Despite the freedom and overall satisfaction that comes with working freelance, many contractors face barriers and challenges in their working lives, especially in the areas of finance, clients and roles acquisition, and skills development. The unique challenges that contractors experience require unique solutions and a deep understanding - something companies employing a temporary workforce need to focus on.
4% Managing your finances
7% Caring for your
Managing your work / life balance
Finding new work & clients
Upskilling / professional development
Despite time / work-life balance being the dominant result overall, the most popular result varied between industries.
Transportation / Logistics, Manufacturing and E-commerce all cited ‘finding new work / clients’ as their biggest challenge, accounting for 33% of their responses.
Government / Public sector rated ‘upskilling/professional development’ as their biggest challenge accounting for 27% of responses.
Interestingly, managing finances scored the lowest across all sectors and accounted for just 4% of responses.
And seeing companies fail to keep up with the new expected normal.
(Ones that encourage teamwork and respect all team members).
Like we're doing something wrong and our skills aren't as valued as 'permanent' employees or established, large consultancies.
And seeing company’s fail to keep up with the new expected normal.
including social events, learning workshops, and/or virtual guest speakers to network and socialise
2% Physical health & fitness
& social life
Mental health & wellbeing
Dissecting the data further, there is a clear differentiation across industry. ‘Financial support’, was most popular amongst those working in Manufacturing, accounting for 18% of the vote. Of the contractors selecting ‘professional support’, making this the top answer, 47% were from the Government / Public Sector. The Manufacturing industry also took the top response again for ‘intellectual development’ with 20% of respondents selecting this. Transportation/logistics made up the majority of contractors citing ‘mental health and wellbeing’ with 25% coming from this industry.
There's no recognition of the instability and risk that a contractor takes on, nor the gaps between contracts that inevitably pop up. Companies don't want to take the IR35 risk and are just doing 'blanket' inside decisions.
This is a good indication that businesses should be offering benefits/perks not just to your permanent team members but also to their contractors if you are wanting to get the best out of them.
The industry that felt the strongest about this was the Internet of Things with 57% selecting important/highly important for their response. Looking at the industry that felt this was unimportant/highly unimportant was E-Commerce which had 31% of respondents select this answer.
The benefits and perks that contractors feel matter most to them was very clear. Flexible working hours/remote work came out on top at 75%. According to a recent Talent report on the tech and digital hiring landscape, job seekers now have flexibility as their second biggest requirement from companies. COVID has put this into fast forward and it is not going away any time soon. This is even more of an indication that if businesses want to hire the best talent, they are going to need to offer flexibility when hiring. All industries listed this as their top benefit/perk.
Contractors are easy to find, but great contractors – the type that will exceed your expectations – are more difficult and often have multiple opportunities. Taking care of your contractors and solving their challenges for them will have tangible benefits for you, as satisfied contractors can in turn become long-term allies to your business, choosing to work with you again and again in true partnership.
Here are some ways to ensure working with you is a positive experience for IT contractors:
Although contract assignments are relatively short if it’s a positive experience, we know that contractors will often return to the same client multiple times to work on updates or new projects.
By immersing contractors into your company culture, whether that’s informal events, intranet platforms, suggestion boards, everyone can learn and gain fresh insights and ideas.
Consider creating employer value propositions that talk directly to contractors working at your organisation, focus on purpose and the benefits for contractors and layer that over the detail around the project or assignment.