Romania: Quiet hiring, loud results - why quiet hiring is the new buzzword in HR


With the labour market continuously shifting from moonlighting to quiet quitting, the pressure is on employers to find new response strategies to build and maintain their teams. That is where “quiet hiring” comes in – an approach to recruitment that is quickly gaining popularity in the business world. But what is this approach to recruitment and how can it benefit employers looking to build a strong workforce?

What is quiet hiring?

Despite its name, quiet hiring is anything but silent and could be the catalyst for creating a dynamic, adaptable team for the future. Quiet hiring is actually a new term for a revived practice. It refers to a strategic approach that involves filling open positions without actually hiring new employees. Essentially, this approach means that the company assesses its current workforce, including their skills, experience and potential for growth, in order to determine whether it would be possible for them to fill the vacant position or take over some of the responsibilities it entails.

Benefits for employers

  1. Reduced costs and time spent on recruitment
    Traditional hiring methods, such as posting job listings, reviewing resumés and conducting interviews, can be time-consuming and resource intensive. With quiet hiring, employers can streamline the process and focus their efforts on a smaller pool of candidates. This can result in significant savings of time and costs for HR professionals, who can use their resources more efficiently.
  2. Enhanced employer branding
    Quiet hiring practices can have a notable impact on enhancing employer branding by effectively demonstrating a company's dedication to recognizing and nurturing internal talent. When organizations strategically fill vacant positions by identifying exceptional employees within their workforce, they convey a compelling message about their organizational culture, values, and investment in employee development.
  3. Access to a certain pool of candidates
    Another benefit of quiet hiring is the ability to access a pool of high-quality candidates that may not be available through traditional recruitment methods by offering the opportunity to approach candidates who are not actively seeking new employment opportunities. By targeting these individuals, employers can identify candidates with unique skillsets and experience that could be a great fit for the organization, particularly for senior-level positions or roles requiring specialized skills.
  4. Upskilling current employees
    Quiet hiring offers a compelling advantage in the realm of talent management: the ability to nurture and upskill existing employees while presenting them with avenues for career advancement. By investing in their development and providing targeted training, employers can not only fill job openings but also foster a culture of continuous learning and growth within the organization.
    Furthermore, internal promotions through quiet hiring can have a ripple effect on the broader workforce. When employees witness their colleagues being upskilled and advancing within the organization, it creates a positive atmosphere of possibility and potential which can eventually lead to a higher retention rate.

Legal challenges

When implementing quiet hiring strategies, employers may easily overlook the legal requirements related to this practice. This may result in disrupted processes, demotivated employees and significant sanctions from the authorities. Thus, employers must remain vigilant about potential legal challenges and ensure compliance with applicable law, including:

  1. Assessing the employee’s skills and capabilities – Employers should assess an employee’s skills and capabilities prior to assigning him/her additional responsibilities and/or offering him/her a new position. If the employee does not have the necessary skills, it is crucial for employers to provide training and learning opportunities.
  2. Ensuring equal opportunity and changes to all employees – Quiet hiring should not inadvertently result in any kind of discriminatory practices. Thus, employers must ensure that their selection is grounded solely on objective criteria, and the relevant processes do not discriminate against employees based on protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, national origin, etc.
  3. Amending employment agreements – Employers should ensure that any changes to an employee’s position and/or duties, and the related benefits (if any) are clearly communicated to and acknowledged by the employee. Also, any such changes should be reflected in the employee’s employment agreement and/or job description by means of an addendum.
    In addition, employers should ensure that such employees are properly trained (including from an occupational health & safety perspective) in order to perform their new duties or in accordance with the new position, especially if the performance of such new duties/position involves using new tools or technologies.
  4. Noting the employee’s workload – Employers should keep in mind that assigning additional duties to employees should not result in excessive overtime or overload, as this could lead to potential sanctions from labour authorities and negatively impact the employee's mental and physical health and overall well-being.


In conclusion, quiet hiring can serve as a valuable tool for employers, yielding significant benefits and nurturing a dynamic and thriving workforce. However, it is crucial for employers to remain mindful of legal requirements to avoid potential pitfalls when implementing quiet hiring practices.

Employment & Pensions