As the world recovered from an unprecedented pandemic, a sudden shift to remote work, and a growing cost of living crisis, the internet was all about “quiet quitting.”
First coined in early 2022, the term described employees who were choosing to pullback from “going the extra mile” to pursue a pay raise in favor of sticking to their position’s scope of responsibilities.
In 2023, workers continue to achieve high levels of productivity, while companies cut costs wherever possible.
There’s a new term on the horizon, too: quiet hiring.
What Does Quiet Hiring Mean?
Emily Rose McRae, Sr. Director of Research at Gartner explains that “quiet hiring is when an organization acquires new skills without actually hiring new full-time employees.” In other words, why hire another employee if you can foster talent internally?
While this may seem like a cost-effective recipe for overextension, it’s also an opportunity for employees already learning new skills to up their credentials and climb the ranks.
Despite its connotations, quiet hiring can be a win-win situation for employers and employees.
The Benefits of Quiet Hiring
It’s natural to get comfortable after working at a company for a while. But are you truly fulfilling your potential (and your kokorozashi)? With quiet hiring, you can cultivate skillsets that will propel your career in the right direction.
Find Your Skill Gap and Research How to Fill It
Maybe your manager is suddenly asking you to report on detailed analytics that are outside of your current scope—but you have been interested in taking on a more strategic role down the line.
Take the time to assess what you’ll need to nail this new responsibility. After some research, you realize that you’ll need a certification to learn to identify and utilize specific data for your reports. Now that you know where your knowledge gaps are, research your training options along with the costs and benefits for your company.
Broadcast Your New Abilities
You’ve completed a data analytics certificate and successfully presented the numbers to your team, confidently fielding questions that would’ve stumped you previously.
Be sure to add this credential to your resume and make sure that leadership is aware of your increased abilities. Don’t be shy—moving up the ranks means making sure your name comes up in project and promotion discussions.
Negotiate for Increased Compensation
If you’re being asked to pick up slack, it should be made clear if these new responsibilities are temporary or long-lasting, and how you will be compensated in either situation.
If you’re only asked to take on increased responsibilities for a brief time, that timeframe must be clearly communicated. Sure, workloads tend to ebb and flow, and diamonds are formed under pressure—but everyone has their limits.
Overwork puts employees at risk of burnout, especially if they aren’t rewarded for heading the call. If a bonus isn’t possible, then recovery time or flexible work hours should be an option that you pursue instead.
If you’re being asked to take on work outside your current scope indefinitely, set up a meeting with your manager to reassess how your success will be measured. This is also the time to negotiate[ST1] [WJ2] for increased compensation or benefits such as more time off (see Principled Negotiation: A Crash Course in Workplace Persuasion). You’ll be providing additional value to the organization, so you deserve additional compensation in return.
Don’t Burn Yourself Out.
It’s easy for workloads to creep up, but people only have so much bandwidth before they hit a wall. While it can be exhilarating to be constantly learning, at a certain point, everyone reaches their limit.
Take a few moments to let your mind rest before attacking the next challenge. Whether it’s an evening stroll, 30 minutes of mindfulness, or lunch out with a colleague, give your brain some time to reset before jumping into the next training session.