Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Freelancers to Outnumber Permanent Staff in More Than Half of Businesses by 2020

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Freelancers to Outnumber Permanent Staff in More Than Half of Businesses by 2020

Article excerpt

BLENDED talent pools, made up of a mix of permanent employees, contractors and freelancers, will make up the workforce of the future, according to new research.

The ability to match the right person to the right task is the biggest draw of freelance talent and more than a third of employers (39 per cent) say that freelancers are 'very important' to their growth expectations.

According to a survey of more than 1,000 SMEs and companies, businesses of the near future are likely to rely more heavily on freelance and contracted talent than a permanent workforce.

In the research, conducted by freelance marketplace, PEOPLEPERHOUR (PPH), more than half (57 per cent) of all respondents stated their intention to employ more freelancers than permanent employees by 2020, with just 12 per cent stating the reverse.

The reasons for this predicted seismic shift in employment practices were varied, but top of the list and important to 60 per cent of employers, was the ability to match the right person to the right task. The main benefit of this is improved productivity and efficiency, and something that cannot be replicated with the traditional employment model. The increased flexibility offered by a freelance workforce followed close behind, appealing to 59 per cent of respondents.

Other reasons given were access to talent on-demand (51 per cent); access to a wider pool of talent (50 per cent); faster access to talent (44 per cent); better value than full-time employees (30 per cent); increased efficiency (19 per cent); and without freelancers it would be difficult to keep up-to-date with the latest skill requirements (19 per cent).

NOT LIMITED TO UK TALENT These figures were reinforced by the fact that almost half (45.5 per cent) of the employers interviewed admitted to being either quite or very concerned about the current availability of skills and talent in the UK. …

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