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How can ‘quiet hiring’ become a win-win for organisations and their employees?

In a recent website article, Gartner states that ‘quiet hiring’ can be a critical workforce development strategy. If organisations get it right, quiet hiring can boost employee retention and employee experience (EX), cultivate home-grown skills, and help to control payroll costs. According to the article, businesses with a sensible approach to quiet hiring can gain a “distinct competitive advantage”. Unfortunately, businesses that do not get it right risk overworking employees and negatively affecting their wellbeing, which may result in higher levels of burnout and attrition. 

‘Quiet hiring’ is further described in Gartner’s “Future of Work 2023” report, that led to a viral wave of news headlines. Quiet hiring occurs when organisations acquire new skills and capabilities without adding new full-time employees. This can happen through internal talent mobility, upskilling opportunities for existing employees, or employing gig workers to bring in talent as needed. Such approaches let HR leaders get creative about securing in-demand skills when staff budgets are decreasing and talent is hard to attract 

Gartner positions quiet hiring as a potential win-win for organisations and their employees. The approach lets employees work stretch assignments, develop current skills, learn new skills and become more valuable and marketable. Gartner warns organisations not to ask too much from employees and focuses on the need to compensate or reward employees involved in quiet hiring. For instance: additional compensation, one-time bonuses, extra personal time off, and/or flexible hours and working conditions. 

At Welliba, we see quiet hiring as a great opportunity for businesses to put their employee experience (EX) programmes to work. EX programmes are about understanding how employees interact with their environment and what positive and/or negative experiences result from this interaction. Welliba can enable organisations to better manage their talent’s EX as people are engaged in ‘quiet hiring’ assignments. Welliba can also help employees to better understand and influence their own EX, which will help them deal with the change and uncertainty associated with quiet hiring procedures. 

Along with opportunities to learn and develop, quiet hiring will inevitably lead to extra challenges for employees. Compensating them makes perfect sense, but it will not make employees impervious to the extra pressure that is inevitably associated with new challenges. Organisations need to make sure they carefully monitor how employees experience their new roles and projects: when does the win-win cease to exist?  

That is why organisations need better listening approaches, quicker ways to analyse EX data, more effective EX programmes to quickly address issues, and an approach to give employees more ownership of their own EX, so employees and organisations can work together to monitor and manage the employee experience. 

Getting quiet hiring right also means getting EX right. Otherwise, a win-win may be hard to come by.  


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