2018 is set to be a good year for contractors

More people are choosing flexible work than ever. On any given day there are 1.3 million temporary agency workers on recruiters’ payroll, according to the Recruitment Industry Trends report by the Recruitment & Employment Federation (REC).

In 2016/17, total industry turnover was £32.2 billion, despite an “unprecedentedly volatile political and economic climate”, and 87.6% (£28.2 billion) was achieved through temporary/contract placement activity.

2017 was no doubt a great year for contractors across the country, with the increased contractor, freelancer and consultant roles available. With contract work being easier to find, and it was in large down to the ever growing technology that we use every day. Online platforms mean more and more contractors are embracing the internet when finding their next role.

According to the report, two out of three temporary and contract recruitment agencies are expecting growth in 2018, due to skills shortages and short-term opportunities presented by labour. 67% of UK staffing agencies forecast revenue growth in the following year, up from 60% in 2017.

According to a new report from Bullhorn, overall confidence levels for industry performance are up. 50% of respondents hope to increase their overall technology investment this year to improve client and candidate engagement, as well as become more efficient in performing their day-to-day activities.

Peter Linas, Bullhorn’s Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and International, comments: “We will see strong hiring demand in 2018, especially in the temporary and contract markets. But to stand a chance of reaching their revenue goals, agencies must be prepared to defend their bill rates and margins against constant pressure.”

The report does acknowledge several threats such as Brexit, the auto-enrolment pension and IR35 forms, but it remains an upbeat tone and recruiters believe the industry will continue to grow over 2018 and for the next three years.

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