What Is Quiet Hiring? Plus Why It’s So Hard to Hire Right Now

What Is Quiet Hiring? Plus Why It’s So Hard to Hire Right Now

Across different industries, hiring managers are having difficulty recruiting new talent and finding candidates who are qualified for open positions. That is if they have any candidates to choose from at all. While this is a frustrating problem to have, teams still have deadlines and roles to fill. Of the hiring managers who responded to an HR Morning survey, 88% believe recruiting and hiring will be just as or more difficult in 2023 as it was in 2022. 

In the same survey, 50% of organizations reported reducing hiring plans, compared to one 23% in 2022. Additionally, more than half of the businesses who responded are worried about layoffs moving into the new year and 39% reported hiring freezes, reducing HR departments, lower investments, and pausing new job postings. With fewer positions available, there should be an overabundance of candidates, right?

Two professionals smiling and shaking hands over a work desk in a bright office.

HR managers likely remember seeing “quiet quitting” and “quiet firing” trending on social media in the last year, or they experienced it in person. Quiet quitting describes the trend of employees putting minimal effort into their job with no added labor or time unless absolutely necessary. Though the phrase first appeared on social media in 2020, many are skeptical as to how new or old the trend is, or even how widespread it may be. 

Though a similar phrase, quiet firing describes a toxic work environment that neglects employees until they leave the company. Quiet firing is a symptom of toxic or ineffective management. Some may use quiet firing techniques as a way of avoiding uncomfortable conversations with employees. 

They do this by allowing or creating a work environment that causes their employees to mentally check out. Even well-meaning employers can be guilty of the practice which is why management training is vital to retain good employees. 

But what about “quiet hiring?” Let’s take a closer look.

What is Quiet Hiring?

What is quiet hiring and how can it be used to solve talent shortages? Recruiters and HR managers are likely already doing some form of quiet hiring to ensure projects are completed. 

In quiet hiring, management looks to highly motivated people who are currently employed within the organization and places them in open positions. 

This strategy can be highly effective for companies that have good communication between employees and management, while also rewarding those who go above and beyond. Along with knowing how to effectively promote a learning culture, some believe that quiet hiring may overtake and reverse quiet quitting. Employees engaged in quiet quitting will not see the rewards and benefits as their fellow employees who do strive for more. 

Pros and Cons of Quiet Hiring 

Like with any recruitment tactic, there are benefits and potential drawbacks with quiet hiring. Let’s take a look at some now.


  • The skills and techniques needed for quiet hiring can open and improve the lines of communication between management and staff. A great deal of quiet hiring involves speaking honestly with employees and learning what they hope to achieve in their career.
  • This method identifies and rewards employees for their hard work and dedication. 
  • By rewarding employees who make the effort, quiet hiring can help reverse quiet quitting in some scenarios. 
  • Quiet hiring saves money on recruitment and training.


  • If communication skills are lacking, quiet hiring runs a risk of a passive-aggressive communication style between management and staff. 
  • Increased workloads or responsibilities may lead to employee burnout, though this is also dependent on the resulting compensation.
  • In more extreme cases, quiet hiring may not be the answer and could overextend the output of an already overworked staff. 

Recruiting in 2023: Why Is It So Hard to Hire Right Now?

There seems to be an abundance of candidates and an endless list of open positions, so why is it so hard to hire right now? There are several factors at play including an uncertain economy and job seekers needing more than what potential employers are currently offering.

An effective HR manager knows how to hire high-potential employees. These are the same employees who will later be chosen for higher positions through quiet hiring. Some of the recruitment difficulties lie in the difference between what employers are able to offer in terms of compensation and benefits and what candidates need in order to live comfortably. With fears of an economic downturn and the rising cost of living, it may be difficult to offer enough pay and benefits to attract the best employees. Much of the hiring process may be put on hold for fear of what the economic future has in store. 

But, these factors do not have to completely halt the hiring process. With good communication skills and incentives, new roles can be filled by utilizing quiet hiring techniques with your current, promising employees. Think of quiet hiring as a way to invest in your current employees. 

Upskill Your Workforce With KnowledgeCity 

No matter what the economic climate is like, it is always a great idea to make the most of and strengthen current employees. It is not always necessary to hire new staff. 

KnowledgeCity offers many affordable and accessible courses to teach professionals effective ways to maximize their skills and gain knowledge, no matter their level of experience. Upskilling current employees discourages quiet quitting, saves costs on recruitment, and encourages staff to reach new heights. Quiet hiring allows an organization to recognize talent and find new leaders with familiar faces. KnowledgeCity gives HR and recruiting professionals the tools they need to do this. 


Quiet hiring may be the answer for an organization struggling to recruit new, high-potential talent in these times of economic uncertainty. With the potential to stop quiet quitting and prevent quiet firing, quiet hiring, combined with effective management, communication, and training, could save organizations precious time and resources.

Download our free guide on How to Implement an Employee Training Program to start setting your organization up for success today.

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