The Hottest HR Trend for 2023 … Revealed!
It all started mid-2022 with ‘quiet quitting‘. Naturally, that was followed very quickly by ‘quiet firing‘. Hot on the heels of that trend, some say, will be ‘quiet hiring‘. A few HR experts disagree, however. They say that the real blowout HR trend in 2023 is something else: quiet interviewing.
Fritz Bernsen is managing partner with Bernsen Berner, a staffing firm with two offices, both located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Bernsen has been experimenting with quiet interviewing for several weeks now, and is pleased with the results he’s seeing. “Job interviews needed disruption,” Bernsen says. “They haven’t changed a bit for .. what, decades? A century? It was time.”
When asked what was wrong with the way job interviews used to take place, Bernsen doesn’t mince words. “One person asks a question, the other person answers it. Back and forth. Back and forth. What’s new about that? Where’s the innovation?”
Doris Chudderley is Human Resources Manager for Sputz’s Bearings, a manufacturing firm based in Scranton and a client of Bernsen Berner. “When Fritz recommended quiet interviewing, I was skeptical at first, but I’m a convert. I’ve always wanted to be an early adopter. You know, on the leading edge of a trend? And now I have the chance.”
‘Quiet interviewing’ has its origins on TikTok, where – apparently – every new HR trend starts now. There’s a video on the platform raving about this new approach. Posted by Bernsen, it has already garnered 18 views. Only several of which were Bernsen and Chudderley, who remain optimistic that the post could go viral.
The two HR pioneers share their approach. “When the candidate sits down for the interview,” Bernsen says, “you just … well, you just sit there. Look at them.” Chudderley continues, “It’s really difficult to resist the temptation to do what’s expected. You know, to ask a question. But if you just hold out long enough, the candidate will take ownership and start interviewing properly.”
Bernsen adds, “That’s when the real magic happens! When they sit in this uncomfortable silence, they really open up and show you who they are. One job seeker interviewed himself. He asked questions, and then answered them. Another candidate started to read her resume and cover letter to me. A few have drawn pictures.”
Chudderley points out that the technique doesn’t resonate with everyone. “I did have one interview where the candidate started singing nursery rhymes. That was weird. Of course, that was after about an hour and a half of complete silence, which is the longest anyone has lasted so far. Halfway through her third song – I think it was ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ – she started sobbing and left the office.” Chudderley grows reflective and quiet, adding, “And of course I’ve had a few candidates just sit there looking angry and asking what the heck is wrong with me.”
Job seekers aren’t universally sold on the approach, either. Selma Framer interviewed with Sputz’s Bearings recently and agreed to speak to us about her experience. “I mean, what the hell, right? I walk in, ready for the interview, and she just sits there staring at me,” Framer says. “I wait for her to ask a question. I’m waiting for, like, ten minutes but it feels like longer. Nothing. You know what? Screw it.” Framer walks away, shaking her head. “I don’t need the job that bad.”
Regardless of whether Bernsen’s hopes for ‘quiet interviewing’ pay off, make sure to stay tuned to TikTok, where – inevitably – some other ‘trend’ will replace it by mid-February at the latest.
(In case this wasn’t abundantly clear, this is satire. Let’s stop with the ‘Quiet ___’ hiring trends, shall we? – UCR)