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Quiet Hiring: What To Know About The 2023 Employment Trend

Industry TrendsJuly 31, 2023

In recent years, the job market has seen a significant shift from traditional employment to freelancing and self-employment. This trend has been driven by a desire for more flexibility, independence, and work-life balance. 

However, the pandemic has accelerated this trend, leading to what is now known as the "Great Resignation." This phenomenon refers to the mass exodus of employees from their jobs in search of better opportunities, more fulfilling work, and improved working conditions. 

But now, a new trend is emerging in the job market — quiet hiring. In this article, we'll explore quiet hiring and how freelancers, 1099 contractors, and self-employed individuals can benefit from it. 

What is Quiet Hiring?

Quiet hiring, a term largely attributed to Emily Rose McRae of Gartner, is a new trend in employment where companies hire contract workers or freelancers rather than full-time employees. This approach allows companies to be more flexible in their hiring practices, as they can hire workers for specific projects or tasks as needed.

Quiet hiring also has a second definition, which involves companies taking advantage of workers by saddling them with more responsibilities outside of their job roles. While we don’t condone this type of quiet hiring, working with self-employed individuals can be a good way for companies to quickly scale their workforce or find specialized skills for short-term projects.

By keeping up with this trend, freelancers and entrepreneurs can take advantage of the growing demand for contract workers in the job market.

Quiet Quitting vs Quiet Hiring

Quiet quitting is when employees stop putting in extra effort and, instead, only do the minimum required in their jobs. It’s another term that popped off in late 2022. 

On the other hand, quiet hiring is where companies prefer to work with contract workers instead of hiring full-time employees

While quiet quitting is about reduced employee engagement and commitment to their work, quiet hiring is about flexible hiring practices. If you’re a 1099 contractor, understanding the concept of quiet hiring can help you identify new job opportunities and make informed decisions about your employment options. 

Pros and Cons of Quiet Hiring

Quiet hiring is a great option for both companies and contract workers, but like most hiring decisions, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.


  • Greater flexibility for companies to hire workers for specific projects or tasks as needed, without committing to long-term employment.

  • More opportunities for contract workers and freelancers to find work in their areas of expertise.

  • Increased work-life balance for contract workers, who can often set their own schedules and choose the projects they work on.

  • The potential for higher pay rates for contract workers, who can negotiate their own rates and terms.


  • Less job security for contract workers, who may not have a steady stream of work or a long-term employment contract.

  • Limited benefits and protections for contract workers, who may not have access to health insurance, retirement plans, or other benefits provided to full-time employees.

  • Increased competition for contract work, as more people enter the job market as freelancers and contractors.

  • The potential for companies to take advantage of contract workers by overworking them or not paying them fairly.

Examples of Quiet Hiring

Now that you know the pros and cons of quiet hiring, let’s look at a few ways it could play out in real life:

Example 1

A marketing agency is working on a project that requires specialized skills in graphic design. Instead of hiring a full-time graphic designer, they decide to work with a freelance graphic designer on a contract basis to complete the project. 

Example 2

A software development company needs to scale up its workforce to meet a deadline for a new product launch. Rather than hiring full-time employees, they hire a team of contractors to work on the project. 

Example 3

A hair stylist needs help with social media management to grow their business but doesn't have the budget to hire a full-time social media manager. They decide to work with a self-employed social media consultant on a contract basis for a few hours a week. 

Example 4

A startup is looking for an experienced project manager to oversee its product development process. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, they work with a self-employed project manager on a contract basis for the duration of the project.

Example 5

A company needs to fill a temporary position while an employee is on maternity leave. Rather than hiring a full-time replacement, they work with a self-employed contractor to fill the position for the duration of the leave. 

How to Take Advantage of Quiet Hiring: 4 Tips for Self-Employed Contractors

With quiet hiring on the rise, it’s a great time for current or aspiring entrepreneurs to find contract work with companies. Here are some tips on how you can take advantage of the quiet hiring trend:

Find Companies Who Are Quiet Hiring

The first step is knowing how to find clients actively seeking contract workers. There are several ways you can do this: 

  • Utilize Online Platforms. Join freelance websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, where companies often post projects and contract opportunities.

  • Specialized Job Boards. Explore industry-specific job boards or forums where companies may be seeking contract workers with specific skills.

  • Social Media. Follow and engage with companies on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook to stay updated on their hiring needs.

Network and Build Connections in the Quiet Hiring Market

Networking is a powerful way to expand your opportunities in the quiet hiring market. Follow these steps to build valuable connections and grow your professional network:

  • Attend Events. Participate in industry events, seminars, or workshops to connect with potential clients and other professionals.

  • Network Online. Engage in online forums, LinkedIn groups, and virtual networking events to expand your professional contacts.

  • Ask for Referrals. Request referrals from past clients or colleagues, as word-of-mouth recommendations can lead to new opportunities.

Craft an Impactful Self-Pitch

Pitching yourself to potential clients is all about highlighting your skills and experience and your ability to work independently and deliver quality work on time. Here's how to craft an impactful self-pitch:

  • Craft a Clear Message. Create a concise and compelling pitch that highlights your skills, experience, and what you can bring to a company's projects.

  • Tailor Your Pitch. Customize your pitch for each potential client, focusing on how your expertise aligns with their specific needs.

  • Showcase Your Portfolio. Share a portfolio of your past work to demonstrate your capabilities and the value you can deliver.

Set Expectations with Clients

To avoid scope creep and ensure a successful project outcome, setting clear expectations with clients is important. Here's how you can do that: 

  • Define Project Scope. Clearly outline the project's deliverables, timeline, and your role to ensure both you and the client are on the same page.

  • Written Agreements. Use contracts or written agreements that outline the project's scope, payment terms, and any potential revisions.

  • Regular Check-ins. Schedule regular progress updates with your client to address any deviations from the original project scope.

  • Be Firm but Flexible. Politely communicate when additional work falls outside the agreed-upon scope and discuss any changes in terms if needed.

How to Hire 1099 Contractors With Found

Being self-employed already has several benefits. Now, the rise of quiet hiring presents a unique opportunity for businesses of all sizes to scale and grow with contract workers. 

If you need help quietly (or not-so-quietly) hiring freelancers and other 1099 contractors, we can help. With Found’s contractor management tools, you can easily onboard, pay, and manage contractors for free. That’s right — there are no pay-per-contractor fees. Easily collect W-9 forms, pay your team quickly, and stay on top of taxes at the end of the year.

Try Found contractor management out today to see just how simple it can be to scale your business with 1099 employees.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only.

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