The new Contractor Recruitment Guide – from staffing firm Walters People has found professionals are increasingly considering whether a contract roles could be their next career move.

58 per cent of professionals in full-time work have stated that they would consider switching to a contract role for the right pay – with 43 per cent stating that the primary driver is the current economic climate. It also seems company culture and workplace perks are declining in value – with just 11 per cent of professionals stating that this would be a deterrent for them when considering contract roles.

Just a fifth of professionals stated that they would not at all be interested in switching to a contract role – a small number given that 48 per cent of workers admitted that their biggest concern about switching to a contract position was the roles end date, followed by lack of employment rights (26 per cent).

“With the rise of fully remote working and 4-day week trails, it is no surprise to hear that professionals are re-thinking how they carry out their day job – and contracting can be a viable option,” notes Janine Blacksley, director of Walters People. “Once upon a time, permanent jobs provided the best level of job security – but with the economy as turbulent as it is, professionals are becoming more comfortable with jobs not being ‘for life’ and that is where the gig economy comes in.”

When asked what they considered the core attributes are for a successful contractor, over a third of permanent employees (36 per cent) stated that being ‘hard working/goals driven’ was the primary trait, followed by an individual needing to have ‘a lot of contacts and connects’ (29 per cent).

Surprisingly, just a fifth believed that skills or experience (21 per cent) is the primary characteristic of a successful contractor, followed by the ability to work autonomously (14 per cent).

In fact, 40 per cent of employers have stated that the primary reason they have hired contractors is down to the speed of hire, with just a quarter (27 per cent) stating that it was so that they could hire a specialist skillset.

Janine adds: “There has been a misconception that contracting belongs only to highly experienced workers or those with a specialist skillset – but the very nature of contracting is professionals who are able to come into a role quickly, hit the ground running, and help to complete a project or fill a temporary hole within a business, and that can be any individual at any seniority level.”

46 per cent of contract professionals noted the promise of a good work-life balance as a top feature that attracts them to a new role. Currently in the UK, almost three quarters (74 per cent) of contractors are working remotely.

In fact, just a minority of permanent employees (15 per cent) are concerned about the responsibility they will need to take over their workload if they were to contract – with many feeling like this wont impact their work life balance.

Janine Blacksley, Director of Walters People comments: “We are all too aware of how much young professionals value attaining a work-life balance, as well as their habit of getting itchy feet and being quick to consider their next career step. Both of these aspects are foundational to contractor roles – as is, the ability to earn more than their permanent counterparts.

“Added to that, young workers have been described as the most entrepreneurial – they place real value on being able to let their work to do the talking rather than the hours served.

“Contract roles provide young professionals with the perfect springboard to be the best in their field. They are also great resume-builders and provide opportunity to build-up experience as well as hone a host of new skills.”

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