An article printed by The New York Times on August 23, 2022 – “What is Quietly Quitting And What Is It For?”- caught my attention and the attention of quite a few people as it has gone viral: spinoff articles, blogs, and TikTok videos are popping up everywhere. You might be surprised to learn this isn’t a new trend. Instead, it is just now getting a lot of attention.

The term “Quietly Quitting” was coined at a Texas A&M economic symposium due to diminishing ambitions in socialist Venezuela in 2009.  With no ability to get ahead by working harder, employees began to just do the minimum.

Generation Y and Z refer to people born in the United States between 1980 and the late 1990s and are “Quietly Quitting” here at home. There are two groups identified within this trend and it is necessary to define both separately.

Group A:  These are the Generation Y & Z employees who seek work/life balance. They want to put in a good day’s work for a fair wage.  They don’t want to take their work home, or work evenings or weekends.  They seek a separation of work and private life. In other words, they seek to return to the work life of their grandparents, who went to work and put in a good eight to nine-hour day.  For reference, consider Ward Cleaver on Leave It to Beaver.

This trend is not just a phenomenon to Generations Y & Z.  Many people look for ways to create life balance.  The Covid 19 Pandemic created the opportunity for people to re-examine their lives and set new priorities beyond success in their career.

Group B:  These are Generation Y & Z employees who are using “Quietly Quitting” to rebrand laziness.  They do very little during their workday.  Whether they work in the office or remotely, they don’t carry their weight on projects, often miss deadlines, and use every minute of sick time allowed.  It can be harder than you think to exit these slackers off your team.

Start-up companies are looking for driven employees willing to go the extra mile and wear multiple hats.  There is the “risk vs. reward” aspect of being with a start-up or fast-growth company.  A benefit to employees is the opportunity to learn things they would not be exposed to at more established, larger companies.  So, how do you know this is the type of person you are hiring and not someone from Group A or Group B? Not everyone from Generation Y & Z is “Quietly Quitting.”   We are here to help navigate this trend.

The best candidate for your company might not be actively looking to make a career move.  With an unemployment rate hovering at about 3.7%, advertising your opening on LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster or other platforms might drag in applicants from Group B who are looking for their next gig because the gig is up where they are currently working.  What can you do to improve your chances of hiring the best employees?

  1. Ask candidates questions about what they are most proud of in their career. Ask deeper questions that go beyond just the surface about that project they completed. Be willing to get into the details.
  2. Explore the career goals of each candidate. Motivated people think about their career path and create a plan to get there.  Ask questions about how they plan to reach their goal.
  3. Do reference and background checks. When contacting references, ask for examples of the candidates’ work. People will supply a reference who will give favorable information about their work history. Be curious when contacting the reference.  This is not the time to just check the box.  Ask strong questions on work ethic and the quality of work performed.

At CHROs 2Go, our highly skilled recruiting team actively seeks the very best candidate for your company. We dive deep by asking questions to explore whether a candidate will fit within your company’s culture.  Often candidates are more open with us because we are interviewing them to understand what dream job they are seeking, in addition to their work and educational history.  This is an advantage to our clients who are hiring.

Every member of your senior team is important to your company’s success.  We help you hire the best of the best and are always available for a discussion about your open positions.  We are here to be of service to you.

Jeannine Kaiser is Managing Partner of 2Go Advisory Group’s Recruiting and Talent Acquisition Division. Jeannine has extensive experience in finding hiring solutions for companies, spanning from large public companies to private startups in a wide array of industries. You can reach Jeannine at