Companies are quietly hiring contract workers even as they assign work to remaining employees to make up for layoffs, according to a study from ResumeBuilder.com.
The company defines quiet hiring as “the practice of either hiring contract workers or asking existing employees to take on new or additional tasks.”
Cost-cutting measures have ramped up in recent months as companies prepare for the possibility of an economic downturn, and it seems that movement won’t be slowing down anytime soon. The study found that over half of business leaders surveyed – around 57% – said they have had layoffs in the last three months, or that they plan to have layoffs within the next six.
As a result, many employers are trying to fill the labor gap left by layoffs without pursuing full-blown hiring initiatives. For example, some are bringing on more contract employees to take on the responsibilities of the workers they laid off. The survey showed that 37% of its respondents said they are currently hiring contract workers despite downsizing. In fact, of the companies that have had layoffs in the past three months, 80% say the responsibilities of laid off employees are now being carried out by contract workers.
Reducing Labor Costs
On top of hiring contract workers, companies are looking to their remaining employees to take on new tasks and cut costs. In the past three months, 62%of business leaders say they asked employees to take on new roles within their organizations. Likewise, 66% asked employees to take on additional tasks.
Meanwhile, the study found that companies are still having to find other ways to cut costs, such as reducing their employees’ hours or salaries. Some 53% of respondents moved full-time employees to contract positions, according to the survey, while 37% asked their workers to move from full-time to part-time, with more expected to come in the next six months. In addition, over a third of them have cut salaries for some employees.