23 January 2023, Hessen, Frankfurt/Main: Two women work in a coworking space behind a plant. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa (Photo by Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The term “quiet quitting” went viral last year, describing people who stay in their jobs but mentally take a step back.  Many people in the workforce decided  not to make their job the center of their lives and put in minimal effort when it came to doing there tasks at work  and tried to put more time into their personal lives. Who wouldn’t want more time for family and entertainment, right?

It appears as though those employers are getting back at us.  In 2023, there is a new workplace trend on the horizon and it does not benefit us the workers.  I feel like this trend has been going on for a few years but they finally gave it a name.  It’s called “quiet hiring”  and describes how companies are obtaining new talent without hiring new employees. It was described as one of the nine workplace trends of the year by Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm.

Quiet hiring is a strategy companies are using to fill in holes without hiring new full-time employees, according to Emily Rose McRae, senior director of research at Gartner. Before people get concerned the trend is just a fancy term for cutting headcount and giving more work to existing employees, McRae said it’s more specific than that. “With quiet hiring, we’re talking about an organization strategically, at a leadership level, looking at the talent they have across the organization and where the critical gaps are and finding ways to fill those,” she said. “It’s trying to acquire new skills and capabilities without acquiring new people.”

McRae said the key with quiet hiring is that your employer is explicitly telling you what is happening and what is expected. The trend has caught people’s attention as it comes around the time we are experiencing continued recession fears and a wave of tech industry layoffs. McRae says companies may be more likely to slow down hiring and noted a widespread talent shortage.

According to McRae, the talent shortage means it may take employers several months to fill a position, while the economic uncertainty means companies may intentionally keep their employee count at a minimum. She added employees should also feel empowered to “nudge” their employer toward quiet hiring. At the end of the day, we can complain all we want about the extra work but our employer will probably tell us something like ” at least you still have your job,” –  and I am glad for that.

Maryann Morgan

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