Brexit and the contractor market - a solution to all this madness?

Author: Paddy Wells

When I tasked myself with writing more content this year I made one promise, not to write a blog on Brexit!

I hated the divisiveness, the uncertainty, the backlash and my aim was always to put out helpful and interesting information that people could use, that might also make their day a little brighter. As you can see, I have changed tack and this is because I have spent the last few weeks researching the impact of Brexit on the contractor market. What I found surprised me and I had to get the good news out because there is some light coming from all of this uncertainty!

Uncertainty is definitely the word that Brexit invokes most. The world is moving faster, there are global trade wars and the general sentiment is of division, with more to come. Some businesses have already fallen to the ever-changing world; Toys R Us, BHS and House of Fraser.

Why then, with all of this change, is the recruitment market in the UK going from strength to strength? And why is the contract market leading this?

Data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation showed that despite the uncertainty of Brexit, the UK recruitment industry grew by 11% in 2017/2018. 1.1 million people were placed into permanent jobs and more than 1 million agency workers were placed on any given day! It also showed the total industry turnover reached £35.7 billion and of that, £30.85 billion was generated by contract placement activity.

As I’ve mentioned above, there is a huge amount of uncertainty in the market. This will mean business will find it difficult to plan for the future and don’t want to take big financial risks should something suddenly change. We all know the pitfalls of not planning for the future, at least Sir Philip Green does.

One solution that many organisations are choosing to take is to hire a contractor. They can solve short-term requirements allowing time to plan for the longer-term business objectives. If these plans then change, it’s much easier to adapt and choose a new contractor better suited to the new challenges, for the next assignment. Some people may think this sounds ruthless, not at all! A good contractor recognises their strengths and value and more often than not will recommend someone better suited if they feel they aren’t the right person.

As I’m sure everyone reading this knows, the world seems to be moving faster and faster and the need to be flexible and adaptable is becoming more important than ever. Should a problem arise and you take a month to plan action and another month to try and implement that action, it’s likely the problem will have exacerbated no end.

The solution? Hire a contrator. They are used to being responsive and hitting the ground running. As experts in their space they will have seen this before and know how to deal with it. Changes can happen quickly and if you don’t know the solution immediately, I guarantee you there is a contractor who does and can be in tomorrow getting on top of it.

As the world changes, so do businesses and not all can move to adapt quickly enough. By hiring a contractor you increase the chance of business survival. Examples of this are during change, transformation or restructuring.

The good news is the contractor market is growing and there are more specialists available than ever before.

So, the next time someone says there is no good coming from Brexit, tell them there is, if you’re a contractor!

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