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Word of the Week: Quiet hiring

Corporate vocabulary is evolving in tandem with social media evolution as a new generation enters the workforce daily. Every week, Forbes India will decode and simplify workplace and business-related words to bring you up to speed with today's lingo

Published: Aug 16, 2023 02:01:00 PM IST
Updated: Aug 16, 2023 02:27:01 PM IST

Word of the Week: Quiet hiring

Quiet hiring: A discreet and confidential approach by hiring talent internally, instead of advertising job openings or publicly announcing vacancies

"Quiet hiring can help a company save cost and time."

Origins unknown

Listed as one of Gartner's top workforce predictions for 2023, quiet hiring is "When an organisation acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees," according to the management consultancy's senior director of research, Emily Rose McRae.

Simply put, it means giving existing employees additional responsibilities beyond their current job description.

Unlike traditional recruitment methods, which involve public job postings and extensive candidate outreach, quiet hiring focuses on maintaining a level of secrecy throughout the process. Employers often engage with potential candidates using confidential channels, such as personal referrals and direct networking.

One of the benefits of quiet hiring for the organisation is that it is cost-effective and saves time and resources. For employees, it can come with a raise in pay, additional perks such as bonuses, or the ability to ask for other benefits such as flexible hours and more. But most importantly, it results in the opportunity to work on existing skill sets and engage with more colleagues and new teams in the organisation.

According to Forbes, while quiet hiring does benefit an organisation, it could result in frustration among employees who don't necessarily want to change to roles they may not be interested in.

McRae also warns of an "inherent tension" when quiet hiring. If employers fail to communicate with employees about why they have been transferred, for how long they are expected to be in the role, or performance measures or KPIs, it may end up in employees feeling less valued.

Therefore, quietly hired employees should be clear about what they are expected to do from the start. It is also important to consider that they ask for all the support and training required for a smooth transition and discuss success metrics.

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