders must also view quiet hiring as part of an upward career trajectory. If the end result of quiet hiring tactics is only that squeezes a bit more work out of overworked employees, it will only have negative long-term results. 

Quiet hiring may be a new term, but the forces behind it have long been present in the workplace. What you need to know about quiet hiring is that while it may present certain opportunities to grow within a job, there is also a greater chance of leading to employee burnout and a decline in overall work performance. Employers and employees need to collaborate in order to identify and address the motivations behind quiet hiring tactics, it speaks to larger issues affecting the workplace.

Find your new job!

Look for your perfect career match with the Jobillico job search!

Search Now!