A new survey has found that a majority of hirers believe that permanent employment as the standard option for most roles is declining at an ever-steeper rate.

The survey was conducted by TALint Partners, a prominent recruitment and talent events, strategy and insight business, in advance of its forthcoming talent leaders event, the Tipping Point. Results show that only 29% of internal recruiters and hirers believe that permanent jobs will endure as the standard option for the British workforce. It will no longer be the conventional offering in the foreseeable future, most respondents predicted.

The findings indicate that the rate of growth in the gig economy is accelerating, and vigorously so. Current estimates offered by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) put the proportion of the workforce engaging flexibly in some fashion at over 50%, while data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have also shown that the proportion of the British workforce who are self-employed now stands at close to 15%, amounting to 4.8 million people.

A sizeable proportion of these are skilled people who have eschewed salaried employment in favour of improved work-life balance by contracting on a project by project basis. Some work via their own personal service companies, while according to data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) and the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA), rising numbers are opting to work via PAYE Umbrella Companies.

Those choosing the latter remain independent contractors but are taxed as employees of the Umbrella Company and receive all 84 of the statutory rights and benefits associated with employment.

TALint Partners Managing Director Ken Brotherton, who is hosting the Tipping Point event, believes that the rise in contracting, freelancing and gig work more broadly will accelerate even more.

He said:

“We all know the gig economy is growing rapidly, but a lot of employers have perhaps underestimated just how quickly the demand of candidates for traditional, permanent roles is dropping.”

He went on to say that businesses must now face the challenge of adapting to this evolution. The Tipping Point event, he added, will bring together industry leaders such as Adecco’s Group X, Credit Suisse, APSCo and Manpower Group to assist recruiters and hirers to gain a better understanding of how to build the right environment for future success.

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