blogheader

Discover Contractor
Recruitment Tips

The Elevate Blog

JOIN THOUSANDS

of recruiters who receive weekly contingent recruitment tips

Subscribe Now
  • AI

    How will AI impact recruitment? Catch up with our webinar

    You can barely move these days for someone talking about Artificial Intelligence. ‘Should AI have human rights?’, ‘AI hunts for Milky Way turbo stars’ and ‘Wimbledon launches AI to reshape tennis coverage’ are just a few recent, wonderful headlines. Regardless of the titles, however, the fact remains that AI is here and it will impact your life – both personally and professionally.

     

    And while we can’t help you decide how to interact with your fridge so that it reorders milk, we can help you get ready for the effect of AI on recruitment – or more specifically, how AI is already turning recruitment on its head.

     

    We ran a webinar in July which discussed exactly that.

     

    Listen to the webinar now

     

    Job hunting will never be the same again

    AI and machine learning will unquestionably disrupt and redefine the entire process around job hunting, on both the candidate and the client side – but in which ways? We talked about the impact of these tech innovations, how they’ll change hiring and how it will affect your business.  We also spoke about the role we at Elevate Direct can play, particularly when it comes to negotiating your own suppliers’ AI systems.

     

    Presented by AI experts

    The webinar was presented by Elevate Direct’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Michael Delaney and respected Data Scientist, Peadar Coyle.

     

    AIMichael has 13 years’ experience in design, development and delivery of large scale enterprises and web platforms. A former IT contractor himself, he absolutely appreciates the value of technological innovation and how it can offer more inspiring ways to manage the job hunting process.

     

     

    PeadarPeadar is a machine learning engineer, his previous experience includes Channel 4 and Amazon; now he’s working on the challenge of helping people find better jobs. A regular speaker/ keynoter at various tech conferences, Peadar’s an avid blogger, author and has published papers on machine learning. His thought-leadership on data products has been published by Dataconomy and Irish Tech News.

     

    Listen now

    For those of you who couldn’t join us on the day, we have loaded a recording of the webinar for you to listen to.

    If you’d like to chat about any of the topics which were discussed or would like more information on our own AI platform, please give us a call.

     

  • data visualisation

    Product Update: Data Visualisation of Skills & Ranking

    We’ve just released a huge improvement to the interface for applicants, in our first attempt to visualise a candidate’s skills and relevance to your requirement. The new UI also tells you why an applicant is at the top, or the bottom, of the ranked list. It’s a big deal.

     

    We did this even though visually representing work experience and skills is a very hard thing to do.

     

    The reason? Well, that’s simple. The CV as a document is essentially a legacy of pen and paper and word processing. Text is great if you have time to read it, however the inconsistent structure and formatting of CVs means that no two are ever the same – which makes finding and digesting the most relevant info is a risky challenge.

     

    Data visualisation is a now a key component of how you will initially review applicants in Elevate, with the expectation that it WILL make you more productive.

     

    You may have 14 or 140 applicants –  it doesn’t matter; focus on the most relevant candidates for your vacancy using the Elevate interface to guide you.

     

    Matching & Ranking Relevance

    matching and ranking

     

     

    The top right hand corner of each applicant’s profile shows you their matching relevance as a percentage. This overall match is made up of both the skills match and the company match visible alongside. High percentages mean better matching and higher ranking.

     

    The rest of the info you need (candidate name, rates, availability, current position and company) is still available to the left hand side of each card.


    Skills Scores & Timelines

    skills scores timeline

     

    Underneath, you will see the skills  list that you or your colleague requested when creating the vacancy. Alongside those skills is the Elevate skills score as a percentage. These scores utilise Elevate’s market data scoring technology, providing high-level insight into the skill within a MASSIVE set of data. Bigger than we have ever used before.

     

    This approach provides a deep understanding of the skills you need in the context of the entire market, not just the context of the applicants you have for your vacancy.

