February 14, 2023

What is Quiet Hiring?

Julie Scates

In order to understand quiet hiring, it is crucial to have an understanding of “Quiet quitting.” Quiet quitting is a phrase that took the internet by storm in late 2022. It is a term that describes the recent trend of employees setting boundaries with work-life balance by limiting their workload to the bare minimum of what is required from them. Quiet quitting is the idea that work should not overreach into other areas of your life and that doing more work than is needed is unnecessary. This phenomenon has built off the Great Resignation, which was motivated by issues building up to the COVID-19 pandemic, and furthered due to excess job opportunities. Quiet quitting became more popular as it spread through social media, specifically TikTok platforms, and it appears only to be gaining traction. To better understand quiet quitting, check out our blog post: GenZ: The Quiet Quitters - Saying No to “Hustle Culture.”

What is Quiet Hiring?

Now, onto Quiet Hiring. This term is the media’s most recent fixation, and two avenues identify it:

  1. Hiring short-term contractors 
  2. Reassigning employees to new positions/giving them additional tasks.

This is increasingly popular based on our current market, as cross-training or retraining employees is cheaper and quicker than making completely new hires. This can benefit both the company and the employee, as it provides more significant career opportunities for workers when newly assigned tasks are completed. 

Managers are implementing this process industrywide, and it is a trend that could have a significant impact in 2023. Talent is scarce as the unemployment rate remains exceedingly low, and the timeline for making a direct hire can be lengthy. To counteract these areas, hiring managers have begun to take on more contract hires many times resulting in contract-to-hire situations later down the line. With the ever-pressing need for work to be done, and done now, this is a viable option that creates a win-win situation for the contractor and the company. There are a few reasons for this shift; a changing market, a focus on saving company dollars, and efforts to assimilate into a post-pandemic world are the most impactful. There are right and wrong ways to perform this process:

The right way

  • Provide employees with opportunities that expand their skillset and allow them to retain responsibilities if performed correctly. 
  • Focus on increasing employee engagement. 

The wrong way

  • Assign tasks for the sake of work completed without consideration of which current employee could benefit most from the new work.
  • Providing more work for top performers only because you know they will get the job done. 

Benefits of Quiet Hiring

  • Cuts down on costs
  • Reduces lost productivity that stems from the position remaining open
  • Provides employees with new opportunities 

Drawbacks of Quiet Hiring

  • If not adequately compensated, employees can do more work for the same pay.
  • When managed incorrectly, employees may sense their current positions are at risk and feel threatened.

How to do it Right

  1. Adequately compensate employees: If management decides to cross-train employees, sometimes performing the roles of 4-5 different positions, make sure they are appropriately paid for the increase in responsibility. 
  2. Discover why your company needs to use this option. Is there a resource planning issue? A workforce planning issue? 
  3. Make sure inequity is not created within the organization. 
  4. Understand employees’ talents, so you can insert them into areas where they will succeed. 
  5. Work with your employees to identify how they will measure success and how training will ensue.
  6. Be prepared for salary and benefit negotiations.
  7. Explain why the company decided to implement this process:
  1. Short fix to get through a challenging time?
  2. Focus on internal promotion and employee retention?
  3. Proactivity for a changing market?

Companies across industries have changed their hiring practices and, as such, have begun to adopt quiet hiring. Employers should focus on fair compensation, opportunity identification, and making suitable matches between employees and new responsibilities to make the transition as smooth as possible. 

J2T is a recruiting and staffing firm that solely focuses on accounting and finance roles. J2T Flex facilitates all operational accounting needs, both direct hire and contract or contract-to-hire needs. On the direct hire side, J2T Recruiting specializes in senior positions starting at Sr. Accountant up through CFO in both direct hire and contract or contract-to-hire needs encompassing everything in the corporate accounting and finance organizational chart. J2T is a women-owned business exclusively serving the Colorado and Montana markets with the overarching goal to serve you in all areas of the hiring experience.