Demand for contingent spikes as skills shortages drive need for temporary resources

New data reveals that demand for contingent workers has continued to spike amidst growing skills shortages, with 60% of employers expecting to increase contingent hires over the next two years. That’s according to new research from leading background screening and identity services firm, Sterling.

According to the data, which comes from a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and perspectives from more than 3,700 recent job seekers, reliance on the contingent segment of the workforce has already become the new norm, with over half (59%) of employers revealing that all or most of their workforce is made up of contractors, consultants and other forms of temporary workers.

Hiring challenges

The survey also revealed that 46% of businesses have been struggling to find enough qualified candidates to fill positions, while 40% admitted that they were facing hiring complications due to new regulations and new types of work. Only 8% stated that they had no major hiring challenges, which is perhaps unsurprising in light of the widely reported skills endemic across Europe.

This shift in reliance on flexible workers has created concerns around compliance, with 70% of businesses anticipating that hiring regulations and practices will become increasingly complicated over the next two years. However, the data does show that measures to combat potential future challenges have been put in place, with 62% of those surveyed confirming that they have made alterations to their screening process in order to support contingent workers.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, commented:

“The results of our survey strongly indicate that demand for the contingent workforce will only intensify as skills shortages continue. And with the UK Government recently issuing new guidance on employment status and employment rights for temporary workers, the complexity of gig worker hiring is only going to be exacerbated. However, while there are a wealth of complexities and nuances around recruiting and employing these individuals, alongside a growing need for quick turnarounds, businesses need to ensure they’re not compromising compliance for speed. Navigating the complex compliance barriers of this segment of the workforce isn’t easy, but those firms that do it well will be the ones that thrive in the new world of work.”