Optimism and confidence high among contractors
despite the recent slowdown
Despite recent figures revealing a slowdown in the pace of economic recovery within the business and professional services sector in the three months to June, both employment growth and employer confidence remain high, according to the latest CBI Services Sector Survey.
The survey found that employment within the sector reached its highest levels since 2007, with employers unanimous in their optimism for what they believe will be a record return to growth in third quarter of 2014, surpassing any other years since the survey began in 1998.
Katja Hall, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “The slowing in the pace of growth and profits in the service sector reflects our view that momentum in the economy will ease in the second half of the year.
“But this doesn’t necessarily mean a gear change in the recovery. It’s encouraging that our service sector firms continue to feel upbeat, especially when looking ahead to the next quarter.”
However, the much-debated skills crisis remains a cause for concern for many employers. Although many organisations are looking to increase investment and employ more staff to drive business growth, the skills shortage means it is difficult for employers to find and hire the right people, at the right time. The longer this continues to be the case, the greater the threat to long term growth.
But this is good news for contractors.
Demand for contract workers has been growing steadily over the last couple of years and the positive sentiment within the economy should present contractors with a number of strong prospects and opportunities.
Indeed, with increased demand and increased workloads comes an increase in the need for key skilled workers to fill certain business-critical roles which are not already being performed by an organisation’s existing workforce.
Hanging on to the best talent they already have in addition to attracting skilled contractors will be a key concern for employers over the coming months. According to the CBI survey, many organisations say that their main barrier to business growth will be their capacity to increase output with their current staffing levels matched by their ability (or inability) to recruit those with the right skills – a gap which can be bridged by skilled contractors.
Rates of pay for contractors over the coming months will increase at best, remain steady at worst as the contractor market continues to improve. The shortage in temporary workers combined with difficulties in finding the right skills among those who are on the job market have conspired to force employers to offer highly competitive rates in a bid to win the proverbial war for talent.
Talent will always be in demand and at a time when this demand is showing no sign of abating, talented OneClick Umbrella company contractors will continue to be a highly-prized and sought-after commodity. And with the latest unemployment figures recording their biggest drop in 25 years, both the short and long term prospects for contractors are looking very positive.