Quiet hiring trend infiltrates offices: Here’s how you can stop it from happening to you

The sneaky new trend infiltrating Aussie offices – here’s how you can stop it from happening to you and use it to your advantage

  • After ‘quiet quitting,’ the new workplace trend of the moment is ‘quiet hiring’ 
  • Generation Z and millennial workers say the new trend could lead to burnout 
  • But others say there could be a ‘silver lining’ to it, with greater opportunities 

Hot off the heels of ‘quiet quitting,’ the new workplace trend of ‘quiet hiring’ has emerged as employees struggle to backfill roles and attract new staff.

On TikTok, Gen Z and millennial workers say the new trend could lead to burnout and increased workloads without the financial payoff.

But others say there could be a ‘silver lining’ with greater opportunities and it should lead to better communication between employers and their staff.  

HR coach and workplace TikTokker KeninHR, said the practice was used by businesses to ‘acquire new skills’ by shuffling existing employees or hiring contract employees to fill a vacant position.

After 'quiet quitting,' the new workplace trend of the moment is 'quiet hiring'. Pictured is a woman working in an office

After ‘quiet quitting,’ the new workplace trend of the moment is ‘quiet hiring’. Pictured is a woman working in an office

‘People are upset because they see this as companies paying people the same or less for more work,’ he warned.

‘If this happens to you, you should be compensated for going above and beyond and delivering high quality work.’

Popular TikTok career expert, Sweta Regmi labelled the new trend as ‘wage theft’.

‘Quiet hiring is wage theft and labour abuse if you don’t get a raise,’ she wrote in a TikTok video.

However, some recruitment experts believe the trend is a direct response to employers’ hiring difficulties and gaps that need to be filled by existing staff.

Director of global recruitment firm Robert Walters, Jane Lowney told NCA NewsWire: ‘As a recruiter who supports companies looking to hire people, there is absolutely no shortage of appetite to hire people.

‘I think it’s inevitable in a short market that there may be an expectation for people to take on a bit more work if that’s what the business needs for a period of time.

Popular TikTok career expert, Sweta Regmi (pictured) labelled the new trend as 'wage theft'

Popular TikTok career expert, Sweta Regmi (pictured) labelled the new trend as ‘wage theft’

@sweta.regmi.teachndo

What is #quiethiring ? Wearing multiple hats but one pay! Expecting employees to fill the temp vacancy without a raise! While quiet hiring has great benefits for people pivoting and testing, it has a possible disadvantage. Employers exploiting labor by mandatory cross-training is one major exploitation of labor. The quiet hiring should have options and not force employees to be used as temp staff. I have seen this in many industries where employees/managers are used as a backup to fill a headcount. When the temp keeps on filling the gap, resources planning will continue to overlook budgets on the head counts. The corporate world gets away with “duties as assigned” and hands over the new project to employees without paying extra. Are we exploiting contract workers, and internal staff? Is that why there is a pay gap? Is quiet hiring giving leverage to employers to pay less? Quiet hiring is great when done right but it is might impact employee engagement, and morale. This is why lots of union role dictates no cross-training and no special projects. This is why #quietquitting is happening.

♬ original sound – Taylor Dean

 ‘But that doesn’t mean they’re not recruiting to replace that role or to add additional heads. I think it’s just taking people longer than they anticipated.’

Although Ms Lowney has seen the increase of casual work – in which people hire freelance and temporary staff on a non-permanent basis – she believes it’s more of a temporary resourcing measure.

‘We certainly are seeing clients who traditionally would have hired people on a permanent basis, being open to hiring them on a temporary contract basis, if that’s the only way they can get a resource,’ she said.

How to use it to benefit you

While increased workloads are a top concern, Ms Lowney said there is a silver lining to taking on work outside of your defined role.

‘If you’re looking at your own skill set critically, and you’re looking at where you want to get to, often those who are most ambitious will put their hands up for more work if they’ve got a gap in order to really give themselves that rounded capability,’ she said.

However, Ms Lowney stressed that the ‘what’s in it for me question is important’.

Recruitment expert Jane Lowney (pictured) said a younger workers are hesitant about communicating with their employers

Recruitment expert Jane Lowney (pictured) said a younger workers are hesitant about communicating with their employers

‘Ask these questions first: “Is this expanding my skill set? Will I be doing something that I wouldn’t ordinarily do? What does this look like in six months time when I finished this project, and has it added value to my career aspirations?”’ she said.

‘If it’s a yes to those questions, then 100 per cent grab the opportunity.’

When it comes to most social media driven employment trends such as quiet quitting, Ms Lowney viewed them with a raised eyebrow.

While there may be a generational gap that assumed ‘the company is always there to do the wrong thing by you,’ she said it also reflects a hesitancy younger workers have with communicating with their employers.

Quiet hiring is predicted to be the dominant trend in 2023, said HR coach and workplace TikTokker KeninHR (pictured)

Quiet hiring is predicted to be the dominant trend in 2023, said HR coach and workplace TikTokker KeninHR (pictured)

‘They’re observing something happening, but they’re not comfortable enough with challenging or asking why that may be. Instead they’re labelling it,’ she said.

‘If you think this is happening in your business, have the conversation. Ask when it is going to be resolved.

‘I think we’re shying away from having those conversations.’

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