A business strategy where a company will hire fake employees to make a business look busy. Rented employees are sometimes used when a big client is coming into the office and the company does not want to give the impression that the business is doing poorly. They wish to instill confidence in the client and the impression that many other clients have also chosen them for their services.
The rent-an-employee tactic can typically be used after major layoffs that have left the office looking deserted. Similarly, retailing companies also use the rent-a-crowd tactic to create a buzz or interest in their store.