Joan’s 2023 talent buzzword guide

Content Team

2021 was the year of ‘the great’; the great resignation, the great renegotiation, the great reshuffle. And by late 2022 into early 2023, a different theme emerged – ‘the quiet’. From quiet quitting through to quiet hiring, phrases like career cushioning and rage applying infiltrated our talent vocabularies. Keeping up with these trends can be challenging which is why Hudson RPO expert Joan, has taken a deeper dive into this year’s workplace buzzwords.

Fuelled by changing legislations, uncertain economic environments, and digital transformations, we've seen a seismic shift in the employer-employee dynamic that transforms recruitment and retention strategies.”

Quiet quitting

Quiet quitting made waves in the latter half of 2022, as most trends do, on TikTok. The biggest misconception around ‘quiet quitting’ is that employees are quitting their jobs entirely. Rather, quiet quitting is defined by individuals in the workplace giving up on the idea that going above and beyond is the standard. This trend is sometimes also referred to as ‘acting your wage’ on social media, or ‘quiet thriving’. The trend has continued its trajectory as of June 2023, 59% of 122,416 of global workers that participated in a survey said that they are not engaged at work.

Career cushioning

Another term born out of the quiet quitting theme was career cushioning, or creating a professional plan B. Career cushioning is about maintaining a secondary job or skillset, in order to provide a safety net for a potential job loss. It is estimated that nearly 68% of professionals have taken on proactive ‘career cushioning’ methods, including applying for new jobs, monitoring the job market, or preparing their CVs.

Loud quitting

From quiet quitting also came its successor, ‘loud quitting’. According to Gallup’s global workforce report, loud quitters are those who actively harm an organization, while actively undercutting and opposing its leaders and goals. Almost 1 in 5 employees globally are ‘loud quitting’, and 56% of them report feeling stressed at work citing they would switch jobs even if it means a pay cut.

Rage applying

The term ‘rage applying’, although less extreme than it sounds, describes the act of applying for other jobs as a response to unsatisfactory work conditions. According to  HR Morning trend first emerged in 2023 when a TikTok user said “I got mad at work and rage applied to like 15 jobs and then I got a job that gave me a $25,000 raise and it’s a great place to work. So, keep rage applying. It’ll happen.”

Quiet hiring

In 2022, Gartner identified “quiet quitting” as one of the key workplace trends for 2023. They predicted that HR leaders would counter this by implementing “quiet hiring” strategies. This would mean focusing on internal talent mobility, providing stretch and upskilling opportunities, and leveraging alumni networks and gig workers to meet evolving organizational needs without adding full-time employees.

Quiet firing or quiet cutting

“Quiet cutting” or “quiet firing” is a term used to describe a strategy where organizations avoid firing employees but instead assign them different roles, according to SHRM. This approach is seen as a way to avoid higher unemployment insurance rates and maintain stability during uncertain financial times. However, it can be risky as it may lead to alienating or losing talented employees.

Boomerang employees

According to Joan, the latest buzzword to watch in 2023 is the boomerang employee. As the name suggests, a boomerang employee describes a situation when a past employee who has left an organization returns after having gained employment elsewhere in between.  While the term is not a new adjective, it’s a trend that will pick up pace with organizations worldwide needing to explore alternative ways of accessing talent in a competitive market.  Last month, Salesforce introduced it as a new success metric and is even hosting alumni events for former employees.

The evolving terminology in the workplace and specifically in recruitment, are indicative of the shifting landscape in the world of work. From ‘quiet quitting’ to ‘rage applying’, each trend underscores the increasingly individualized approach employees are taking towards their roles and their professional futures. For employers, understanding these trends and adapting in an effort to address them is key to fostering a resilient and engaged workforce.  Click here to talk to one of our talent experts about the latest hiring and retention trends.

Hudson RPO

Content Team

The Hudson RPO Content Team is made up of experts within the Talent Acquisition industry across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. They provide educational and critical business insights in the form of research reports, articles, news, videos, podcasts, and more. The team ensures high-quality content that helps all readers make talent decisions with confidence.

Related articles

Download our Latest Guide