Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

3rd Jul, 2024

Ian Nicholas
Ian Nicholas
Job Title
Global Managing Director

Quiet hiring is a recruitment strategy set to grow this year. The term – also known as silent or stealth recruitment – refers to the practice of acquiring new skills without hiring new permanent employees.

The quiet quitting trend – where unmotivated employees decided to take a step back from work and stick to the minimum requirements of their role – has been spoken about frequently. But, through quiet hiring, organisations can create a more engaged and motivated workforce.

What does quiet hiring involve?

Quiet hiring can be done either internally or externally, or a combination of the two.

Internally, organisations can offer new career opportunities to top-performing employees who have proven themselves to have great potential for growth. It involves giving the employee additional responsibilities that they may not have had the opportunity to work on before, allowing them to excel in something new, develop their skillsets and work their way up the career ladder. Internal quiet hiring also greatly benefits the employer by making the most of existing talent within an organisation.

Meanwhile, external quiet hiring involves outsourcing work to skilled individuals seeking flexible employment, such as freelancers or those searching for temporary employment. This allows organisations to access the skills they need quickly and efficiently. It can also open up a new talent pool of individuals with specialist skill sets, who would otherwise be too costly to place in permanent positions.

What are the benefits of quiet hiring for employers?

From a recruitment standpoint, quiet hiring not only offers numerous benefits for the employee but also the employer. For example, it enables employers to cost-effectively bridge skill gaps and better shape their workforce around the skills they need – either by upskilling existing employees or by hiring temporary employees who already possess the desired skills, sometimes at a higher level than those who apply through traditional recruitment means.

Additionally, quiet hiring can help employers to mitigate the risks associated with traditional recruitment processes. Our research revealed that 46% of hiring managers regret rushing their hiring decisions. Quiet hiring affords employers more time to make the right decision before making a new, permanent hire. Additionally, if temporary workers are a good fit, employers can offer them a permanent position at a later point, allowing employers to ‘test the water’.

Internal quiet hiring can also re-motivate a potentially unfulfilled workforce. In another study we revealed that 24% of workers are planning on changing jobs in the next two years, and two thirds (65%) stated that their company doesn’t offer rewards for good performance. By presenting a clear career path and growth opportunities to top-performing employees, organisations can demonstrate how they value their talent and are willing to invest in its growth. This will not only help to motivate the existing workforce, but it will also prove attractive to new potential talent.

Striking the right balance

A key aspect of internal quiet hiring is investing in upskilling existing employees and working with them to help them achieve their career goals. However, it’s vital to strike a balance and avoid overwhelming employees with too many additional responsibilities, too quickly. Employees need to feel confident that the added responsibilities are an opportunity for career growth, not a means for the employer to avoid making an additional hire.

As such, internal quiet hiring often works most effectively when introduced in combination with external quiet hiring – as temporary workers can help to balance demand pressures on teams, as well as expose your employees to specialist skillsets to help them develop further. When employers find the right balance of internal and external quiet hiring, alongside traditional recruitment processes, they can significantly effectively tackle skills gaps and improve employee satisfaction and retention, all while creating a positive environment that motivates the entire workforce.

We have access to over 390,000 temporary workers across the UK, get in touch with one of our specialist recruiters to help find the right professional for your temporary vacancies.