What is quiet quitting?

GARY TOWERS • 31 Oct 2022

1 - What is quiet quitting?

2 - Should we call time on quiet quitting?

3 - What does quiet quitting mean from a talent acquisition perspective?
4 - How to reduce quiet quitting


What is quiet quitting?


It has nothing to do with quitting your job, despite the term. It means doing only what your job demands and nothing more. You still show up for work but stay strictly within the boundaries of your job requirements, not taking on additional tasks or checking e-mails outside of work hours. ]

Quiet Quitting


Should we call time on quiet quitting?


Views vary, but technically from an employment contract perspective, Quiet-Quitters are still fulfilling the terms of their employment.


Arguably, it is actually wrong that Employers for so long expected more from their workers in return for nothing more than vague statements like "it will put you in good stead for progression’’ or "it will look good on your CV," rather than something specific, tangible, and of value to the employee.


Quiet quitting can be viewed as a correction of the employee-employer relationship, and a realignment of the culture surrounding it. For Generation Z employees and candidates, who are used to the gig economy and side-hustles, they see work as a clear transaction: I give you something, you give me something. There is no room for ambiguity.

For the earlier generations, quiet quitting has come about from the remote work and furlough experiences of the pandemic making them reflect and reevaluate their attitudes to work and their relationship with their employer.

What does quiet quitting mean for Talent Acquisition?

Quiet quitting offers both opportunities and threats for Talent Acquisition teams. On the one hand, Quiet quitters employed elsewhere could well be enticed to being an applicant, but on the other, they could very well be the source of needing to recruit in the first place. Either way, the key factor or influence in both cases is engagement.


How to reduce quiet quitting

There are plenty of guides out there about engaging candidates – both in terms of advertising and keeping them engaged through the recruitment process – with EVP being a big part of it. Here at Jobtrain our Talent Intelligence Unit’s own research can offer some data insights that can inform your tactics for engaging candidates:

  • 50% of candidates move job to seek promotion/career progression opportunities. What does your organisation offer in this regard? How can you bring this to life?
  • 75% of candidates would prioritise work life balance over-pay when choosing a job. What is this telling you?
  • Promoting remote working, flexible working and part time hours could see your applicant pool increase in size and quality. A high-volume recruiter involved in front line health care and customer facing services recently found that full time adverts yielding 0 applicants, almost immediately yielded 100 candidates when advertised as part-time / flexible hours. 
  • Numerous surveys and studies advise that Generations Z candidates (recent job market entrants and those for the next decade) will eschew full-time and office-based working.
  • In the UK alone 14.6 million people are disabled, including 21% of working-age adults (ONS). Those who care for dependents are not being recorded as part of EDI. 93% of male workers and 75% of female workers have some degree of dependent care to factor into their working life. Both groups find remote and flexible working beneficial.
  • Economic inactivity in the over-50s age group took a downturn in the pandemic, reversing the downward trend of the previous 10 years (87,000 higher from 2019 to 2021 according to ONS data). 75% of them left work of their own accord, and the effect has only fuelled the already low numbers of available workers and increasing wages.
  • Flexible working could help tempt the over-50s back into work, along with well thought benefits such as grandparent leave, medical cover and company social events. Of the 75% that left, many did so because of feeling undervalued. Saga provides businesses with help and training on how to better cater for and better engage older workers.
  • A recent study between employee benefits platform 'Ben' and The Times, surveyed workforces and found the top 3 most popular employee benefits were: 1. Medical (33%) 2. Remote working for office-based staff (26%) 3. Allowances/subsidies for training, health and wellbeing.
  • When surveying remote workers, the top 3 things they desire in terms of benefits from their employer are: 1. Home office stipend (31%) 2. Internet reimbursement (30%) 3. Four-day week (29%)
  • Another growing influence on a candidate’s choices of employer is their policies and practices with regards to equality, diversity & inclusion. A growing number of Jobtrain clients are participating (and advertising the fact) in schemes and accreditations such as the Disability Confident or Athena Swann scheme, and are undertaking anonymous shortlisting and providing accessibility tools.

Post (3)-2

Of course the points above don’t just need to apply to attracting candidates, they can apply to employees. Afterall, once a candidate is hired, why would they suddenly think any differently. If 50% of candidates are joining up for career progression, give it them! Developing an effective internal hiring strategy, encompassing learning and development, succession planning and workforce planning not only offers a way to cut down on expensive and difficult external recruitment.

It might just halt the tide of quiet quitting!

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