Quiet Hiring Is One of the Biggest Workplace Trends for 2023, but Is It Helping (or Hurting) Employees?

You’ve probably heard the term quiet quitting flying around, used to describe employees who are no longer going above and beyond at work—aka, sticking to their job description and only doing what they’re paid to do. Now, according to a recent study by the consulting firm Gartner, the tables are turning. Quiet hiring is poised to be the top work trend of 2023. But who benefits? We turned to Charnay Horton, CEO of Resume Addict, to discuss the pros and cons of quiet hiring and what you should do if you find yourself being recruited.

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Meet the Expert

  • Charnay Horton is the CEO at Resume Addict, which provides career coaching and resume services.

What Is Quiet Hiring?

According to Gartner, quiet hiring is a HR tactic used to promote internal talent mobility and allows an organization to “acquire new skills and capabilities without adding new full-time employees.” In other words, it means giving current employees more responsibility, sometimes outside their domain—no actual hiring taking place.

Who Benefits from Quiet Hiring?

At first glance, the practice may seem shady—pressing work onto employees that isn’t necessarily in their job description. However, Horton says that companies are turning to this tactic as a reaction to the quiet quitting movement. “A large portion of the workforce does not feel appreciated or respected for the work that they produce, and some employers feel that they need to provide an overdue incentive to retain their staff. This also enhances inclusivity and access to those who otherwise wouldn't normally be considered for internal opportunities.”

Indeed, a poll conducted by the job-search platform Monster showed that rather than be averse to quiet hiring, 63 percent of workers are amenable to the idea, believing it a good opportunity to expand their skillsets.

“If it’s done properly, both parties can benefit from this. Hiring externally is very costly, and by putting more responsibility or shifting tasks for their existing staff, employers will save money,” Horton explains. “It also allows employers to fill the gap of skill shortages by training from within.

It Sounds Like Quiet Hiring Isn’t Really Fair

Sure, employees *can* benefit from this if they negotiate, just as they would for a job offer elsewhere, but, as the name implies, it’s a “quiet,” often slow-burn process that you might not notice is happening until suddenly one day you realize you’re juggling the jobs of two full-time employees. So, be sure that you are happy with the shift in responsibilities. Is there a new title? A pay increase? Approach it with the ‘what’s in it for me?’ mentality."

3 Tips to Navigate the Workplace If You’re Being Quietly Hired

While the majority of those polled by Monster were receptive to the concept, 50 percent did report that the new tasks weren’t a fit for their skillset, and 27 percent would consider quitting if it happened to them. Before you make a snap decision, heed this advice to successfully make it work for you—if not now, then down the road.

“You should welcome the idea of being quietly hired if you are looking to expand your skill set. This is an opportunity to enhance your resume and prepare for future opportunities,” Horton says, though she does warn that if you’re expected to contribute more without incentive, that’s a red flag.

1. Be Assertive

“Don’t be afraid to be assertive when it comes to expressing your boundaries and what you have the capacity to do,” Horton advises. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day—present what you are able to do and work with your employer to decide what you should prioritize.

2. Negotiate

“If the employer is increasing your workload without an increase in pay, or job title change, it’s time to have a conversation. Describe what you are currently working on and ask what your priorities should be in order to achieve departmental success,” Horton says. If you can’t negotiate a higher salary, Horton counsels that you should try and ask for other forms of compensation, such as additional time off, more access to professional development training and certifications, remote work, new equipment and stock or equity.

3. Before Saying Yes, Get the Whole Picture

Make sure that it will ultimately benefit you and that you are properly trained to take on the new tasks that your employer is requiring you to do. If you do not have access to hands-on training, understand what outside training or certifications you can acquire to be brought up to speed.

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