Are employees ‘grateful’ for quiet hiring? Shhh!


QUIET hiring — aka stealth recruitment — is the new office controversy.

It boils down to this: organisations are looking to acquire new skills without increasing permanent employee-headcount. It’s something that has huge potential, but it needs to be balanced with care.

Quiet hiring
Organisations are looking to acquire new skills without increasing permanent employee-headcount

Quiet hiring can be internal or external. Internally, it allows organisations to offer fresh career opportunities to employees who show potential. The employees are recognised for their hard work and given the opportunity of career advancement. Employers get to make the most of existing talent.

External is where organisations outsource work opportunities to those looking for more flexible ways of working. That could be temporary staff or freelancers with specialist skillsets who can work alongside existing employees to reduce demand pressures — as and when required. This creates access to a new talent pool without having to recruit for a permanent position.

The goal is to improve the employee experience by harnessing the benefits of talent mobility and skill visibility. This allows employers to provide career development pathways for current employees, promoting greater engagement and motivation.

External quiet hiring allows organisations to reduce workload pressures by filling skills and resource gaps with temporary talent. This improves access to specialised skillsets.

Either flavour of quiet hiring can help employers to cost-effectively bridge skills gaps. Whether investing in upskilling or temporary workers with pre-existing skills, businesses can better shape their workforce. Temporary recruitment, in particular, can offer access to niche skillsets, which may not be affordable as permanent hires.

Quiet hiring helps to mitigate risks associated with the traditional hiring process. Recent research revealed that 46 percent of hiring managers regret being too hasty over hiring. The innovation gives them more time to make the right decisions on permanent recruitment.

Another benefit is giving employees the sense that they are valued. Outlining clear development opportunities will boost engagement, loyalty, and motivation.

Delegating too many responsibilities too quickly could cause workplace stress — and a rise at the other pole: quiet quitting. Quiet hiring needs to offer new opportunities at a manageable pace, not prevent additional hires.

External quiet hiring can cut the workload on teams, offering a flexible solution that provides access to talent. There is the potential to benefit and balance traditional recruitment processes, while preserving a strong culture.

Ian Nicholas is global managing director at Reed.