'Quiet hiring' could mean more contract positions: 7 in-demand roles paying from $16 up to $48/hour

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One of the latest buzzwords in the work world is "quiet hiring." That's when an organization needs to hire for a new set of skills but in lieu of creating full-time positions finds contractors or encourages employees to upskill themselves, Emily Rose McRae, who leads Gartner's future of work research team, recently told CNBC Make It.

And it's poised to be a trend in 2023. "The economic environment has never been more confusing and uncertain for businesses," says Sinem Buber, lead economist at ZipRecruiter.

On the one hand, demand for products is strong and corporate profits are soaring. Businesses want to expand. On the other, there's a potential recession coming, she says, and they want to avoid layoffs. Creating contract positions meets their needs in the moment.

If you're currently on the lookout for a side gig, even a temporary one, here are seven of the most in-demand contract positions on ZipRecruiter, including their average hourly salaries and required experience.

Delivery driver

There are various types of delivery drivers and many are currently in demand, from those who handle interstate cargo transport to drivers who deliver restaurant customers' food orders. Some jobs may ask for a special license and require your own vehicle.

Average hourly pay: $16

Administrative assistant

These assistants carry out an array of responsibilities depending on the specific role, including scheduling meetings, taking notes during meetings, data entry, coordinating travel, receiving calls and so on. The position does not necessarily require a bachelor's degree.

Average hourly pay: $18

Customer service representative

Customer service representatives reach out to potential customers in person, online or over the phone. They provide feedback about products, take orders, handle complaints and maintain customer information in a database. This job often does not require a bachelor's degree.

Average hourly pay: $18

Sales representative

Sales representatives promote their companies' products and services to potential clients, make sales on behalf of their companies and follow up with customers to ensure satisfaction. Many of these jobs do not require a bachelor's degree.

Average hourly pay: $23

Project manager

Project managers spearhead projects for their companies including their organization, planning and execution. They take the reins from beginning to end, leading their teams and ensuring they meet their companies' goals. This position requires a bachelor's degree.

Average hourly pay: $38

Business analyst

Business analysts survey data about their company or clients to come up with recommendations for reducing costs, increasing revenue and so on. They write reports about their findings, present them to stakeholders and help resolve any issues involved. Some positions may require a bachelor's degree and many require extensive experience.

Average hourly pay: $40

Sales director

These directors recruit, hire and train sales representatives, strategize about best sales practices and sell their companies' products themselves. This position may require a bachelor's degree and requires extensive experience.

Average hourly pay: $48

"The job market has never been more favorable to job seekers," says Buber. "Right now, there is an opportunity out there for everyone." And with contract positions in particular, because of their temporary nature, employers may be even more open to a wider demographic.

Despite this current wave of positions hitting the market, if you're looking for contract work for the long-run, fear not. The term "quiet hiring" may be new, "but there's nothing new" about the practice, says Tony Buffum, vice president of HR client strategy at Upwork.

"Companies have been contracting work to freelancers for acute immediate needs at all levels for decades," he says. And they're not likely to stop in the near future, regardless of how long a new catchphrase lasts.

Check out:

3 in-demand side hustles to start in 2023―one pays up to $100 per hour

9 in-demand side hustles that can be done from home—and how much they pay

5 in-demand side hustles you can do from home that pay $100,000 or more, according to new research

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