In the last year, businesses have been facing a short labour market, increasing operational costs, shortening staff budgets. Hiring is not only difficult but can also be costly. But at the same time, companies are still expanding and incorporating new technology which has left almost all businesses with openings becoming increasingly urgent to fill.
The brilliant solution to this hiring slow-down and role fulfillment demand has been deemed "Quiet hiring". According to a recent Gartner report, quiet hiring is quickly becoming a leading trend among businesses who need to fill roles but may not be able to quickly and efficiently hire the talent necessary to complete the tasks.
What is Quiet Hiring?
Quiet hiring is the process of hiring without hiring. The goal is to skip the usual flash and lengthy recruitment process of traditional hiring in order to leverage internal talent. There may be no job search, board posting with a promotional job description, no onboarding class, and no probationary periods. Instead, companies are looking to hire from within, often temporarily reassigning their current talent pool to fulfill new and/or urgent positions. When talent or available workforce cannot be found inside the company, temporary professionals or outsourced teams may be quietly brought in to ease the load instead.
Where did the quiet hiring trend come from? Like most new business developments, it came from necessity. There are several factors that have led to quiet hiring as the smartest move to help keep companies running while dealing with market-wide challenges.
The Labour Market Shortage
To start with, unemployment is still hovering at record lows, meaning that there is a widespread talent shortage, and no guarantee that a professional of your required skills and experience will be available at the moment when the company needs them most. The solution to train and hire from within has always been present when the talent needed simply isn't available.
The Urgent Need to Fill Crucial Roles
Next is the urgency of some roles and skills gaps to be filled that goes beyond the usual delay of the hiring cycle. Hiring a new person to backfill a vacant role or fill a new role that has recently become necessary can be several months to over a year, and companies often simply cannot wait that long to meet their bare minimum staffing needs. When there is no time to wait, the natural solution is to look for the necessary skillsets or talent potential within a company's current workforce.
Caution Regarding Hiring Costs
Lastly, the economy is in an unusually tense position. The interest rate is skyrocketing and staff budgets are shrinking. Companies are thinking twice about the overall costs of hiring new full time employees, including the expense of hiring the wrong person in a rush to get someone into these crucial roles. The safer choice is to promote or reassign members of the staff who are already known to be good employees and who have an existing understanding of how the company works from the beginning.
Alongside the motivating factors that formed the quiet hiring trend, there are also many predicted and unforeseen benefits of quiet hiring with a focus on internal opportunities and role flexibility. The benefits of quiet hiring are quiet diverse and are shaped by how quiet hiring is implemented in each company and instance.
Realising the Potential Talents of Internal Teams
First, quiet hiring inherently encourages companies to look beyond the automaton value of each employee to see their wealth of potential for new skills and talents. Employees are seen as people with a variety of roles they could fulfill and additional responsibilities they could expand into, therefore experience greater opportunities and are treated as more valuable.
Reducing the Cost to Hire or Expand the Workforce
Companies with roles to fill and a short staffing budget to fill it can reduce their costs by reimagining what a streamlined employee structure would look like. Adding new capabilities to the company does not necessarily mean adding new people, and internal training is often more affordable than external hiring.
Addressing Critical Talent Need With Immediacy
If you have a role that needs filling immediately, quiet-hiring an internal team member with the right skills can take care of that need without delay. This vastly beats the months' delay of traditional hiring.
Well-Rounded Professional Development
Looking for ways that current employees can fulfill more necessary roles also leads to more well-rounded professional development. Your team will gain experience in multiple departments or get to apply their knowledge and skills to puzzles beyond the job description they were originally hired for. Internal training leads to developing a greater variety of skills and working in different parts of the company will give team members greater perspective on a whole.
Career Fast Tracking
Employees also have the opportunity to ask for career-specific assignment changes. Whether the change is permanent or temporary, it becomes possible to fast-track the acquisition of career skills and get in line for important promotions when the company is focusing entirely on internal talent mobility, professional development, and internal hiring.
Recognition of Star Employees Who "Wear Multiple Hats"
Often in times of short staff and struggle, a few star employees step up to "wear multiple hats". Traditionally, they are often overlooked when new people are hired to fill the extra roles, but no longer! These top performers are now exemplary quiet hiring candidates worthy of recognition and promotions.
Opportunities for Renegotiations and Promotions
In fact, everyone who does more than their original hired-for role can gain opportunities for recognition and promotion. Many people will reach management and team leadership positions through quiet-hire workforce restructuring.
Tips to Rock at Quiet Hiring
Quiet hiring has many benefits, but it's also important to implement this new approach to staffing with the right approach. Reassigning team members beyond the scope of their original contract can be confusing and even demoralising without proper communication. You will need to build a strategy that provides desired benefits for everyone involved.
Emphasise the Immediate Importance
Let your employees know how vitally important their temporary role assignments are to keeping the company running. Make sure they know that their existing role is important, but that their ability to contribute in new ways adds to their value as professionals and team members. They are providing a crucial service for the company and will reap the rewards.
Shape Quiet Hiring to Fit Desired Career Growth
When you reassign a team member, make sure the role they are filling is one that contributes to their desired career growth. Ask what skills they want to build and the experience that would be most valuable to them.
Offer Incentives and Recognition
Lastly, make sure that additional stress is always met with recognition, incentives, salary increase, and opportunities. Employees who go beyond the scope of their original role deserve more from the company in return and will naturally expect additional compensation and other benefits.
How Quiet Hiring Has Influenced Recruitment
One important aspect of quiet hiring is how it has impacted recruitment, both for recruiters and businesses looking to fill roles. Recruitment is an industry in its own right and quiet hiring is turning the traditional routines of recruitment inside out.
Internal Talent Seeking
First, quiet hiring focuses on seeking talent internally. This does not mean recruiting has stopped. Instead, it's time to turn recruitment expertise and algorithms inward to identify who among your team has the skills needed to fill your most crucial roles or the potential to learn.
Reaching Out to Alumni
Recruiters may be asked to direct their search to company alumni - people who worked with the company before. Those who were a good fit before moving on will have a better understanding of the company, may have essential skills that are difficult to replace, and the company knows they are a good fit before investing in the hiring process.
Focusing on Referrals
Referrals have always been a valuable source of new talent, and recruitment may amp up the focus on reaching out to and onboarding referrals made by treusted existing employees.
Temporary Staff and Outsourcing
Quiet hiring and temporary staffing are also closely linked due to the need to fill urgent vacancies rapidly. Professionals willing to provide in demand skills on short notice without the entire hiring routine are valuable. At the same time, trusted outsourcing teams that can be hired to join the current staff on a monthly basis have also become essential to the quiet hiring trend.
Quiet hiring is a complex new operation that introduces new duties, routines, and tasks to your current workforce. Stay on top of it all with the help of advanced scheduling software like Shiftbase. Keep track of your temporary team members and ensure proper work-life balance for your employees who are now wearing multiple hats. Sign up today and try Shiftbase for free for 14 days.