Learning & Development, Q&A

Quiet Hiring: How Impacted Employees Can Best Transition to a New Role or Manager

The workplace has been abuzz with trending phrases and this article tackles one of the latest – quiet hiring. If you’ve been living under a rock – or working remotely – don’t worry. Your favorite HR friend has you covered!

Quiet hiring is when employers move people to new teams or focus areas due to business needs. Instead of hiring new team members, many organizations are employing quiet hiring. As a result, many people are collaborating with different managers and teams than they had before. So, how can they best navigate this transition and work to their fullest potential?

Fortunately, we’ve tapped an expert to help you navigate these uncharted waters. In this Q&A, Jenny von Podewils, co-CEO Of Leapsome – a people enablement platform that helps drive employee development, productivity, and engagement – discusses what quiet hiring is and how it impacts employees, ways for employees to start a strong relationship with their new managers, and more.

Here’s what she had to say.

What is quiet hiring and how does it impact employees?

JVP: Not an entirely new concept, but with heightened relevance in today’s macroeconomic climate, “quiet hiring” stems from companies’ needs to do more with less. Faced with reduced hiring budgets or, in some cases, workforce reduction, people leaders and team managers must reshuffle (and often stretch) their current teams and resources to meet differing business needs. Quiet hiring can offer some benefits to employees, such as opportunities to try new roles, which can make their resumes more diverse, or the chance to be exposed to work they’ve never done before. On the other hand, employers could run the risk of making burnout or job dissatisfaction more likely. Ultimately, it’s best to tread carefully and ask employees for feedback and host regular check-ins to get temperature checks with those who were redeployed.

How can employees start a strong relationship with their new managers – either due to quiet hiring or a new job?

JVP: Regardless of whether a new manager is similar or vastly different from your prior manager, it’s important for people to establish a good relationship from the get-go. To create a strong foundation for the future, people can share insight into their personal preferences for communication styles and tools with their new manager – whether it’s in-person, via email, phone, Slack or another means – and ask the manager how they prefer to collaborate. This will make sure the process of working together and sharing feedback is seamless. Second, I recommend that employees ask to set up regular one-on-one meetings for goal alignment, planning and to celebrate wins. This makes the working relationship even stronger. Finally, it’s critical to be authentic and respectful but also open and honest from the start. By striking this balance, new hires can set themselves up for success for the long term.

What questions should employees ask to make sure they are set for success in a new role?

JVP: Every employee should do their background research on the company and who they’ll be working for once they start. This includes checking LinkedIn and company resources to get a better understanding of the company’s direction, mission, and values and to understand leadership’s vision for the business. When meeting your new manager, be friendly, open, and honest about what you know and don’t know – no one expects a new hire to know everything from day one. Asking well-considered questions (answers to which you can’t find on the company site) can be a great way to start the conversation.

What HR and cultural trends should be on HR leaders’ minds in 2023?

JVP: In an uncertain macroeconomic climate, we usually see less job movement and decreases in resignations. However, recent survey results (from Leapsome, as well as from Monster and LinkedIn) point to the opposite phenomenon: employees still have plans to change jobs, highlighting that workers have little interest in a wait-and-see approach to a tech industry swelling with layoffs and feel more confident taking things into their own hands. To identify and address disengagement early, companies need to ensure that they are investing in their employee listening programs and internal communications, for example, by conducting well-structured engagement surveys and following through with action plans to address its causes.

Forward-thinking CEOs and HR leaders understand that employee engagement drives productivity and in turn helps build a resilient and high-performing organization. Beyond continued focus on engagement, I think recently named but ever-present concepts like quiet hiring and quiet promoting will play a significant role in the labor market this year. So, HR leaders should be thinking about how they can implement these solutions in a sustainable and scalable way if they plan to do so. 

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