The fourth annual UK Recruitment Index from APSCo and Deloitte emphasized the increasingly flexible workforce as one of the key trends to consider for recruitment businesses wanting to grow and impact demand for talent in the future.

In the last few years, flexible working has become more common in the UK and the official employment figures highlight growth in part-time employment. Data from our affiliate APSCo shows that in 2015 the number of placements as well as the overall demand for temporary and contract work grew in comparison with the previous year. Furthermore, in some sectors, the growth was significantly above that seen for permanent positions.

‘Gig economy’ (where self-employed contractors carry out jobs often on short notice) has also been recognised as one of the factors contributing to many UK businesses expanding rapidly. Recent research suggests that there are currently over five million ‘gig workers’ in the UK and around nine in ten of these do desk-based online jobs.

The growing need for flexibility is now spreading beyond employment contracts to the skills requirements and the way talent is found and retained. As businesses face more doubt and fast changes in demand or market conditions, they are likely to need staff with new skills and knowledge. Retaining or attracting talent with in-demand skills is often challenging, time-consuming and expensive and crowdsourcing has been highlighted as one of the solutions to this problem.

Crowdsourcing, originally a “buzzword” used to describe procuring services or goods from the “crowd” and widely used for soliciting funding and ideas is now also used for talent acquisition. It is the umbrella term used for a variety of approaches used to harness the time, expertise and resources of crowds.

Rapid developments in crowdsourcing and the evolution of the
‘gig economy’ suggest that flexible working and a flexible workforce is set to become much more important and in demand in the future, providing opportunities for the recruitment industry. Recruitment businesses can support their clients continuously to identify new needs for skills and utilise innovative sourcing methods to find the right talent.

Whether you are contracting on a short or long term basis, K&B Accountancy Group and Cloud9 Umbrella have a solution for you. To speak with an accountant, please call 020 7078 0211. If you would like to speak with our umbrella team, please call 020 7078 0212.