We’re living in the economic recession, massive layoffs, AI coming for our jobs, and many other obstacles. But tough times awaken and boost creative business solutions in all fields. Quiet hiring is one of them, and it looks like a future of hiring strategies for many of us.  

What is quiet hiring?

If you ask ChatGPT about quiet hiring, it will give you a completely wrong definition:

“As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, “quiet hiring” isn’t a standard term in human resources or recruitment. It could refer to discrete or confidential hiring practices.

Discreet or confidential hiring often occurs when a company is looking to replace a current employee without their knowledge or when a high-profile company or individual doesn’t want to advertise an open position publicly. It could involve contacting potential candidates directly or working with a recruitment agency that can keep the details confidential.”

Sorry, buddy, but you won’t take our jobs at such rates. Let’s see what true top minds mean by quiet hiring. Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm, defines quiet hiring as the top 1 work trend in 2023 as a strategy “to acquire new skills and capabilities without adding new full-time employees.” 

According to the latest poll by Monster, one of the leading sources for jobs and career opportunities, 80% of workers have been “quiet hired.” Quiet hiring can be an appropriate hiring solution considering another trend of hiring freeze. Within this strategy, you can still employ freelance, contract, or part-time workers and save costs on their maintenance. 

quiet hiring
Image by Freepik

Different approaches to quiet hiring 

Quiet hiring is about more than just hiring external contractors temporarily. It can also be directed internally within the company with different meanings and goals. If both strategies are done smartly, both employees and employers can benefit. Let’s check on the types of quiet hiring. 

Internal talent shift

Instead of hiring new talents, you can focus on empowering your employees — promote them or offer to shift to another division or position. You can invest in their upgrading and increase retention in the long term. However, you keep in mind some pitfalls too. 

Pros and cons of internal quiet hiring 


  • Rediscovering internal talents from a new perspective — notice someone you haven’t before, and give them opportunities to show their potential. 
  • Promoting by offering vertical career growth or horizontal by providing new opportunities.
  • Creating an environment for sharing experiences between departments so everyone could try something new.
  • Providing employees with upskilling opportunities and boosting their productivity with new technologies.


  • You risk overloading your employees with additional responsibilities and tasks.
  • You must provide reasonable compensation, bonuses, or whatever unless you demand more.
  • As a result, overloading your team and not covering their workload will lead to professional and emotional burnout.

One crucial thing to remember about internal quiet hiring is not about doing more with the same resources. It’s about giving something as much as taking. 

External hiring

If you need to recruit during a hiring freeze or are confronted with a significant shortfall in specific skills but have restricted time and resources, consider opting for external quiet hiring. This approach will enable you to engage contractors to bridge the skill deficiencies, ensuring the smooth operation of your business.

Types of external quiet hiring

Everything depends on your business goals and possibilities: 

For minor or short-term goals

Engaging freelancers, consultants, and independent contractors is a viable option. Typically, you can outsource freelancers through platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, which link organizations with freelance professionals offering services for short-term or project-based tasks.

To discover consultants and independent contractors, you can tap into their industry networks or participate in professional networking events, where they can connect with suitable candidates available for temporary or project-specific assignments.

For staff augmentation

Consider partnering with staff augmentation firms that integrate teams seamlessly with your existing in-house groups. This approach can reduce costs and minimize liabilities.

If you choose this route, we have curated a list of five noteworthy staff augmentation firms for your consideration:

For projects with a set scope of works

Engage software development firms for tailored solutions, or consider investing in a pre-existing solution if it fits your needs. 

Remember to check carefully on your potential software development contractors to find the safest one who satisfies all your requirements. 


There is no ultimate decision on going into quiet hiring or not. You can look through dozens of articles like ours but choose what’s better for your business and team.

But once you’ve chosen internal or external quiet hiring, be entirely frank and transparent with your teammates. Explain any of your decisions and how they will affect them, and be open to a dialogue.