Quiet Hiring vs. Traditional Hiring: A Comparative Analysis and What Works When and Why

Why Quiet Hiring is Trending and What Does This Mean for Post Pandemic Corporate America

We all know how corporates hire people through an elaborate process that involves multiple steps and a detailed mapping of the employee skills and the job description. Indeed, traditional hiring has been around since the era of the modern enterprise, though with adoption of technology, the process became more efficient.

Given this context, it is only to be expected that corporates would stick to the time tested method of traditional hiring and so, when the new trend of Quiet Hiring comes along, it is with an element of disruption and reordering the existing patterns of hiring.

According the prestigious management journal, Harvard Business Review, Quiet Hiring would become the norm and trend in 2023. So, what exactly is Quiet Hiring and what are its advantages and disadvantages over traditional hiring.

More importantly, what works when and which circumstances and why more and more corporates and the HR (Human Resource) managers would prefer to shift to Quiet Hiring in 2023.

The pandemic has severely impacted America Inc, and has led to adoption of newer forms of processes and this is where trends such as Quiet Hiring have to be seen as one of the effects of the post pandemic disrupted workplace.

What is Quiet Hiring and How Does it Compare with Traditional Hiring and Why it is Value Adding

To start with, as the name implies, Quiet Hiring is the process of recruiting employees without much fanfare and publicity and it is done in informal ways.

For instance, tapping alumni networks and reaching out to personal contacts to check if they can refer eligible candidates for the selection process along with leveraging the internal employees’ and their friends and peers in other companies are some of the ways in which Quiet Hiring works.

While traditional hiring too has these aspects, the difference here is that Quiet Hiring does not extend to beyond the informal processes unlike the former that usually entails advertising for the position as well as visiting campuses and holding walk in job fairs.

Moreover, Quiet Hiring also involves banking on the enthusiasm and the capacity of the existing employees in the organizations to “go beyond” their day to day roles and chip in with extra work.

In other words, Quiet Hiring is the opposite of Quiet Quitting wherein the former is used to “fill in” for the employees who have embraced the latter.

So, in a way Quiet Hiring does not replace traditional hiring completely and is a complementary and supplementary value adding method to it.

How Quiet Hiring Is Corporate America’s Answer to the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting

In a way, Quiet Hiring is trending in 2023 mainly due the lingering effects of the pandemic on the workforce and corporates in the United States.

Trends such as The Great Resignation have made America Inc. and the HR managers wary of spending large amounts of money on hiring and training employees, only to see the money go waste when such employees quit quickly and without any rational reasons, except to follow the “herd” through The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting, and Rage Quitting.

In a way, Quiet Hiring is a “balm” and a respite for the harried corporates of America Inc. baffled as they are by the aforementioned trends.

Moreover, Quiet Hiring offers tangible and immediate benefits in the sense that there is no waiting period for the employees to hit the ground running unlike traditional hiring wherein there is a lag between the ads for positions and the eventual start of work by the selected candidates.

In addition, there is also the advantage of the HR managers being able to arrive at the right “fitment” quickly as Quiet Hiring is informal and hence, inherently personal.

Is Quiet Hiring Here To Stay Or, Just A Passing Fad? How Different Is It to Existing Informal Hiring

Having said that, we must add that Quiet Hiring might not really replace traditional hiring and as we discussed earlier, the reason it is trending in 2023 is that the pandemic disrupted workplace is yet to fully recover from its effects.

Indeed, it is early days for Quiet Hiring and it remains to be seen as to how long this would last.

Moreover, Quiet Hiring can also lead to charges of bias and nepotism as HR managers can “pick and choose” whom they want to hire unlike traditional hiring that opens up to a broader field and where the presence of interview panels reduces fraud in the hiring process.

After all, Quiet Hiring has been around for a long time in other forms wherein America Inc. has always tapped into networks of all hues for its hiring needs.

Things like executive hiring that are usually handled discreetly and trends such as the “courtship” of business school graduates and reaching out to personal friendships have been the norm in American corporates and Quiet Hiring is more or less an extension and a building on top of such practices. It is our belief that Quiet Hiring and traditional hiring would coexist.

Analyzing the “Sticky” Nature of Quiet Hiring and Concluding Thoughts

Last, every now and then the field of HRM or Human Resource Management is disrupted by a new trend. Quiet Hiring is one such trend and has to be seen in this context.

It goes without saying that the “sticky” aspect of whether it would persist is tricky to say and one must be on the lookout for other fads and trends as well.

Indeed, Quiet Hiring would morph into a more formal informal method of hiring as it goes mainstream and more corporates began to embrace it.

To conclude, in a fast moving landscape, Quiet Hiring is silent transformation.

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Human Resource Management