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Get Ready for Quiet Hiring

Faith & Finance with Rob West | Feb 2, 2023

Show Notes

With inflation and the slowdown in the economy, it’s a wonder that millions of open jobs are going unfilled, but that’s the case. What does that mean for workers? Maybe a lot. We’ll talk about it today on Faith and Finance.

  • Right now there are 1.7 jobs available for every person looking for work. That’s great if you need a job, but it’s putting an awful strain on employers who need skilled workers.
  • I said that employers are getting “sneaky” about this. That means companies are resorting to something called “quiet hiring.”
  • Now, what does that mean? It could be hiring contractors for the short term until a certain project or workload is completed. But it can also mean encouraging, or prodding, employees to take on a host of new duties within the company.
  • There are several reasons for this. One is that workers are hard to find. Another is the expense of advertising, recruiting, and training new workers. And with the prospect of a recession, employers don’t want to hire people just to lay them off if business takes a downturn.
  • Added to those reasons is that companies still have goals they want to reach in 2023 and they’re having a lot of trouble doing it. The answer, it seems, is quiet hiring.
  • Usually, when a company hires someone, it’s to fill an existing job opening, or because there’s a new job that needs to be filled in order for the company to grow, or a third category … filling a vital, but temporary, need.
  • It’s that last category that quiet hiring addresses, and it’s a growing trend because often it doesn’t require any new hiring, which again, is expensive for companies. Instead, employers are identifying critical functions that need addressing immediately, and then shifting employees from other roles to meet those needs.
  • Now, what does that look like in practice? One amazing example involves an airline that recently converted some of its executives into baggage handlers because of a critical need. There was an added bonus beyond just getting bags on and off planes. It also gave front office folks a chance to see how decisions and policies made higher up affect employees on the front lines.
  • But quiet hiring can also have a detrimental effect on employee morale. They may see it as a sign that their old job isn’t really important, since no one is being hired to replace them. They might then question whether they’ll still have a job when the critical need passes.
  • And to be sure, not everyone is a fan of quiet hiring, and it can result in what’s becoming known as “quiet quitting,” which is refusing to take on any new work outside the duties one was hired to do.
  • While supporters of quiet hiring say it offers workers a chance for promotions and raises, opponents say it’s another way for companies to take advantage of their employees— claiming that the rewards for taking on new work are few and far between.
  • Whether quiet hiring is good or bad for workers remains to be seen, but predictions are that it will continue for the foreseeable future. The question is, how can workers take advantage of it?
  • Well, here the Bible has some advice. Colossians 3:23 and 24 reads, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
  • I think that means cheerfully taking on a new role that might help your employer if you’re able to do the work. Take the boss at his or her word that it could lead to a better situation down the road and a chance to improve your skill set.
  • It’s also an opportunity to ask about your future with the company, and a chance to lay out your goals for how you’d like to advance. You can also inquire whether the new role allows for other perks, such as more flexible hours, or a chance to work from home.
  • In other words, try to have an optimistic approach if you’re asked to temporarily take on new duties to help your employer. But also, be honest if you don’t feel you’re equipped. And even there, maybe you can ask for some additional training to help you.
  • If you cooperate with your company’s “quiet hiring” practice and find yourself stuck after a year or more with no promotion or raise in sight, you can always fall back on the new skills you’ve acquired to look for another job somewhere else.
  • As the saying goes, “There’s no such thing as job security, but there is employment security, and the way to get it is by not turning down the opportunity to learn new things.

On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:

  • What is the best way to set up a trust for your child?
  • Is there an income cap on how much you can earn while receiving Social Security benefits?
  • When does it make sense to roll over a Roth IRA into a robo-adviser account?
  • What is the best way to finance major home repairs?

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and even download the free FaithFi app.

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