How To Use 'Quiet Hiring' To Your Advantage

Quiet hiring is the recruitment industry's answer to quiet quitting. Quiet quitting means different things to different people, but at its core, it's the act of only meeting the bare minimum requirements of your job to get a paycheck (via Forbes). Quiet quitting isn't technically giving up, though. As Ed Zitron, CEO of public relations firm EZPR, clarified to Real Simple: "The bare minimum actually means working the hours you're meant to, doing the tasks you're assigned, which is otherwise known as going to and doing your job." 

Unsurprisingly, the movement gained traction during the WFH days of the COVID-19 pandemic with people refusing to succumb to the so-called hustle culture any longer and finally setting boundaries for work-life balance. According to a Gallup survey, at least 50% of the American workforce are currently quiet quitters. Quiet hiring, on the other hand, is a strategy commonly used by Google to combat quiet quitting, per Entrepreneur. In fact, Gartner deemed it 2023's top workplace trend.

Dr. Wanita Mercer, the founder and CEO of Lead My Heart Executive Coaching and Consulting, defined the term to Go Banking Rates thusly: "Quiet hiring is when executives decide that employees must work in other roles or departments that may or may not be associated with their current job description to meet a current critical need in the organization." Quiet hiring has plenty of obvious benefits for the employer, but it can also be beneficial to staff who know how to use it to their advantage. 

Quiet hiring sets you up for success

One of the biggest advantages of quiet hiring is the growth potential. In an interview with SHRM, Brian Ferguson, a talent acquisition leader and the founder of recruiting consultancy company The Talent Trailblazer, argued: "Temporary assignments can help employees gain new skills and experiences and lead to long-term career advancement." According to Mondo, if you're being quiet-hired, your employer recognizes two important things in you: Your potential growth and the value you bring to the company. 

Thus, you can leverage your position to get a pay raise and even a better job title down the line. It's essential to document your achievements and skills throughout the quiet hiring assignment to build a concise case for future promotion, per Don't Waste Your Money. One major reason behind the rising popularity of quiet quitting was employees' feelings of being stuck in dead-end jobs that weren't very fulfilling and purposeful (via Forbes). 

The additional responsibilities that come with quiet hiring may help staffers to discover passions in other areas and to feel more confident after completing new tasks. Dr. Shonna Waters, Ph.D., the vice president of alliance solutions at virtual coaching platform BetterUp, presented another emotional upside to Well and Good: "If you're being quietly hired, use this juncture to create some space for reflection and assess your mindset." 

Gain clarity before you're quietly hired

If your employer approaches you with the idea of taking on additional responsibilities, it's crucial to have an open and frank conversation about their expectations before making your decision. A major downside of quiet hiring is more work for the same pay, so fair compensation should be the top priority in your discussion. Emily Rose McRae, senior director of research at Gartner, recommended saying something like, "I understand that taking on these functions would save the company this amount of money or it would cost this amount to hire an additional person to take on this job as we normally would, how would these numbers factor into my compensation?'"(via CNBC). 

If your employer refuses to give you the pay increase, McRae suggests offering other alternatives like working from home, flexible hours, or some additional paid time off (via Good Morning America). It's also vital to understand what the additional responsibilities entail before agreeing to take them on. During a chat about the phenomenon with Go Banking Rates, Jenn Lim, CEO of Delivering Happiness warned, "It's important to get clarification on what this new role will look like, as well as what, if any, responsibilities you will carry over from your current position. Stretching yourself too thin and keeping too many plates spinning will land you in burnout-frustration mode."