Quiet Hiring: Everything You Need to Know From a Staffing Expert

This article was written by Stephanie Wernick Baker, President of Mondo Staffing and an honoree of SIA’s 2022 Global Power 150 “Women in Staffing.”

The next phase of employment industry rhetoric called “Quiet Hiring” is on the horizon and will soon be adopted as a trending strategy all over the Internet and throughout organizations globally.

Executives across the country have been responding to “Quiet Quitting” — a long overdue movement where employees finally took the wheel to claim control over their life and work.  

The pandemic ripped the bandaid off and has provided the people that make companies tick the ultimate power. The power to choose how they spend their time, where they spend their time, with whom they spend their time, and what purpose is most aligned with their souls.

Like any cause-and-effect reaction, employers are now responding to Quiet Quitting with the latest trend, “Quiet Hiring” to help course correct where they may have gone wrong throughout the pandemic. 

What is Quiet Hiring?

‘Quiet Hiring’ is a strategy leveraged by businesses in which employers will use current staff to fill in talent and skill gaps rather than hiring new employees. Another variation is external quiet hiring, which means employers will supplement their existing team with contract support instead of taking on more full-time employees. 

Why is Quiet Hiring important?

Quiet Hiring is important to understand so that you can properly leverage it to get the most out of your current workforce and improve retention and the longevity of your business.

After 2 years of riding a rollercoaster economy coupled with the continuous response to Quiet Quitting, some employers are now faced with correcting their over investments, while others are sitting patiently, taking their lead from others.

For all the organizations in between these two extremes, the question still remains: 

“How can we capitalize on the excess talent in the market, without the ongoing permanent expense, while driving the highest ROI in the short and long term for our business?”

And the answer is simple…

NOW is the time to double down on investing in your greatest assets — your PEOPLE. 

How to use ‘Quiet Hiring’ the right way

Like leveraging any other business strategy, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do things.

While many businesses and organizations see ‘Quiet Hiring’ as a way for them to get their employees to do more for less, there are better, more effective, and innovative ways to use this strategy that will benefit your business AND your people. 

Invest in your employees

One of the best ways to do this is by hiring subject matter experts — SMEs — to accelerate your core competencies, while investing in critical training for your FTE employees. 

Not only will these SMEs help to fill the gaps you need, but ongoing training for your current employees will also result in their short-term and long-term career development, which will only serve to improve their impact and effectiveness in their roles.

Identify your ‘Quiet Hiring’ gaps

Before you can begin to think about hiring SMEs and investing in training, however, you need to know what’s missing. To identify these gaps you need to: 

  • Simplify your strategy around your highest-performing business units/competencies
  • Identify 1-3 skill sets that would be needed to iterate, enhance, or grow these competencies
  • Create a financial model to estimate potential ROI 

Test your ‘Quiet Hiring’ strategy

  • Hire an SME on a contract basis for 3-6 months with clear objectives, KPIs that are clearly stated in the contract
  • Track progress and evaluate performance on a monthly basis
  • Upon completion of the SMEs work, create a blueprint and document all of the procedures to have customized for your organization 

What are the benefits of ‘Quiet Hiring’ the right way?

If done correctly, quiet hiring can yield many benefits to your company or business, including avoiding employee burnout, long-term cost-savings, better strategic planning, continuous innovation, and identifying your best and brightest employees.

1. Avoiding employee burnout

Rather than simply handing your employees more work and asking them to fill gaps that haven’t been fully identified, hiring SMEs to help with some of the heavier workloads can prevent your employees from becoming overwhelmed, reducing absenteeism and employee burnout.

2. Long-term cost savings

While leveraging your current employees to do more may seem like the cheapest immediate option, SME contracts are often cheaper for short-term projects than taking on a full-time employee making it possible to make incremental investments in talent without breaking the bank.

3. Better strategic planning

Enabling your current employees to focus on what they do best and leveraging contract talent for more project-specific tasks, will enable better strategic planning helping you get better results faster. 

4. Continuous innovation 

Having access to external experts is crucial in staying ahead of the curve and having access to cutting-edge insights and ideas that will help you stay ahead of your competition. 

There’s no better way to shake things up than by bringing in new perspectives. 

5. Identifying your best and brightest employees

Using ‘quiet hiring’ can help to identify your best and brightest employees who have the capacity and desire to take on new challenges, making them more valuable in their roles. 

Lean into the current employees who have proven they have what it takes to go above and beyond and excel in their roles.

Final thoughts on ‘Quiet Hiring’

Leveraging, ‘Quiet Hiring’ the right way can be an effective way to bring in talent while keeping costs under control and is a great way to manage staff on an as-needed basis. It can also be used to test new skills and identify your best employees. 

But, no matter what you do, it’s important to ensure that anyone you hire or entrust with new tasks and responsibilities is given the right training and professional development in order to get the most out of your time and financial investments. 

Because at the end of the day, the most important thing you can do as an employer is to take care of your people to ensure that everyone benefits — from your business to the employee themselves. 

Looking to hire top-tier Tech, Digital Marketing, or Creative Talent? We can help.

Every year, Mondo helps to fill over 2,000 open positions nationwide.

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