Contractors to the rescue as skills crisis deepens

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Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on professional contractors, as fears over skill shortages increase.

PWC’s annual global CEO survey found that 81% of company bosses are seeking candidates with a “broader range of skills”, with 33% saying they are turning to contractors and other contingent workers to meet this need.

Jon Andrews, global people and organisation leader at PWC, said the digital revolution had transformed the skills shortage from a “nagging worry for CEOs into something challenging”.

He said: “Businesses are faced with a complex and shifting world where technology is driving huge changes.

“They desperately need people with strong technology skills that are adaptable and can work across different industries, but these people are hard to find and they can afford to charge a premium for their skills.”

These worries have made recruitment methods more varied, with 71% of chief executives saying they had started looking for candidates in different areas, industries and demographics. Meanwhile 78% are using new channels, such as social media, to find prospective employees.

With 84% of UK CEOs viewing availability of key skills as a threat to their organisation’s growth prospects, and contingent workers increasingly seen as the answer, contractor demand looks set to grow in the coming years.

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