5 Ways to Use ‘Quiet Hiring’ to Advance Your Career

More companies are turning to internal hires in this tough economy. How to capitalize on the shift.

Alyson Federico

Career Coach, Korn Ferry Advance

As companies continue to fret about a possible recession, more managers are turning to their staff, rather than hiring new employees, to complete essential tasks. It’s called “quiet hiring,” and it allows companies to manage and leverage internal talent by asking existing workers to take on responsibilities beyond their job descriptions, says Alyson Federico, a Korn Ferry Advance career coach.

But while it means more work, quiet hiring can also provide a unique opportunity for employees who are looking for a promotion or raise. “If you have ambition and are willing to work hard, there is probably no better opportunity than now,” says Dan Kaplan, a senior client partner for Korn Ferry's CHRO practice.

In fact, about 80% of US workers say they have been "quiet hired," according to a recent study. Here are five ways to use quiet hiring to advance your career.

Network with other departments.

If you’re interested in being quiet hired, develop relationships with colleagues in other departments to learn about projects outside your department. If you find a project that interests you, let the department’s manager know you’re available and interested in helping out, Federico says. “This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience and really build your value within the organization,” she says.

Demonstrate your agility.

Quiet hiring gives you a chance to take on the ultimate stretch assignment, Kaplan says. “It’s important to show a willingness to take on new work and learn new skills, and to do it for the the team and the organization, and not just for a raise or a bonus,” he says.

Get clarity.

Be careful that you don’t inadvertently take on multiple jobs in multiple departments, Federico warns. If you’re quiet hired by a manager in a different department, ask whether you’re reporting to a new manager or being transferred to a new department. Even if you’re quiet hired by your supervisor, ask how these new tasks impact your goals and what you’re expected to accomplish this year, she says.

Track your accomplishments.

“Keep careful notes about what you’re learning, doing, and achieving,” Federico says. Track the way your work has helped the organization to increase profitability or visibility, or to reduce costs. At your next performance review, clearly state that in addition to the work you were hired to do, you learned these new skills, and these are your other achievements, she says.

Build a track record.

Don’t ask for a raise or promotion as a precondition to being quiet hired, Kaplan says. “I would stretch yourself and take on more to become the most integral part of the team. There will be a natural point and time during the next promotion cycle or bonus time, and if you’re not automatically recognized then, that is when you raise your hand,” he says.


For information, contact Korn Ferry Advance.