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What is Quiet Hiring and 10 Ways to Handle It

13 min read   |  
Last Updated on
quiet-hiring

Picture a workplace where the talent you need is already at your fingertips. No need to scour resumes or sit through endless interviews; you can find your next star employee by simply looking around. That's the beauty of quiet hiring - promoting from within the organization instead of hiring from outside.

By tapping into the existing talent pool, employers can nurture and grow their employees' skills, build loyalty and engagement, and foster a strong sense of community within the workplace. So let's explore the world of quiet hiring and discover how it can create a positive and productive work environment that benefits both employees and employers.

The term ‘quiet hiring’ was declared one of the nine workplace trends of the year by Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm.”

What is Quiet Hiring, and Why is This a Trend in 2023?

Quiet hiring means promoting or hiring people from within the organization instead of looking for new people outside. This way, the company focuses on developing and advancing its employees' skills and abilities.

This approach allows companies to develop and advance the skills and potential of their current staff, which can lead to improved retention and engagement. To implement quiet hiring successfully, companies may need to invest in employee training and development programs to prepare their staff for higher-level roles.

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So, why do you think it has become the trend of 2023?

  • Several factors drive the trend of quiet hiring in 2023. Firstly, it reflects a growing recognition that promoting from within can significantly benefit employers, including higher retention rates, increased employee loyalty, and improved workforce diversity.
  • It reflects a broader shift towards a more strategic and holistic approach to talent management aimed at reversing the trend of quiet quitting. Rather than simply filling roles as they become vacant, organizations are increasingly focused on identifying and developing talent proactively, ensuring they have the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in an increasingly complex and dynamic business environment.
  • By promoting internal hiring, organizations can create a more engaged, motivated, and productive workforce, driving innovation and growth in the years to come.
  • Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward remote work and virtual collaboration, making it more difficult to onboard and integrate new hires from outside the organization.


According to Gartner, organizations experience a loss of skills and capabilities when employees leave quietly without making any noise. To reverse this trend, HR leaders introduced a new approach called "quiet hiring" in 2023. This method aims to acquire new skills and capabilities for the organization.

Benefits of Quiet Hiring

Although quiet hiring can benefit the all-knowing HRs, but for aspiring people, this certainly calls for some attention. It can greatly influence HR’s hiring criteria while allowing the aspirants like interns and those under probation to put their best foot forward for a better career graph.

After all, what’s better than sticking to an organization that you already know better rather than starting somewhere new?

With that thought, let us glimpse some of the key benefits for HRs through quiet hiring.

1. Better than Traditional Hiring

Traditional hiring methods tend to be competitive and create pressure, which can be counterproductive in finding the best candidates. Quiet hiring can offer a range of benefits compared to traditional hiring practices, including cost savings, improved employee retention and engagement, faster onboarding, and increased diversity and inclusion.

By focusing on developing and promoting existing employees, companies can create a more loyal, skilled, and aligned workforce while avoiding the costs and risks associated with external recruiting.

2. Reduce Time & Cost

Quiet hiring can help to reduce the cost and time associated with traditional recruitment methods.

By promoting from within, organizations can avoid the costs and time required to advertise, screen, and interview external candidates and the risks associated with hiring unknown quantities.

Additionally, since internal candidates are already familiar with the organization's culture, mission, and values, they may require less onboarding and training, reducing the costs and time associated with integrating new hires.

3. Enables Talent retention:

It aligns with the growing focus on employee development and retention. By investing in the growth and development of existing employees, organizations can build loyalty, trust, and employee engagement while reducing turnover rates and building a talent pipeline for future needs.

This approach can also promote diversity and inclusion by providing opportunities for career advancement to employees from underrepresented groups who may have limited access to external job markets.

How to Start Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring can be challenging from an HR perspective, requiring a strategic approach to building a talent pool and convincing passive candidates to consider your company. It requires persistence, creativity, and a strong ability to sell your company's culture and values.

1. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are great tools for identifyingand engaging with potential candidates. HR teams can use these platforms to identify professionals who may be a good fit for the company and to start building relationships with them.

2. Focus on Employee Referrals

Employee referrals, including passive candidates, are among the most effective ways to find new talent. Encourage your employees to refer talented professionals, and offer incentives for successful referrals.

3. Attend Networking Events

HR teams should attend industry events and conferences to meet with professionals who may fit the company well. These events provide an opportunity to learn more about the industry and to connect with potential candidates.

How Does Quiet Hiring Affect Employee Engagement

When hiring quietly within an organization, it can positively affect employee engagement as it demonstrates that the company values its employees and is willing to invest in their growth. It also allows for career advancement opportunities and encourages a culture of learning and development.

However, if the process is not transparent, and certain employees are favored over others, it can lead to a sense of unfairness and reduce employee morale. Thus, a structured approach is required.

10 Ways to Master Quiet Hiring

1. Clearly Define the Position

Before starting the quiet hiring process, it's crucial to understand the job requirements, responsibilities, and qualifications to identify suitable candidates within the organization.

This approach helps organizations save time and resources while retaining existing talent and promoting employee career development opportunities.

