Contractors with strategic skills earn more than their permanent employee counterparts, as employers turn to contractors to fill key strategic gaps.
This is according to the latest Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) JobsOutlook survey. The report also highlights that 65% of contractor clients admit to paying their contingent workers more than they pay their employees. “Candidate availability is extremely low and as a result more employers are offering lucrative short-term assignments, especially in fields such as engineering,” explains REC chief executive Kevin Green. “Temporary work has historically been associated with the lower-skilled end of the jobs market, but we’re seeing the profile of agency workers change as more people choose to work in this way because of the pay and flexibility it offers.”
Ben Dunn, Managing Director of JSA, comments: “Flexible skilled workers in many sectors are in very high demand. The report echoes what we’re hearing from many of our agency partners who report that whilst permanent vacancies are rising, their clients are also demanding precise skillsets to fill specific roles, and more and more they are looking for contractors to deliver these skillsets….at premium rates. We think this is a long term trend.”
The survey also reports that most employers have little capacity to take on more work without adding headcount. The outlook for permanent hiring remains strong, with seven in ten employers planning to increase headcount in the next four to twelve months. However, the future for agency workers looks even brighter, with a huge 97 per cent of employers surveyed planning to increase or maintain the current number of agency workers over the same period