Best Approach to Make Quiet Hiring Work for You and Your People [+Basics]

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Quiet Hiring

The post-pandemic talent market remains highly competitive. Most HR leaders continue to vie for the best talent despite fears of an impending recession. Hiring and retention costs are rising as trends like quiet quitting and quiet firing are becoming commonplace. Leading the way, as usual, Google has its innovative under-the-radar recruiting strategy making waves.

Touted as Quiet Hiring, it has enabled Google to build niche skill sets without increasing HR spending significantly. The trend is catching up. HR Teams across verticals are leveraging this approach to control personnel costs while creating an agile, high-performing workforce.  

What is Quiet Hiring?

Listed among Gartner’s top nine workplace predictions for HR Leaders for 2023, quiet hiring is set to become a norm. It is an optimized hiring strategy that helps plug skill gaps without an equivalent increase in headcount. The idea is to minimize the risk of a bad hire.

  • Internal Quiet hiring refers to honing in on employees who take on additional responsibilities beyond their job description to prove they are fit to excel in a given role. Enterprises can train and redeploy them internally based on organizational priorities. While the concept of internal role changes is not new, quiet hiring is more time-critical and employee driven.
  • External quiet hiring refers to adopting alternate approaches, such as leveraging ex-employee networks and gig workers to bring in talent flexibly without long-term or full-time commitments. HR Teams prefer this approach for short-term requirements and ultra-niche skillsets.

How Can Quiet Hiring Benefit Workplaces?

1. Increased Workforce Agility

HR Teams struggle with ever-changing, niche skill requirements. Quiet hiring helps to lower the time-to-fill and enables organizations to mold their workforce to changing market scenarios. Enterprises can quickly redeploy employees to roles where they can create maximum value for the organizations and themselves.

2. Higher Employee Engagement

Quiet hiring empowers employees to take control of their career paths and offers a way to recognition and progress. Per a recent survey by Monster, 63% of employees view quiet hiring as an opportunity to learn new skills. Employees feel valued when employers reward them with better prospects, reskilling opportunities, and a higher pay scale. It ensures they align with organizational goals and boosts their intent to stay.

3. Lower HR Costs

Quiet hiring cuts costs in two ways. It cuts HR expenses by eliminating the need for hiring full-time employees by leveraging alternate options. It also reduces attrition by rewarding motivated employees, thus reducing traditional recruitment and onboarding costs. 

An Actionable Framework to Implement the Quiet Hiring Approach

: Step-By-Step Process For Quiet Hiring
Best Approach to Make Quiet Hiring Work for You and Your People [+Basics] 1

If HR Teams do not plan the quiet hiring approach carefully, they run the risk of it backfiring. Below are the key steps you must incorporate to execute quiet hiring successfully,

1. Create a Quiet Hiring Plan

Generally, quiet hiring is time sensitive and employed when the need is critical. HR Teams must define the range of organizational skillsets they intend to build by implementing quiet hiring. They must evaluate internal and external hiring options depending on the duration of the requirement and from a cost-benefit perspective. The hiring plan must also outline how the organization will evaluate, train, and reward the candidates.

2. Provide Opportunities to Take The Lead

Managers must ensure that employees have enough equitable opportunities to show initiative and prepare for newer roles. These initiatives must be recognized and meticulously evaluated in line with the hiring plan.

Automated performance management software helps managers schedule regular interactions for feedback, track performance beyond conventional goals, and identify potential internal hires.

3. Communicate with Employees

Employees need clarity about how long the internal redeployments will last and their impact on their career paths. They also must understand the training and upskilling they need to undertake to perform the new assignments. Most importantly, enterprises must set expectations about how they will reward employees for their extra efforts. 

4. Offer Training and Support

HR Teams and managers must ensure employees have enough online and hands-on training opportunities to upgrade their skillsets. Training automation platforms to assess and track training results help HR teams to identify potential hires who excel at essential skills other than their core job requirements.

5. Recognize and Reward

Managers must recognize the extra efforts put in by employees and reward them with commensurate rewards such as bonuses, flexible timings, learning opportunities, and increments in line with the hiring plan.

6. Design Career Paths

Per the 2021 LinkedIn Future of Talent report, 34% of respondents face difficulties identifying employee aspirations. It is essential to ensure that role changes to plug enterprise skill gaps align with individual career aspirations also.

While cross-skilling is an advantage in the job market today, managers must assure employees that they can resume their old roles once the alternate assignment is over. They must also explain how the additional training and upskilling align with their long-term career plans.

Dos and Donts While Implementing the New Approach to Hiring 

1. Bring In External Experts

Enterprises can leverage external consultants on a part-time or contract basis to foster innovation by bringing in new perspectives. It helps employees keep pace with the latest developments and stay ahead of the curve.

2. Be Wary Of Burnout

Quiet hiring can make employees feel that the only way to progress in the organization is to stand out from the crowd. It can push employees to ignore their physical and mental well-being while pursuing better opportunities. HR Teams must ensure employees get enough time off and flexible work environments to compensate for their extra efforts to avoid burnout. 

3. Do not let Proximity Bias Kick In

Managers must ensure that ‘face time’ is not the sole criterion for identifying potential quiet hires. In a hybrid work environment, remote employees are not ‘seen’ as much as the employees in the office. Managers must objectively evaluate employee contribution to business outcomes and provide equal opportunities to prove their capabilities.


Enterprises planning to implement quiet hiring must ensure a robust HR automation platform that can support the entire process, including workforce planning, performance tracking, training, and rewards and recognition. Also, HR analytics can help eliminate manager bias in identifying potential quiet hires. Predictive analytics can also help assess the candidate’s flight risk and intent to stay.

HR Automation is essential to set up end-to-end hybrid work environments to ensure employee productivity, especially while hiring external gig workers. Another crucial aspect where automation helps is monitoring the emotional well-being of redeployed employees through regular surveys and sentiment analysis.

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Bhavna Singh

Bhavna Singh leads Talent acquisition function for HROne. With Over 9+ years of experience in IT/Non IT and semi govt firms she has a vast experience in talent acquisition and employee onboarding.

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