  • To ensure the success of the quiet hiring process's success, HR professionals must clearly understand the skills and abilities required for the position and use appropriate assessment methods to evaluate potential candidates within the organization.

  • By doing so, they can identify the right candidates and avoid wasting time and resources on unqualified applicants.

2. Build a Talent Pool

Building a talent pool is a strategic approach to recruitment that involves creating a database of potential candidates who may be suitable for future job openings within an organization. This talent pool should include both passive and active candidates.

Active candidates are those who are currently seeking new job opportunities, while passive candidates are those who are not actively searching for a job but may be interested in the future.

  • To build a strong talent pool, HR professionals can use various methods such as networking, referrals, social media platforms, career fairs, and employee referrals.

  • They should also encourage current employees to refer potential candidates who may be a good fit for the organization. The talent pool should be regularly updated to reflect the company's current needs and goals.

3. Use Internal Referrals

Encourage employees to refer potential candidates through incentives and provide clear guidelines for an easy-to-use referral system. It is important to ensure that candidates are evaluated objectively based on skills and qualifications to avoid bias.

  • By actively encouraging employee referrals through incentives and easy-to-use referral systems, companies can efficiently and effectively find qualified candidates for job openings using quiet hiring. However, evaluating these candidates objectively is crucial to avoid bias and ensure the best fit for the position.

  • In addition, leveraging employee referrals can help build strong relationships between employees and the organization, creating a positive workplace culture.

4. Conduct Targeted Outreach

Don't be a stranger when it comes to potential candidates.Reach out to them directly with a tailored message, highlighting how their skills and experience could perfectly match the position. By reaching out directly to candidates, you can assess their interest in the position and determine if they are a good fit for the role without publicly advertising the job opening.

  • This approach can help you cut through the noise and grab their attention, improving the chances of a positive response. It will help maintain confidentiality and avoid causing any unnecessary anxiety or unrest among current employees.

  • Additionally, personalized outreach can demonstrate that the company values the candidate's unique skills and experiences, increasing the likelihood of a positive response and successful hire.

5. Keep the Process Confidential

Maintaining confidentiality is key to avoiding creating uncertainty among existing employees or revealing sensitive information to competitors. This can be achieved through various measures, such as using a secure hiring platform, limiting the number of individuals involved, and avoiding discussions about the hiring decision with anyone outside the hiring team.

Organizations can safeguard their reputation by prioritizing confidentiality, prevent internal conflicts, and ensure an unbiased hiring process.

To maintain confidentiality during quiet hiring, organizations can take several steps to safeguard their process.

  • Firstly, they can limit the number of people involved in the hiring process, ensuring that only those who need to know are informed.

  • Secondly, they can use a secure platform to manage the hiring process, which can help to protect sensitive data and ensure that communication is kept private. Thirdly, the hiring team can avoid discussing specific details about the hiring decision with anyone outside the team to avoid leaks.

6. Use Screening Tools

Using screening tools is an essential step in implementing quiet hiring in companies. These tools can help to streamline the hiring process by quickly identifying qualified candidates, allowing HR professionals to focus their efforts on the most promising candidates.

  • Pre-employment tests can assess a candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities. These tests can be designed to assess a wide range of skills, from technical expertise to critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

  • Phone screenings can quickly identify candidates who may not fit the position well based on factors such as salary expectations or work schedules.

  • Video interviews can be particularly useful for remote or geographically dispersed candidates, as they allow HR professionals better to understand a candidate's personality and communication skills. They can also be used to assess a candidate's technical skills by asking them to complete a task or solve a problem.

Overall, using screening tools in quiet hiring can help ensure that only the most qualified candidates are considered, saving time and resources for HR professionals and reducing the risk of hiring the wrong person for the job.

7. Be Transparent About the Process

Quiet hiring requires a more targeted and confidential approach. However, this does not mean that transparency should be sacrificed. HR professionals must be clear and upfront about the steps involved in the quiet hiring process and the timeline for making a final decision.

  • To ensure transparency in the quiet hiring process, HR professionals can provide candidates with an overview of the steps involved in the process, such as initial screening, interviews, and reference checks. They can also outline the criteria that will be used to evaluate candidates and make a final decision.

  • In addition, HR professionals can establish a timeline for the hiring process and communicate this to candidates, along with any expected delays or changes in the schedule. This can help manage expectations and reduce frustration among candidates who may be eager to learn the application outcome.

Thus, transparency is an essential element of the quiet hiring process. By being upfront and clear about the steps involved and the timeline for making a decision, HR professionals can build trust with candidates, promote fairness and impartiality, and reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

8. Focus on Employer Branding

In the quiet hiring process, employers may not have the luxury of a public job posting to showcase their company culture and values. However, this doesn't mean that they should neglect their employer branding efforts. In fact, a strong employer brand can be even more crucial in quiet hiring to attract and retain top talent.

  • To effectively build your employer brand in the quiet hiring process, consider leveraging your company's website, social media platforms, and other communication channels.