     

    The full digital profile and resume (grrrr) are still available for you to review. However, you should use the matching and ranking visuals in addition to the new skills scores to help steer you to the right candidates.

     

    We will be reviewing use of these new features and further improving over time. If you have any suggestions or something to share, please contact us.

     

     

  • Hiring managers and their penchant for ‘doing recruitment their way’

    Change in management is always a challenge. Regardless of where it happens or who it impacts, resistance should be expected. Think of something you use in your personal life: the screen on your Spotify app, a change to the menu in your local restaurant or your train being rescheduled for winter. These are minor and relatively trivial changes but will still possibly trigger an initial negative response. However, once that emotion is dealt with, the benefits will start to be realised and you move on.

     

    How to plan for professional change

    Professional change is no different. Your colleagues and peers will have experienced this many times, but critical to the success of this change is the planning. You should:

    1. Make sure you provide time for people to unfreeze their brains, and their current assumptions, around the system, process or whatever it is that you are moving away from or improving. Inform them it is happening well ahead of time.

    2. Then deliver first class training, communications and engagement by whatever means you have available. However not all are equal, you need to adapt and flex based on the needs of the users.

    3. Finally, make sure you measure what your audience thinks about the new world they are in. Ask them directly. Their new set of assumptions will be a good yardstick for the future.

    If they appear willing to give it a shot, you have done well and avoided bottled-up resistance further down the road. Although if they are still asking ‘why?’ then you need to go back and readdress the assumptions they had in step one.

     

    What has this go to do with hiring managers and recruitment?

    Delivering innovation that benefits many people across an organisation is not easy. The change component will be no less critical here than elsewhere. Hiring managers, especially senior ones will have formulated some very concrete assumptions about what works and what doesn’t for them in terms of delivering the right talent. Meaning you’ll have your work cut out.

    Don’t shirk it and don’t be afraid. Be brave.

    The reason change in recruitment is so hard is due to one simple fact. The majority of new innovations in talent acquisition – and Elevate Direct is no different – will deliver better talent faster, but some tasks may roll down to the Hiring Manager. This is how it should be but this is where your change originates.

     

    The importance of the right collaboration

    An intelligent system will do the heavy lifting but the human element and knowledge of the decision maker needs to be leveraged. Think here of final candidate reviews without the delays, constant chasing, lost emails with CVs attached and other insane tasks that you now want to avoid. Managers need to collaborate at the right time using world class interfaces on any device to move through the process. If they don’t, you stall and candidates ride off over the hill with an offer from your competitor.

    Select the right system and deliver it properly to your organisation and you may have a different set of challenges to overcome.

    Often when reviewing the performance of Elevate Direct with hiring communities and their support groups, we are told a different story. This is where managers need to be controlled for spending too much time in the system. Yes, they enjoy it that much they get carried away!

    We’re working on how to control that issue, but wouldn’t that be a great problem to have?

    Discover more about our solutions and how we could streamline your hiring process.

     

    jc

    James Griffin is Operations Director at Elevate Direct with 12 years’ experience in recruitment and IT. James believes that “the landscape for recruitment has never looked so interesting. When you couple the drive for leaner and more efficient recruitment models alongside the SaaS and cloud revolution, you end up with the perfect storm for disruptive technology success.” 

    Follow him on Twitter @JamesG_Elevate

     

  • Elevate

    How Elevate Direct uses market scoring to rank candidates

    Nowadays, everybody is familiar with the idea of search. We type a query into a search engine and get back an ordered list of relevant documents. There are many ways to achieve such a result but the majority of approaches employ some form of scoring function that is used to rank the set of documents based on their relevance to the query.

    Recommending candidates for a vacancy is no different: we begin with a query – the vacancy – and return the most suitable candidates from the pool of applicants by looking at things like skills the candidates have, and the companies that they have worked at. This is great if all that you want to do is find the best candidate from a pool of applicants. Unfortunately, it won’t usually tell you whether the best candidate is actually any good.

