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The growth of the contracting market since Covid-19

Published 8th September 2020
The effects of Covid-19 have been extensive and far reaching for businesses across the globe, but what has this meant for the contracting community?

The Covid-19 pandemic has already significantly impacted businesses, and the economy globally, and the ripple effect is likely to continue for many years to come.  

Survival of the fittest

Businesses have been desperately looking at innovative ways to adapt to and survive this crisis, and are keen for new strategies to ensure they are in the best position possible to grow and emerge even stronger once this pandemic comes to an end.   

We spoke to Yvonne Kelly, Director of NPA Worldwide and founder of Glow up Careers, about her thoughts on the current contractor market.

“Global headcount freezes have seen a real surge in contractor hiring. There has been a huge amount of change across the board, resulting in businesses having to completely pivot and change the way they do things.  In recovery they are facing an enormous amount of required growth and therefore the demand for skilled, adaptable workers to meet these new requirements has rocketed.”

Opportunity in adversity

The market has opened up many opportunities for contractors.  Companies have been forced to review their internal talent and highlight their gaps in skills and experience. As a result they have looked to both reduce and mobilise their existing staff, and utilise a contingent workforce to bolster up their capabilities in areas where they need it most.

Senior Business Analyst and long time career contractor Matt Pepper views this as

“a maturity that we’ve seen from companies in response to the economic crisis. Instead of just ditching all their employees, companies are really trying to flex their labour workforce and understand how they keep their key asset in place, which is of course their people”. 

However to avoid the burnout of existing employees, Matt suggests the addition of a flexible workforce as businesses scale back up.

“The beauty of the contractor workforce is the amount of flexibility, skills and adaptability that they can lend to that requirement.”

Supply and demand

Since the start of Covid-19 Yvonne reflects that

“Many people lost their jobs during, either being stood down, or simply let go. All of a sudden we have so much more highly skilled talent available than we ever did, but very little hiring of permanent staff.” 

The by-product of this scenario, is that more professionals are now opening up themselves to the idea of contracting. Whether this means applying for a range of shorter term contract roles or building up their own client base and promoting their skills e.g. as a project manager or consultant.

Oncore CEO Damian Bridge says we are seeing a resurgence of the “” movement where professionals are focussing on building their own brand.

Hiring shifts to boost contracting

So the immediate demand the pandemic has pressed upon employers to have a flexible, skilled, adaptable workforce, combined with the growing supply of newly available talent needing new sources of income is a match that should hopefully help the economy begin to heal faster post Covid-19. 

Corporations now have a bigger appetite to grow their contingent workforce particularly in areas of technology and innovation. Yvonne believes that because of this, all the signs are that…

‘Contracting is the way of the future’

For more insights and discussion into why contracting could be the next best move for your career, you can listen to our panel of experts on our recent webinar – Boost your career in contracting.  Click here to watch the webinar on replay