  • Showcase your company culture by highlighting your values, mission, and vision. Share photos and videos of your workplace, team members, and company events to give candidates a glimpse into your company's personality and work environment.

  • Another important aspect of employer branding is highlighting employee experiences and success stories. Share testimonials from current and former employees to show that your company is a great place to work and to build a career. This will also help to establish trust with potential candidates and give them a better understanding of what it's like to work for your organization.

By focusing on employer branding, you can attract top talent who are aligned with your company's values and culture, even in a quiet hiring process. A strong employer brand also helps to retain current employees, as they feel proud to be part of a company that values their contributions and provides a positive work environment.

9. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits

In the world of quiet hiring, there may be less competition for top talent, but that doesn't mean you can rest on your laurels regarding compensation and benefits.

In fact, it's more important than ever to offer a competitive package that will attract the best candidates and keep them engaged in the long run.

  • Start by researching market rates for the position you're hiring for, and make sure your compensation aligns with industry standards. But don't stop there - consider offering additional perks and benefits that set your company apart.
  • This could include things like flexible scheduling, remote work options, professional development opportunities, wellness programs, or even unique perks like onsite childcare or a pet-friendly office.

By offering a comprehensive package, you'll attract the best candidates and show them that you value their contributions and are committed to their long-term success within the company. This can lead to higher retention rates, stronger engagement, and a more positive workplace culture overall.

When employees feel well taken care of, they're more likely to refer other talented individuals to your organization, creating a virtuous cycle of talent acquisition.

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10. Evaluate the Process

Evaluate quiet hiring by assessing its success rate, gathering feedback from candidates, analyzing time and resources invested, and considering the impact on employer brand.

  • Assess the success rate by determining if the right candidates were found for the job and if they fit the company culture well.

  • Determine if any challenges or obstacles arose during the hiring process and how they were addressed. Evaluating these factors can provide a deeper understanding of how well the quiet hiring process worked for the company.

  • Gather feedback from candidates by asking if they felt informed about the process, their status as candidates, if the process was clear and easy to follow, and what improvements can be made. This feedback can provide valuable insights into improving the process to better serve both the company and the candidates.

  • Analyze the time and resources invested in the quiet hiring process by determining if it was more efficient and cost-effective than traditional hiring methods. Determine if there were any unexpected costs or delays that need to be accounted for in future hiring needs. This analysis can help determine if the quiet hiring process is worth continuing.

  • Consider the impact of the quiet hiring process on the company's employer brand by assessing whether the company's reputation improved or suffered as a result of the process.

  • Determine if candidates had a positive experience with the company, even if they were not hired. This analysis can help determine whether the quiet hiring process is consistent with the company's values and whether it should be continued in the future.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the quiet hiring process is an essential step for any company. By gathering feedback from candidates, analyzing the time and resources invested, and considering the impact on the employer brand, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into how to refine the quiet hiring process for future hiring needs.

Conclusion

In conclusion, quiet hiring is a unique approach to talent acquisition that allows companies to attract and hire top talent discreetly and effectively. By leveraging trusted networks, targeted outreach, and a more personalized approach, quiet hiring can help companies identify and recruit top candidates who may not be actively looking for new opportunities.

While it may not be suitable for all industries or job types, it's an innovative strategy that can help organizations build a more diverse and skilled workforce. However, it's essential to evaluate the success of the quiet hiring process by assessing its impact on employer brand, gathering feedback from candidates, and analyzing the time and resources invested. With careful planning and execution, quiet hiring can be a valuable tool for companies seeking to hire top talent while maintaining a low profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do employers use quiet hiring?

Employers use quiet hiring for a variety of reasons. They may want to keep a low profile during a high-stakes search for a key executive or protect the confidentiality of sensitive information. They may also use quiet hiring to avoid attracting unwanted attention from competitors or the media.

2. How does quiet hiring work?

Quiet hiring typically involves a more targeted approach to recruitment, with employers relying on personal referrals, networking, and headhunting to find suitable candidates. This process is often done discreetly, with limited advertising or public postings about the job opening.

3. What are the potential drawbacks of quiet hiring?

The main drawback of quiet hiring is that it can limit the pool of candidates, as not all potential candidates may be aware of the opportunity. Additionally, it can be more difficult to assess a candidate's fit for the role if they are not actively seeking a new job.

4. How can job seekers find out about quiet hiring opportunities?

Job seekers can increase their chances of learning about quiet hiring opportunities by networking and building relationships within their industry. They can also reach out to recruiters or search firms that specialize in confidential or executive-level searches. Finally, they can monitor job boards or company websites for any postings that may indicate a quiet hiring process.

5. How can employers ensure a fair and objective hiring process in quiet hiring?

Employers can ensure a fair and objective hiring process in quiet hiring by establishing clear selection criteria, conducting structured interviews, and using objective assessments to evaluate candidates. They can also consider using a third-party search firm or recruiter to ensure a neutral and unbiased approach to the process.

This article is written by Vaishali Goswami, a member of the content team at Vantage Circle. Between being an active writer and a traveler, Vaishali can be found wound up in books about psychology and human behavior. For any related queries, contact [email protected].

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