The Rise Of Contract Recruitment

6 min

The number of employees working on a contracted basis has grown by 9.5% in the last year alone; a quarter of the UK’s workforce is now made up of temporary staff. By hiring more specialist positions on a contracted basis, companies can gain the help they need for a short, finite period, for less hassle and – more crucially – a lower cost. The number of industries employing contract workers and the demand for temporary staff is therefore increasing rapidly. Contrary to common belief, contract recruitment is a mass market, and one that is shaping the future of employment.

The Benefits of Temporary Staff for Employers

Contract employees carry a host of unique benefits. For one, employers don’t need to pay for sick days, annual leave or holidays; contract staff are a short-term fix, so don’t require the same level of commitment as a full time employee.

What’s more, recruitment agencies manage the complete handover, from sourcing to placing, and their cost is inclusive of all the usual hiring expenses. They help companies source and screen staff, to sort payroll and references and to manage superannuation and tax payments. Agencies are also legally responsible for temporary staff, so provide the same due diligence as any other permanent agency, including background checks and screening.

Candidates working on a contracted basis are able to specialise in very niche sub-sectors. IT is a prime example of an industry distributing highly technical staff on short term contracts, delivering vital skills and often on short notice.

It’s also becoming increasingly popular to contract senior staff at managerial level – Finance Directors, Marketing Managers etc. – who can implement new strategies. A three-month placement, for example, is a long enough period for an experienced supervisor to study a business and enforce new strategies to boost profit and morale and aid company expansion.

The Benefits for Employees

Contracted work is hugely beneficial for candidates. Studies show that most contract workers choose to work on a contingent basis for its flexibility. With the ability to choose their own rates, hours and holidays, contract workers have far more control over their own careers, and can augment a work-life balance that works for them. By working through agencies – which over 50% do – candidates also have their own personal sales and admin team, as well as a financial safety net.

The Changing Employment Landscape

The volume of candidates moving to contract work points to a level of dissatisfaction with full time employment. In a recent survey by CV Library, 56.3% of UK workers reported that they were unhappy in their current job due to a lack of progression opportunities.

In comparison, a recent study by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) found that 97% of contractors were happy in their work, with higher levels of satisfaction when it came to their income and development opportunities. 87% of graduates entering employment also voted contract work the most attractive career path.


Temporary workers are becoming a fixture in our job market and the future promises a huge increase in the number of temporary roles. Already, major multi-national corporations and well-known brands - McDonald’s, PepsiCo and FedEx - have saved huge costs through the use of external staff. Contracting is becoming common practice and, being so applicable to every industry, is changing the traditional ‘nine-to-five’ working life as we know it.

CSG have recently acquired CRE: Contract Recruitment Experts. With this partnership, we are now able to offer both permanent and temporary staff across Engineering & Construction, IT, Energy, Consumer and Transportation sectors, and also at Interim C level. To find out more about CRE, visit their brand new website:



Sonovate, Why your agency needs to be in contract recruitment in 2017

CIO, Hiring trends for 2016: Welcome to the gig economy, 24.02.16

Time Doctor, Employee Extinction? The Rise of Contract, Temp Workers in Business

CV Library, How training and development can boost employee morale, 21.09.17