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How to make Quiet Hiring work for you

The latest career buzzword is out, following closely on the heels of Quiet Quitting. Quiet Hiring though outwardly confusing, can be a net positive for your career, even if you're not working right now.

What is quiet hiring?

Quiet Hiring refers to getting more work done with the same team or even a team that's experienced some layoffs. To accomplish this, an organization must:

  1. Give more projects to existing staff

  2. Hire contractors to accomplish focused tasks

So how does this apply to you and your career? Let's look at each situation:

Give more projects for existing staff

Head count won't grow (and may even have shrunk) but there's still lots of work to be done. If you're an employee in this organization, the opportunity for you is to broaden your skills and also potentially increase your compensation. But this will require some action steps on your part. They are:

  • Identifying gaps in your team's functions

  • Mapping out a task plan to get these tasks covered

  • Balancing your current work and additional work

  • Frequently discuss progress, challenges and recommended changes to leadership

  • Discussing Compensation which might include salary or bonus increases, one off performance bonuses

  • Documenting your new skills in LinkedIn

Anchoring these bullets is communication. To get a win from quiet hiring, it requires excellent communication skills, particularly around identifying gaps and building a plan to get them done. Often well-spoken employees we'll get these projects, even though a quieter staff member is more competent. You need to determine your comfort level in approaching leadership and suggest you can fulfill these unmet needs.

As you look down the list, frequent conversations about the progress of your additional work are important because you want to be careful about your total workload. Again, dialogue is critical here so that you don't burnout or slip on your core responsibilities.

Compensation also needs to be discussed at some point, preferably early. Asking for an immediate bump in compensation might be premature. Often, leadership will want to see results before they bump your salary. That doesn't mean you don't discuss it right up front, you may ask for an off-cycle review, or a discussion within the first couple months of how they might adjust your compensation based on your total workload and responsibilities. Show your value but also be a solid self-advocate.

Hire contractors to accomplish focused tasks

You're not working and are interested in getting back in and contracting in a job market that is shifting to less hiring can be a solid step. There are key considerations both similar and different from the previous scenario. When finding a contract project.

  • Clearly understanding the task and deliverables—and your ability to deliver on them

  • Know the Compensation amount and the structure of payments. Are you paid

    • Directly, with you responsible for all taxes

    • Hired as a temporary employee with little to no benefits, or

    • Hired through a third-party agency which puts you on their payroll

  • Frequently discuss progress, challenges and recommended changes to the team and leadership

  • Documenting your new skills and experience on LinkedIn and your resume

Contract work can be a great bridge between full-time roles, both financially and experientially. It's also happened that people find a valuable niche, gain expertise and build a successful practice. Managing expectations and being really clear on deliverables, schedules and compensation are keys.

Summary and Coaching Questions: What's best for you?

Here are some final thoughts and coaching questions to consider:

  1. What can I do with the key concepts of Quiet Hiring to grow my career

  2. Who are the key people I need to discuss this with

  3. What are the problems I can immediately help an organization with

  4. What are the areas I need to grow and develop–and would quiet hiring be a way to do this


Want to explore Quiet Hiring - Reach Out!

I'm a certified Career and Executive Coach, with deades of experience as a Silicon Valley Recruiting Leader, leading Job Search and Leadership Development programs at the Wharton Executive MBA Program in San Francisco and directing coaching at HireClub, a 40K plus community. All initial sessions are free and we dive right in. There's never any pressure or push.

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