By Geraldine Plott, CPCU, SCLA, FCLA, AIC, ARM, AIS, AINS, CIIP, DAE, CLP-A
Over the last year several new buzzwords have been in the industry news – ‘quiet quitting’ and ‘quiet firing’. The newest is ‘quiet hiring’. Experts at Gartner (gartner.com) listed this trend as one of the top workforce predictions for 2023.
According to those in the know at Gartner “quiet hiring is when an organization acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees”. It can refer to bringing on short-term contractors, but it usually means giving current employees more responsibilities beyond what they currently have.
I’m sure we all are aware of our current competitive hiring environment, our economic slowdown, and the struggle to keep costs down. Finding new talent while trying to retain top performers is a challenge. This is compounded by the fact that staffing budgets are not on the increase, so organizations feel the need to become more creative. Leveraging internal talent rather than the process of recruitment is an option to meet immediate needs. It provides the flexibility of being able to deploy company resources to their highest priorities.
For instance, Google uses ‘quiet hiring’ to identify staff that are going above and beyond their current job descriptions – WOW, what a concept! These employees are more likely or should be more likely to get raises and promotions. This ‘quiet hiring’ saves the company time, money and resources.
So, what is the impact on the employee, those going above and beyond as well as those that are not in that group or those that are happy where they are? It comes down to communication – which always seems to be the villain in the room. Taking on additional responsibilities helps employees build their skills and careers as well as puts them in a position for advancement. However, if management is not transparent about their plans for staffing, employee development and company growth there can be a risk of friction between the two. Communication, as well as training is extremely important in setting up the employee and employer up for success.
Upskilling and shifting employees into new roles may not be attractive to all employees. Recognizing this fact is essential in planning and development. Understanding the WHY behind ‘quiet hiring’ is important but determining the HOW will be essential in creating a smooth and friction free work environment.
This could be a valuable opportunity for the employee however the employee should not be shy when it comes to discussing boundaries and what they feel they have the capacity to actually do. If this increase in workload is without an increase in pay or a job title change, it’s time to have a conversation. If a salary increase is not an option, there could be other forms of compensation such as professional development or additional time off. Also, before saying yes to this increase in workload, it’s essential that the employee get the whole picture. Will this benefit you, are you properly trained, is there outside training needed and are there certifications you need to acquire or be brought up to date? Be as certain as possible that you will be happy with the shift in responsibilities. Avoid getting down the road and realizing you are overwhelmed and stressed out. Understanding the why and how of ‘quiet hiring’ is key to determining the possible benefits for YOU.
Geraldine Plott entered the insurance industry in 1974 and became a member of IAIP in 2002. She has held a variety of positions in both and has always been a strong advocate for education and professional development. She is currently retired but remain an ‘insurance nerd’ and enjoy facilitating and conducting classes/seminars.