Introduction to Employee Retention:  From ‘Quiet Quitting’ to ‘Quiet Hiring’

For anyone following the news this year, the buzzword everyone is repeating is ‘Quiet Hiring.’  In 2022, it was all about quiet quitting, the idea employees feel unmotivated to go beyond their minimum duties, whether it is from low pay, feeling disrespected by management, or feeling unhappy with what the job itself entails.  Businesses that have experienced this understand that quiet quitting leaves the employee in place but loses any skills or capabilities that person used in their job.  Company leadership has been left trying to figure out how to overcome the problem of quiet quitting, while still trying to navigate the challenges of reduced budgets for staffing and recruiting, due to the state of the economy. 

However, for 2023, that has changed, and, even though the job market still has more openings than candidates, the focus is shifting back to employers who have decided to make the best of the situation with the people and tools already in place within the company.  Forward thinking employers are turning to the phrase “Quiet Hiring” to deploy new skills and capabilities to departments and portions of the company that need it.  This can show employees that their supervisors are invested in their personal and professional development, leading to a better retention rate in the long run.  Today’s blog will cover quiet hiring and the potential rewards and risks to attempting to implement a plan like this.

“It Costs HOW MUCH To Hire Someone?”

Recruiters, Human Resources workers, and business owners in general know that hiring someone in today’s market can cost a pretty penny.  Some estimates, like those from, are coming in at just under $5k to hire a new employee.  Meanwhile, places like Forbes, has the number much higher, closer to twice the annual salary to replace a lost worker.  The basic gist is that it is expensive to recruit a new person, and that that is not new information.  So, with staffing budgets staying flat or even decreasing, how are managers finding their way around this expense?

Enter Quiet Hiring.  This plan of action is defined as a strategic method of shifting current responsibilities between employees, perhaps leaving them with more than what is currently in their job description.  There are several different ways to approach this, but the most common examples include moving an employee from one position to another (laterally) or giving an employee or group of employees a project that may not pertain to their specific job.  Instead of continuing to search (and pay for that search) for an external candidate, management would look to the talent in office, combing through current employees to see which ones are curious about what other opportunities are available to them in their present company.  Then, giving those employees the opportunity to try new things and learn more skills.

This mobility within the business can do several things.  Financially, by shifting employees around within a company, businesses can avoid having to pay to actively recruit candidates.  Also, instead of putting money towards the salary of a new, full-time worker, a smaller portion of that money can go to up-skilling a current employee to complete tasks or projects, while the rest is saved.  By investing in your employees’ education and development, supervisors can fill the gaps in the company in a cost-efficient manner. 

For employees, the benefits of having management invest in their future can go a long way towards improving morale.  Workers who feel like the company they work for cares enough about them to train them in other positions are usually more willing to stay with that company.  Quiet hiring gives management a healthy retention method that benefits both sides.  Being able to pivot employees between departments and projects can make a business more flexible, and companies that can bend without breaking are the ones with the best chance of success in a future that holds an uncertain economic climate.

Risks of Quiet Hiring

Quiet hiring is not a simple solution for companies that are struggling to find candidates to fill empty positions.  For some, there are negative connotations to this phrase.  Some employees fear that “quiet hiring” is just a catchphrase used by management to pile more work on people already on the brink of a burnout.  They fear a “temporary” re-assignment can become permanent, locking them in with tasks that they did not want and could not handle in the first place.  As a result, employees are frustrated and may either “quiet quit” or leave their jobs altogether.

To avoid this, employers and workers must work together.  Forbes offers three tactics to help employees navigate quiet hiring, but supervisors can also gain insight by using these tips.  The first is to get clarity about the move.  Make sure everyone understands what the new role entails for the employee and what the benefits and rewards of this role will be.  Secondly, and this is particularly important for management, make sure to look and see how this is impacting the employee, the team, and the organization as a whole.  Finally, keep track of progress and stay connected through everything.  Without micromanaging, make sure the employee is not left out on their own.  By helping a worker flesh out their new responsibilities, managers can assist them into developing into a more well-rounded worker.  Hopefully, one that will stay for the foreseeable future. 


It is important to remember that open and honest communication must be the foundation of any plan to use quiet hiring.  Don’t risk losing the talented employees already in the company; make sure to take their needs and desires into account before making any moves.  With the right plans and discussions, though, quiet hiring may the answer that employers need to re-engage their workers and, most importantly, retain the best ones.

Quiet hiring is seen as 2023’s answer to last year’s quiet quitting, and it sheds a positive light on what was a difficult year for recruitment in 2022.  While quiet hiring may affect some recruiters, others are looking to up-skill and move onto other marketing projects for their company.  Quiet hiring gives workers and employers the chance to learn and grow together to make smart, cost-efficient choices to help the business succeed in the future.        


Meaghan Goldberg covers recruitment and digital marketing for Lionzone.  A Patterson, GA native, after graduating from both Valdosta State University and Middle Tennessee State University, Meaghan joined Lionzone in 2018 as a digital recruitment strategist before becoming the social media manager.



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