Hiring trends can be fluid, and small business owners must be nimble enough to adjust their recruiting practices to what the market brings and what the company needs. The latest hiring trend, dubbed “quiet hiring,” may be an appealing one for small businesses because it offers a solution to some of the job market issues that have made recruiting so difficult in recent years.
What is Quiet Hiring?
Unlike quiet quitting – the trend described as employees doing the bare minimum at work – quiet hiring has benefits for both a business and its employees. Quiet hiring is a strategic method that allows a business to fully utilize all the skills an employee may have to fill an immediate need without actually hiring a new employee.
Internally, this could consist of giving current employees temporary additional responsibilities, such as asking them to take on a new, short-term project or overseeing a set of tasks usually assigned to a different position in the organization. It’s a creative way companies can meet immediate business demands without worrying about a hiring freeze or the threat of layoffs should the economy get worse before it gets better.
Quiet hiring can relieve small business owners and their management teams of (at least some of) the traditional costs and time required to seek out new hires. It also can benefit employees, helping them feel valued and challenged because they’re being exposed to new growth opportunities and being given a chance to learn new skills or demonstrate strengths not evident in their present job functions. As a strategy, quiet hiring has the potential to increase productivity and engagement.
The Upside of Quiet Hiring Internally
Quiet hiring can be an effective alternative to the staffing challenges small businesses are facing, and it offers employees who are not on the quiet quitting path – in other words, those who want to contribute and advance in their careers – the chance to gain the recognition and potential growth opportunities they crave.
Employer benefits include:
- Quickly maximizing internal talent when a need arises
- Placing known talent in a new role, increasing the chance of a good fit
- Avoiding a lengthy hiring process
- Upskilling employees, which creates an overall better-performing staff talent pool
- Increasing retention, engagement, productivity and culture
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Employee benefits include:
- A chance to try out a new position or task with low risk
- Potential for new challenges and greater job satisfaction
- Recognition for taking on new responsibilities, even if only temporarily
- An opportunity to showcase skills and stretch capabilities
- Satisfaction of making a valuable contribution to the company
- Potential for performance-based raises, bonuses and/or promotions
- Greater power over their careers by gaining new opportunities without the risk of quitting one employer to work for a new one
A Word of Caution
Employers engaging in quiet hiring will need to carefully plan how it is communicated internally. An employee being asked to temporarily step away from current responsibilities or lead a short-term project may feel at risk if the company’s purpose for making that decision is not communicated well, both to the employee and to their colleagues.
While contributing to the company at a time of need can make an employee feel valued, helping the business out must not be the only reason to take on the extra or new work. Managers should emphasize the benefits the employee will gain from the experience, making sure the employee sees what’s in it for them. The more specifically these benefits can be quantified, the better. It also will be important to state in advance what happens once the task is complete. It is important to set expectations, especially if the quiet hiring responsibilities are temporary.
To quickly get up to speed on quiet hiring, contact Axcet HR Solutions to find out how your company can incorporate this new hiring strategy into your recruiting plans.