Upskilling and internal promotions: What is Quiet Hiring?

April Blog For Website

In 2022 “quiet quitting” was all the buzz – the concept of reducing the amount of effort an employee puts into their job to just that which is required in their terms of employment. In 2023 we’re changing the focus to “quiet hiring”. Quiet hiring is a relatively new term that has been gaining traction in the business world with thanks to social media. While the term may be new, the concept is an ingrained practice within strategic business planning and growth. Quiet hiring involves upskilling existing employees to fill new positions or skillset gaps within a company, rather than hiring externally. This practice of “quiet hiring” or upskilling can be beneficial to both employers and employees alike- it helps the business to save money and time on the hiring and onboarding process, while providing employees the opportunities to grow and develop professionally. Let’s look further at how quiet hiring works in practice.

​​Quiet Hiring: Finding the right fit without advertising the position

For employers, quiet hiring can provide a range of benefits. Foremost, it saves time – the process of advertising, sifting through candidate applications and interviewing potential candidates can be a long and arduous task, added to the notice period a new employee may need to give their previous employer and the time taken to onboard new staff, this can take months to complete. By using existing team members, this process is eliminated entirely, saving the company both time and money. Additionally, by promoting internally rather than hiring externally the person is more likely to have a clear understanding of the company’s values, mission and culture which helps ensure that their decision-making processes are aligned with the company’s overall strategy.

Moving employees internally also helps to foster loyalty and engagement. Employees see the opportunities for growth and development within the company as a long-term employment opportunity rather than a stepping-stone role towards better opportunities with other companies. 

Upskilling: The benefits for employees

Initially, you may think that quiet hiring is a way for companies to save money on their bottom line and exploit their already overworked employees, however, there are also many advantages to an employee as well. Existing employees can prove themselves in new roles without having to compete with external candidates which can be particularly beneficial to those employees who may not have the same qualifications or experience as other job seekers. Furthermore, by upskilling through promotion or training programs, employees gain greater autonomy over their work which can lead to increases in job satisfaction. Most importantly, quiet hiring and upskilling allows employees to feel valued within the company they work for; knowing that the opportunities are there for career advancement and professional development attributed to boosting moral.

Fair and ethical: How to approach quiet hiring

There are certain ethical considerations that a company should make when it comes to quiet hiring, particularly when it comes to internal promotions over external hires. Companies should ensure they are giving equal consideration to all potential candidates – both internal and external- and avoid any bias towards promoting existing staff members over possible new hires from outside the company. 

Employers need to make sure that recruitment and promotion processes are transparent and fair so that current employees do not feel that they have been overlooked or treated unfairly during the process. 

And finally, before any decisions are made to upskill or promote current employees, companies need to ensure that everyone involved in the changes are fully aware of what is expected of them in terms or skill development and workload as well as expectations being met when it comes to compensation for taking on more responsibility, both monetary and otherwise.

Final thoughts

Quiet hiring doesn’t really describe a new employer trend as much as it identifies a disconnect between younger generations and their experience in the workforce- job hopping between companies to advance their career- compared to more traditional standard of employment where employees would work their way from an entry role through to more demanding roles with the same company.

Quiet hiring is an innovative approach to upskilling employees in order to fill vacant positions and build missing skill sets within a company. Not only does it save time and money for companies, but it also allows employees to take on more senior roles or develop transferrable skills with education and training that is beneficial to their long-term career goals. Provided employers and companies take an ethical and transparent approach to making decisions regarding their promotion and recruitment processes, quiet hiring and upskilling is undoubtedly something worth considering when looking at ways to increase the skillset within your company or team without having to go through a lengthy recruitment and hiring process every time a new need arises within the company.

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