Company Culture
Career development / Hiring / Jobs / Workplace culture

Is quiet hiring the antidote to the quiet quitting trend?

Also known as internal mobility or upskilling, this old concept is getting a makeover for the disrupted workplace era.

Your next job opportunity could be with your current employer. (Photo by Pexels user Jopwell via a Creative Commons license)

You’ve heard of quiet quitting, in which bored or burned-out employees do the bare minimum to collect their paycheck.

Now there’s a counter-buzzword: quiet hiring. And quiet quitters might want to take note.

What is quiet hiring?

Chances are you’ve seen or experienced what is being called quiet hiring at some point.

“Quiet hiring is when companies upskill current employees and move them to new roles or focus areas, either on a temporary or permanent basis, in order to fit new or evolving business needs,” Jennifer Kraszewski, VP of human resources at Paycom in Oklahoma City, told “Quiet hiring has been around for many years and is something smart businesses often do regularly, but we’re just seeing this newly coined term pop up.”

Coining the term in contrast to quiet quitting shines a light on one reason quiet quitting may have become a trend in the first place. If the growth opportunities quiet hiring offers aren’t there, why put in more effort than you absolutely have to?

Quiet hiring can provide internal opportunities, but there is a risk that the process could be used to give more work to a single employee rather than filling roles that are actually needed, which can lead to burnout. Any pivot within the same company that comes with additional training and more work should come with more pay, and companies that use quiet hiring — regardless of what it’s called — should have an official internal mobility policy.

Jennifer Kraszewski

Jennifer Kraszewski. (Courtesy photo)

In addition to potentially giving employees a reason to care more about their jobs, quiet hiring can be good for a company overall.

“It can make companies more agile and ready to take on change,” Kraszewski said. “When redeploying current team members to meet new business needs, companies can save resources they would otherwise be spending on training and onboarding new staff. And when reassigning teams, strong HR technology can help prepare all those affected for the change.”

One thing that HR tech can do is send out surveys to employees to gather insight on employees who may be interested in pivoting to a different area within the company or may be dissatisfied with aspects of their current jobs.

Quiet hiring and the job market

Hiring from within may seem like it would have a net-zero effect on the job market, but it actually does impact it by cutting down on job eliminations: Rather than let an employee go because their job is no longer worth the cost for the company, they retrain and move them.

For employers, quiet hiring means fewer long interview processes where they try and decipher whether a prospective employee will be reliable and what they’ll bring to the company culture. It can help with retention, too: If a good employee is bored with their job, having the opportunity to move to a different, better position after some free training is a pretty strong incentive for them not to quit, quiet or otherwise.

What does quiet hiring mean for jobseekers?

While companies hiring new people is something that isn’t going anywhere — again, quiet quitting isn’t so much a new thing as it is a new name for something businesses have been doing for years — outside jobseekers can benefit from quiet hiring by looking for companies that encourage employees to move up in the company.

“When searching for a new role, it would be wise for job seekers to ask about a company’s internal mobility policy, a practice where people can easily switch departments or shadow employees in other divisions,” Kraszewski said. “Businesses with these policies in place will be better suited to deploy quiet hiring, which is important in allowing people to exercise new skills, follow new passions or be reassigned if one business unit becomes obsolete or temporarily has reduced needs.”

In essence, if the company that hires you as an outside applicant is serious about “quiet hiring,” you may enjoy enhanced job security — at least, if your employer decides you’re worth holding on to.

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