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How Will Quiet Hiring Impact the Workforce in 2023?

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Quiet hiring is a newer term used to describe a very commonplace practice in the corporate world. When a company chooses to lay off employees or decides not to hire extra people for a specific task or role, the workload is distributed to employees already in-house. This ideally, can bring about a round of promotions, or, in many cases increase responsibilities and workload for current employees without any change in their title or pay. 

Due to the recent uptick in layoffs making headlines across tech companies and beyond, this trend of quiet hiring will only become the norm. This is just one of the many trends affecting the workplace in 2023.

As companies with record growth and profits are still looking to meet their goals despite a self-inflicted decrease in manpower, the question comes up for many: Why would a company choose to hire from within in this way instead of hiring new employees or keeping on those who already work in needed positions? 

Benefits of Quiet Hiring for Employers

This decision, as with many that companies are making right now, usually brings a benefit to their bottom line. Whether they hired too many individuals, or their lofty goals didn’t go to plan after the demand of COVID died down, the decision of cutting back or preventing a future cost remains the same. 

With so much turnover in the last few years thanks to another buzzword – The Great Resignation – companies have experienced the hefty cost of filling new positions. Last year (2022) the United States saw an average of 42 days and between $2792 and $4425 to hire externally to keep headcounts where they wanted them. Choosing to hire from within and bring in people who already know the company and its practices is a no-brainer in this case. There are no costs in hiring a recruiter, or posting the job vacancy online, as well as paying benefits for another person. 

Quiet hiring also saves time. The gap between losing an employee due to layoffs or resignation and the next employee’s first day is completely eliminated or significantly reduced.

The lag time on projects ultimately costs money, and bringing in an existing employee on projects saves from having to train new hires and getting them up to speed on not only the business as well as their respective projects. This is especially attractive to companies that track profitability in terms of hours and minutes as well as dollars and cents. 

Benefits of Quiet Hiring for Employees

While employers see the benefits of discrete in-house hiring, employees can see benefits as well, if everything is executed properly. 

Not only can an employee’s job title see a meaningful boost when taking on new responsibilities, but their paycheck can see some improvement as well! This means employees will be more likely to stay at a company where they know their additional efforts are seen and rewarded, and their personal lives can benefit as well. 

Many people are struggling with meeting everyday costs due to inflation in recent months, as well as the expected challenges as they move through different phases of their lives. Marriage, children, moving and schooling, all add up and are often represented by a diverse workforce in any company. Many worry about their financial health and how their current standing may impact their ability to purchase a house or a vehicle in the coming months due to unexpected circumstances, or even careful budgeting. 

Quiet hiring can boost morale for employees as well, as they see so many of their friends and family losing their jobs to mass layoffs. When their loyalty is rewarded with commensurate salaries and job titles, their minds can be put at ease to an extent many employers underestimate.

Workplace trauma can include unpredictable or toxic work environments or an ongoing state of uncertainty over one’s job security. By making it known that their position is secure and following through with that promise, employers can significantly improve an employee’s mental health. 

Challenges of Quiet Hiring

Unfortunately, the benefits of quiet hiring remain to be seen for many employees who are getting swamped with their workload without compensation negotiations or career growth opportunities. While quiet hiring helps employers meet their bottom line for the time being, it will only prompt employees to look elsewhere for companies that will see their value as more than a number and as a person who deserves recognition and may desperately need the money that comes with appropriate compensation in a difficult job market. 

This lack of communication and transparency between employer and employee quickly erodes trust. Even if a raise eventually comes, but does not meet the market expectations of that role, or their job title remains the same, the turnover that was so carefully avoided is now inevitable.

This type of treatment of one’s employees also builds a reputation that many employees are more likely to speak out about on LinkedIn and Glassdoor, among other platforms. 

In conclusion, the trend of quiet hiring has both benefits and challenges. It is a great way to open up new opportunities, particularly for those who are not actively searching, and to remove traditional, structural biases.

But it can be extremely difficult for those who see little to no personal or career improvement when employers use it as a quick way of saving money instead of making significant investments in their growth.

Quiet hiring has the power to impact the workforce in both a negative and positive way, making it something to carefully consider going forward. 

This blog was originally contributed to Workplace Fairness on March 8, 2023. Published with permission.


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‘Yet another major, ideologically driven last-minute rule change’ from Team Trump

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Donald Trump began his time in the White House by dismantling as many Obama-era regulations and rules as he could—ones that protected workers, or the environment, or consumers. Now he’s ending his time in the White House by rushing to lock in as many avenues for discrimination and pollution as possible. The Labor Department has just finalized a rule giving federal contractors more leeway to hire and fire based on religious reasons

A senior Labor Department official “emphasized that the rule could not be used as a pretext for religious organizations to discriminate against people on the basis of protected categories like gender or race,” The New York Times reports. But there are a lot of categories that are ripe for discrimination—LGBTQ workers are very high on the list, but so are unmarried pregnant women, the Times notes. And organizations can expand the roles in which they can hire exclusively from within their faith.

