Empowering the Freelance Economy

Disgruntled Freelancers: Employers Have You On Their Radar

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Regardless of their remote-only or “freelance” LinkedIn status, freelancers and contractors are increasingly being approached by employers, according to a new survey.

“Targeting disgruntled freelancers or temps could prove to be an effective recruitment strategy for employers struggling with skills shortages and the so-called ‘Great Resignation’,” says Andy Ingham of staffing platform Bullhorn.

According to the Bullhorn Senior Vice President who looks after the EMEA and APAC regions, whether you’re talking about gig or permanent work, it seems the winning combination is “job security, a decent wage and, of course, a strong degree of flexibility,” he told Staffing Industry Analysts.

Job security: is it trumping freelancer autonomy?

Approximately two-thirds, or 69%, of freelancers and 63% of temporary workers in the UK moved or considered shifting, to permanent, part-time or full-time work last year, according to Bullhorn’s research.

Job security has been topping the list of big concerns for freelancers and temporary workers, followed by day rate fluctuations and pay. The same factors also appear to be discouraging permanent workers to enter the gig economy, with 2% saying that they have considered it.

When asked ‘What is your biggest concern with ‘gig’ work?’ 52% of freelancers said job security compared with 42% of temporary workers and 54% of permanent workers. At the same time, 46% of freelancers cited pay as the biggest concern while 29% of temporary workers and 38% of permanent workers also cited pay.

Bullhorn’s research also found that the majority of freelancers (72%) and temporary workers (63%) would still describe their experiences as “Good” or “Excellent”, both groups citing schedule flexibility (44%) as the main factor keeping them in their current line of work. Approximately a quarter reported increased difficulty with finding gig roles last year.

Ingham suggests in a Staffing Industry Analysts’ SIA report that freelancers and gig workers have so much uncertainty hovering over their heads, such as regulatory concerns, including R35, that they are questioning the value of flexibility in freelancing if they can now get it with an employer.

Ingrams says in the report:

Why risk job security and worse pay for flexibility that can be increasingly found in the ‘new normal’ of permanent work?

Yet, the survey found that when freelancers were asked how easy it has been to find work in the past year, 33% of freelancers said easier, 44% said the same as before and 23% said harder. Approximately 23% of temporary workers said easier, while 48% said the same as before and 29% said harder.

Are you a freelancer or contractor that has shifted to a permanent role? Or are you a forever freelancer? We’d love to hear your views. So please share them in our comments below.

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