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Scary hiring trends and what to do about them

Danielle McClowOctober 29, 2022Awareness

The opening lyrics to "The Nightmare Before Christmas" ask, "Wouldn't you like to see something strange?" And this year, as I rewatch the movie for the millionth time (yes, I watch it at Halloween and Christmas time even though it is a Christmas movie  don't even try to argue with me), I thought about it in relation to all the crazy new talent acquisition trends.

These new "trends" include things like "quiet quitting" and our recurring favorite, "ghosting."

In honor of Halloween, let's take a closer look at today's frightening hiring trends and explore how talent acquisition technology can help keep your employees engaged and make it a little less scary for your talent teams.

Today's scary hiring trends

First, what are the top trending talent acquisition trends, and what does it mean?


  • What it is: Over the last few years, ghosting has plagued hiring teams. It's when a candidate ceases all communication with a prospective employer during the hiring process, disappearing without any explanation or reasoning.
    Recently we've seen candidates posting about this fad too. They say that recruiters and hiring teams are ghosting them.
  • What to do: Candidates often ghost on hiring teams when the process is too long, when they don't have status updates or when a new offer comes their way. While you can't prevent other offers from appealing to your candidate, you can expedite processes and ensure timely and consistent communication is in place. This will help to keep candidates interested in the position they are hiring for at your organization. Look to your automation and trigger capabilities within your talent acquisition tech stack to streamline the process and keep in constant communication. This is true for your talent pipeline as well. (Check out more on how to build and maintain your talent pipeline here in case you do get ghosted this year.)

Quiet quitting

  • What it is: Like many fads, you can thank TikTok for introducing the concept of "quiet quitting" to the masses. The term refers to the point at which workers disengage from their jobs to do the minimum requirements Ð or the tasks only within their job description.
    Given today's hybrid and remote ways of working, it's no surprise CEOs are concerned about this trend, especially since Gallup finds that at least half of U.S. workers cop to the approach.
  • What to do: Quiet quitting is often a burnout response. Burnout can occur from employees being overwhelmed with too many tasks/projects or bored employees. It's essential to have open conversations about workload and stress levels with your employees. From the HR side, offering work/life balance and wellness programs can also help. You can also help to pull disengaged employees back in by finding out if the role is not aligned with their expectations or aspirations. Then look to your internal mobility opportunities to see if a new role would better align. (Discover 3 tips for stellar internal career sites here.)

Loud quitting

  • What it is: While some may be quiet quitters, others are not quiet about it. Some employees have been known to lash out, writing all-in-caps communications and scathing company reviews online to draw negative attention to an employer they feel slighted them Ð otherwise known as loud quitting.

  • What to do: Loud quitting can negatively impact employee morale and damage your employer brand. Loud quitting will cause you to have a reactive approach, i.e., responding to posts on Glassdoor after they are written. However, you can have a proactive approach and how to handle the situation. Prepare your teams with how to respond to reviews or comments on social. Review your policies on how to react and, more importantly, how to bubble up the feedback to leadership. (Learn more on reviews and your employer brand here.)

Quiet firing

  • What it is: Today's HR challenges extend beyond entry - and mid-level employees. Quiet firing happens when management creates less-than-ideal work conditions, causing dissatisfied employees to quit in favor of greener pastures.

  • What to do: Does "just don't" work as a response?

Quiet fleecing

  • What it is: Quiet fleecing is a new one. This exists when there is a wage disparity between regular workers and top earners. Unfortunately, wage disparity is nothing new; however, people sharing their salaries and job posts listing salary ranges is more recent and is shining a light on the issue.

  • What to do: Work with your human resource business professionals to evaluate fair and competitive market wages annually. This will help to ensure current, and future employees are paid fairly. Learn as much as you can about pay transparency and laws about posting salary ranges to get a head start, check out this blog post.

Boost talent engagement with TA technology

There's a common thread between these scary talent acquisition trends: disengaged employees and employees who feel undervalued and unheard.

Some organizations have doubled down, utilizing software surveillance technology that hardly helps morale and causes employees to disengage further.

That's not a good place since employee engagement started dropping during the last half of 2021. Gallup notes that by the second quarter of 2022, while the number of engaged workers remained at 32%, those actively disengaged increased to 18%. The ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees sits at 1.8 to 1, the lowest in nearly a decade.

When many workers are retiring, changing the nature of their employment or simply taking a similar, new job that aligns with their expectations, it's important to consider ways to retain your talent.

How do you engage candidates and employees?

It starts with utilizing agile, flexible talent acquisition technology. That tech can compellingly express your employer brand, showcase your employer value proposition (EVP) and convey what makes your work culture appealing, including your commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).

To increase your chances of finding quality, right-fit talent in the first place, leverage effective recruitment marketing technology and recruitment strategies with inclusive career pages on career sites that are purpose-built to include all candidates.

Simultaneously, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be powerful tools to create a personalized candidate — and employee”experience. Then, programmatic media can personalize that experience, targeting individuals based on their interests or profession.

Ultimately, today's frustrating hiring obstacles can be managed and overcome with the help of talent acquisition technology. But first, employers need to see this as an opportunity to revisit, retool and repair things like work culture and employee benefits to meet workers where they're at and overcome any scary fad that comes their way.

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