“The final rule would significantly expand eligibility for federal contractors to claim a religious exemption from non-discrimination rules,” Public Citizen’s Matt Kent told Government Executive. “It’s an invitation for any contractor that’s loosely affiliated with a religious purpose to discriminate against LGBTQ employees. Yet another major, ideologically driven last-minute rule change from the Trump administration.”

“It is hard to overstate the harm that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is visiting on LGBTQ people, women, religious minorities, and others with the sledgehammer it is taking to federal nondiscrimination protections,” Lambda Legal’s Jennifer Pizer said in a statement. “For nearly 80 years, it has been a core American principle that seeking and receiving federal tax dollars to do work for the American people means promising not to discriminate against one’s own workers with those funds.  This new rule uses religion to create an essentially limitless exemption allowing taxpayer-funded contractors to impose their religious beliefs on their employees without regard to the resulting harms, such as unfair job terms, invasive proselytizing and other harassment that make job settings unbearable for workers targeted on religious grounds.”

She continued: “The Department of Labor has crafted a grotesquely overbroad exemption that will be used by many federal contractors as a totally improper, catch-all defense to discrimination complaints. The rule allows contractors, including large for-profit companies, to use the special treatment designed for religious organizations if they merely ‘affirm [] a religious purpose in response to inquiries from a member of the public or a government entity.’ This adds yet another gaping hole to the Swiss cheese the Trump administration has been systematically making of our country’s essential civil rights protections.”

The new rule goes into effect on Jan. 8, 12 days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. He would likely have to go through a long process to make a new rule to replace it.

This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on December 8, 2020. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.


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Do Your Employment References Really “Have Your Back?” Better Not Assume That Your References Will Offer a Favorable or Neutral Reference

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We’ve all heard that our former employers, when contacted for a reference, will only confirm (per company policy) employment dates and title. Right?

Wrong.

There is no guarantee that all corporate employees are aware of, or will abide be, such guidelines. Consider these verbatim comments documented by Allison & Taylor in checking employment references on behalf of job seekers:

“He had issues with his co-workers and management and is not eligible for rehire.”

“Is there a rating less than inadequate?”

“She made a good effort but was simply not able to meet our expectations.”

“I’d rather not comment – you can take that any way you like.”

“She didn’t resign from our company – she was terminated.”

“I am not allowed to say anything about this person as they were fired.”

Clearly, any prospective employer receiving such feedback on a job seeker is highly unlikely to hire them. What, then, should be your course of action if you are concerned about potential commentary from your former employer?

The first step is to confirm if you do indeed have a problem with at least one of your references. Do an honest self-assessment of your references that are most likely to be called by prospective employers. Very possibly you already have a good idea of who may be making your employment search a challenging one. And while you might be able to keep some former associates off of a prospective employer’s radar, it is unlikely that a former supervisor or HR department will be overlooked. The HR department is a traditional venue for reference checks, and HR reps of your most recent employers are almost certain to get a call from potential employers. Your former supervisors will be high on an employer’s list as well, as they know you better than HR and may also be willing to offer a more revealing profile about you.

Then, consider having a reference check(s) conducted on those business associates from your past who might be problematic. Avoid the temptation to have a friend or associate call and pose as a prospective employer – this could backfire on you, also any unfavorable input obtained in this manner would be inadmissible for legal purposes. Instead, have a reputable third party (e.g., www.allisontaylor.com) conduct these reference interviews on your behalf to best ensure that any negative input obtained can be legally addressed and neutralized.

If negative input from a reference is uncovered, what steps can you take? Your options will depend on the nature of the negative input. Where your reference’s communication was inaccurate, malicious, or wrongful you may have the ability – through an attorney – to pursue legal recourse. When a reference’s negative input is not unlawful but is nonetheless restricting your ability to secure future employment, it can sometimes be addressed through a Cease-&-Desist letter which is typically issued by your attorney to the senior management of the company where the negative reference originated, alerting the management of the negative reference’s identity and actions. Typically the very act of offering a negative reference is against corporate guidelines, which normally state that only a former employee’s title/dates of employment can be confirmed. The negative reference is cautioned by management not to offer additional comments and – out of self-interest – will usually not offer negative commentary again.

How to Set and Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates

Whether through a Cease-&-Desist letter or stronger legal measures, the prospects for neutralizing further negative input from a reference are excellent. Also, the “peace of mind” a reference verification brings to an employment candidate unsure of what their references are really saying, cannot be underestimated. If concern about your references is causing you some sleepless nights, it’s never too soon to document – and address – what they are really saying about you.

For more information on reference checking, and what to do if a negative reference is impeding your chances for a new job, please visit www.AllisonTaylor.com.

“This blog originally appeared at Allison & Taylor on December 21, 2017. Reprinted with permission.” 


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