Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular mode of working across the globe, with more and more people desiring the greater flexibility and control that working in this way provides.
According to a recent report from Alexander Mann Solutions, organisations are increasingly recognising the value that freelancers and personal service company contractors can add to their operations, as the very nature of their way of working means they can amass a wealth of experience and skills in a much quicker timeframe than the average nine-to-five office-based worker.
As a result, the UK's freelance market is set to become ever more competitive over the coming years. But why exactly is this the case and how can freelancers themselves respond to this enhanced competitiveness?
Why more freelancers are poised to enter the market
Research carried out by Alexander Mann Solutions led to the discovery that there has already been a significant increase in contractor utilisation over the past few years and almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of senior human resources professionals anticipate that temporary hiring will carry on growing during the coming two years.
An increasing number of workers want the flexibility that freelancing brings so they can achieve an improved work-life balance and more organisations want to be able to access particular skillsets for short-term periods, until they have learnt what they needed to know.
The growing freelancer workforce is largely influenced by millennials entering the workforce and demanding more flexible ways of working as their retirement age is likely to be a long way beyond the traditional age that people have left the world of work behind.
Laurie Padua, director of technology and operations consulting at Alexander Mann Solutions, commented: "When you consider that millennials are expected to account for a staggering 75 per cent of the global workforce by 2030, it's hardly surprising that HR managers expect non-permanent hiring to increase substantially over the next few years.
"The generation currently entering the workforce are renowned for the emphasis they place on flexibility and there is little doubt amongst the HR community that their preferences will continue to shape changes in the nature of the workplace."
Standing out among the crowd
In an increasingly competitive landscape, it is vital that both new and existing contractors can stand out from the crowd. Whether their unique selling point is a high skill level, a niche qualification or old-fashioned professionalism, at times of heightened competition it is extremely important for workers to have that something that gives them an edge over their counterparts.
For those that need a little extra time to figure out what their unique selling point should be or to undertake a course that could help them to upskill, engaging with PayStream's My PSC limited company service could prove extremely valuable.
Our expert advisers can provide help and advice with the administrative work that is part and parcel of running a personal service company, leaving the contractor or freelancer with more time to spend working on their skillsets to increase their competitiveness.
What's more, Alexander Mann Solutions found that many businesses are not yet prepared to support the growing freelance workforce as they are still getting to grips with taking on temporary workers on a regular basis.
Ms Padua stated: "What is particularly concerning is the lack of measures that some firms have in place to effectively utilise this growing share of the workforce."
With this in mind, existing contractors could put their experience to use and advise organisations on the measures they should have in place to support future temporary workers throughout the duration of their contracts.
By leading the way and ensuring provisions are in place to support the growing freelancer workforce, current short-term contract workers can act as a valuable voice for the next generation of freelancers and limited company contractors, boosting their own profile in the process.