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What is Quiet Hiring?

Updated: May 30, 2023

What is quiet hiring?

It's happened again, we've got more HR buzzwords to reinvent stuff that already happens (sigh) but, for those of you who are interested, this blog covers what quiet hiring is and what businesses need to consider when it comes to quiet hiring.


What is quiet hiring?


Essentially, quiet hiring is when organisations use the capabilities that their current employees have to leverage them acquiring new skills, so up-skilling their existing people, which means technically they dont have to hire more employees. According to Euro News, this allows employers to keep their headcount steady and focus on developing internal talent. According to Gartner, quiet hiring can be categorised through the expansion of the responsibilities of existing employees.


So what we're talking about here is nurturing your internal talent and up-skilling them to allow them to grow, which isn't new at all, it's part of the backbone of looking after your people. Whilst up-skilling people isn't new, the idea that proving people with more skills so you dont have to hire others in a lot of cases may be a bit of a stretch. Up-skilled or not if you need people one person can't be in two places at the same time.


Why should employers care about quiet hiring?


So what we're talking about here is nurturing your internal talent and up-skilling them to allow them to grow, which isn't new at all, it's part of the backbone of looking after your people. Whilst up-skilling people isn't new, the idea that proving people with more skills so you don't have to hire others in a lot of cases may be a bit of a stretch. Up-skilled or not if you need people one person can't be in two places at the same time.


We always say your people make your business, a good team will make or break your organisation and investing in them is key to businesses ultimately being able to succeed.


What does quiet hiring mean for employees?


More opportunity is obviously positive, for those who want to grow. It's useful to remember, however, that not all employees will want to develop so it's important opportunities are not thrust upon employees. Extra chances to grow are amazing but employees and employers should also be conscious of not over-stretching their people which could lead to burnout and dare I say it quiet quitting. Making sure employees have a clear plan for up-skilling, are aware of what's expected of them and the support they'll be given is also key.


What's the best way to upskill you people or quiet hire?


Be realistic about what you need


First things first, up-skilling your people is not a substitute for hiring more people if you need them. So when thinking about up-skilling be realistic about what you need and what your people will be able to cope with. If you just need more people don't just slap a buzzword on stretching your people beyond what's realistic.


Map out what you need


If you could wave a magic wand, what skills would you have in your business? Be clear about the skills you need and use this to map out whether you feel these skills could be carried out by your existing team or if you need extra people.


Get agreement


One of my favourite quotes from a Torrington, Hall and Taylor book is “people support what they help you create.” Give people the option to up-skill, don't make it mandatory, you'll get more engagement if people mutually agree to take on more skills rather than them having no choice.


Don't forget it's also not just about you, whilst you need skills your employee isn't going to undergo training that doesn't work for them. Be clear about your employee's career goals and try to ensure that any training aligns both with what you need as a business and your employees desires.


Monitor how things go


Keep an eye on how people are doing, if they get overloaded you might need to rethink your approach or provide additional support.


Don't forget about reward


Most people are unlikely to take on additional skills without there being some sort of reward. Make sure from the outset that you're clear about how employees will be rewarded for taking on extra skills. You may choose to increase their salary, provide a bonus, give a promotion or make sure the up-skilling they receive results in a recognised qualification. Be clear about what employees will receive by going the extra mile for you.



Have you seen our video/ podcast on quiet quitting? Have a listen here:


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Disclaimer

  • All information within the post is provided for guidance only; always seek your own legal advice.

  • The information with this post was correct at the time of publishing, March 2023 but may be subject to change.


References



Gartner

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