Quiet hiring, defined by Emily Rose McRae (Senior Director of Research at Gartner), refers to organizations obtaining new talent without actually hiring new full-time employees. While the term is gaining a lot of attention as a result of the economic uncertainty and business pressure to keep costs low, the practice is nothing new.
"From my perspective, I think we have been doing ‘quiet hiring’ for the last decade, we just haven’t called it that."
Essentially, Arhire says the practice has just been rebranded. A better term is upskilling or supporting career development.
Now, there are pros and cons of quiet hiring. On one hand, employers and organizations as a whole benefit because they can fill in gaps in the workplace without spending extra money.
According to Shereen Sater (Founder, The Curve Collective), quiet hiring is something that all the top companies have been taking advantage of and there is great opportunity for internal mobility for employees.
While on the same panel as Arhire, Sater goes on to say that the ‘quiet’ however has a negative connotation, since it’s not always the case that your organization is “trying to pull a fast one on you”.
“It’s more of a strategic opportunity to incentivize employees to join the organization since it can serve as a means for employee growth and development."
- Shereen Sater (Founder, The Curve Collective)
On the other hand, there is a risk of employees being taken advantage of if they are asked to transition into roles they may not even be interested in without any communication about increased pay or professional development.
According to Mindy Honcoop (Founder and HR Advisor, Agile in HR) while quiet hiring is definitely useful, it is important that organizations are cognizant of the effects of quiet hiring.
“Without realizing, maybe we're manipulating a person into doing more work without paying for that work that’s being done or not setting that person up to be successful.”
- Mindy Honcoop (Founder and HR Advisor, Agile in HR)
She emphasizes that setting realistic and clear expectations for success are key and mentions the importance of empowering employees to have transparent conversations with their managers about ‘quiet hiring’.
If employees are being asked to take on something new, they should be assured the right training and support along the way.