Quiet hiring is when an organization acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees, says Emily Rose McRae, who has led Gartner’s future of work research team since its 2019 inception, focusing on HR practices.
Sometimes, it means hiring short-term contractors. Other times, it means encouraging current employees to temporarily move into new roles within the organization, McRae says.
“The reality for the next year is — whether or not we go into a recession — everyone’s a little nervous,” she says. “In a lot of cases, organizations are not necessarily doing a hiring freeze, or layoffs, but maybe slowing down a little bit on their hiring.”
“The talent shortage that we talked about throughout 2022 hasn’t gone away,” McRae says. “So, you’re in a situation where it’s harder to get head count, and you have a desperate need for talent.”
Hiring usually falls into one of three categories: backfilling old roles, creating new ones to help the company grow or addressing an acute, immediate need.
Quiet hiring is all about that third category, even if it doesn’t technically involve any new hiring at all. The idea is to prioritize the most crucial business functions at a given time, which could mean temporarily mixing up the roles of current employees.