By Jonathan London on 29th July 2015

Strong hiring intentions creating opportunities for contractors

Contractors and freelancers will continue to find plenty of opportunities to pick up work in the coming months due to the ongoing demand for talent and skills among the UK’s businesses.

The latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has shed light on this trend, with the 600 employers polled generally showing positive sentiments towards hiring.

It was revealed that 74 per cent of employers intend to take on permanent staff in the next three months – up from 62 per cent in May and 63 per cent in June – with 96 per cent of businesses having little or no surplus capacity to accommodate further increases in demand.

Contractors who are able to step into the breach and address this capacity shortfall are likely to be well-rewarded, with 99 per cent of respondents saying that agency workers are currently being paid the same or more than they would be as a permanent worker.

This is indicative of the fact that business confidence on the whole is gradually increasing, following the dispersal of the uncertainty that accompanied the recent general election. Indeed, 80 per cent of respondents said economic conditions in the country as a whole are getting better, with 46 per cent now expecting hiring and investment to improve.

Moreover, it was shown that 41 per cent of employers increased their pay and earnings for staff in the last year, with none making cuts. Key shortages are being seen in professional and managerial roles, construction jobs and technical and engineering positions, so these are the sectors that are likely to receive the most generous rates of remuneration.

Kevin Green, chief executive officer at the REC, said: “Our data shows that almost all businesses are operating at capacity and want to take on more staff to meet demand, but the reality is that chronic skills shortages are making this difficult.

“For workers, the outlook is good. Starting salaries continue to rise as employers compete for talent, and permanent and temporary opportunities are available to those with the required skills and capability.”

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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