Contractor market starts 2015 in rude health
Optionis, the parent group of professional umbrella employer Parasol and contractor accountant ClearSky, says January was its best month for sign-ups since mid-2013.
ClearSky beat its monthly target for new client registrations by 50%, while the number of contractors joining Parasol was 12% higher than expected.
Optionis managing director Derek Kelly believes improving economic conditions are fuelling an increase in contractor demand and assignment opportunities.
He said: “Our experience suggests that the contractor and freelancer marketplace has started the year in buoyant fashion.
“Many skilled professionals have decided the time is right to make the leap from traditional employment in pursuit of enhanced earning power, greater flexibility and an improved work/life balance.
“Meanwhile, experienced contractors are thriving in an assignment-rich environment, as organisations invest in their contingent workforce.”
Kelly added that he expected the boom in contractor hiring to continue in the coming months, thanks in part to the looming general election.
He said, “The outcome of May’s election is anyone’s guess. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that any party will secure a majority, so it’s virtually impossible to predict the make-up and policies of the next government.
“This uncertainty means many savvy organisations will delay permanent hiring until the dust settles, increasing their dependence on skilled, flexible workers in the meantime.”
Between them, Parasol and ClearSky Contractor Accounting provide support to tens of thousands of contractors every year.
The Optionis Group is also home to ClearSky Business, a one-stop shop for SMEs needing help with HR, employment law, payroll, tax and accountancy