     

    Candidate ranking

    As a rule the scoring function is not easily interpretable since it is formed by a number of interacting influences. For example, say our scoring function measured the length of time that each of the candidates has used a given skill over the last 10 years. We know the maximum score achievable and so it should be straightforward to determine how good each of the candidates is in some absolute sense. If the best candidate has only three years of experience we know that we probably need to re-advertise or offer more money. So far, so simple.

    Things get trickier when we consider the possibility that no-one has more than three years’ experience of the skill because it is a new technology. Using an absolute score we would conclude that there were no good candidates, even if the most suitable person on the planet had applied. Similar things can happen if an unrealistic combination of requirements are requested in the vacancy. If we search for a ‘unicorn’, then none of the candidates that apply for a role will get high scores for every requirement and so we must conclude that all of the applicants are below par in some way.

     

    market scoring

     

    Elevate’s approach: market scoring

    To address this problem and provide recruiters using Elevate with a more interpretable set of results we have developed the idea of a market score. Market scoring is simple but powerful. Instead of simply ranking the applicants to a given vacancy, we search our database of resumes and create a population of people who would be suitable for the role. These are people who have the right sort of skills and experience but for whatever reason have not applied to the vacancy. This set of profiles represent the ‘market’ and reflect the availability of different skill sets in the wider population. We add the real applicants to this population and rank the whole set.

    Now, if one of the applicants comes top of the rankings we can say with far more certainty that they are a good candidate and should be considered for shortlisting. Conversely, if all of the applicants are ranked mid to low relative to the market population then we can identify that the best applicant is not good enough in some objective sense and we should re-advertise or offer more money. The approach elegantly handles unusual sets of requirements as well as the problems outlined above and allows recruiters to make informed judgements and quickly ascertain the quality of applicants to a given vacancy.

     

    AIWritten by Bart Baddeley, Elevate Direct’s Chief Data Scientist. Bart has 20 years’ experience in the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning. He has a 1st class honours degree in artificial intelligence and neuroscience and a PhD in neural network modelling. 

     

    If you’d like to discover more about Elevate Direct’s AI platform and how it can help you, please get in touch.

  • shutterstock_656110282

    What does AI mean for talent acquisition?

    One of the most talked-about trends in technology and policy circles is the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example, the Financial Times recently talked about how AI was disrupting law, and the Economist talked about social attitudes and policy attitudes to AI.

     

    Well currently, most companies invest a lot of time and resources into finding the right people for a job. A core methodology at Elevate Direct is that we leverage cutting-edge algorithms and human intuition for the more qualitative aspect in generating our recommendations of the right candidates for the job. We allow you to filter by skill, company fit by looking for similar companies over up to 20 million data-points.

     

    Machine Intelligence has already enabled automated assistants (like Siri), best-in-class recommendations – it’s eerie how Netflix recommends the perfect guilty sitcom or Facebook recommends you add your crush from high school. One of the future trends we’ll see in talent acquisition is dynamic question and answer systems – which may allow automated interviews, better search for talent discovery – so you can unearth hidden gems.

     

    AI

     

    Humans can’t read 100s of CVs and figure out which ones are suitable for a job, but a machine can do this in no time at all. This is one of the productivity enhancers that modern machine intelligence can give you as a recruiter. So you can focus your time on the higher value-adding parts of talent acquisition – such as negotiating with candidates, talking them through and preparing them for the interview process.

     

    Some technology such as Engage Talent – is allowing you to predict when candidates will be ready to move jobs by looking at workforce history and news reports, this is used by a number of top recruiters and enterprises. This is the sort of task, that’s hard to do with a human – people make mistakes, they lose interest, and it’s not a good use of your time to be looking for passive candidates.

     

    Textio the Seattle-based startup allows you to automatically analyze your job ad so you can infer if it’s attracting the right candidates and if you’re fulfilling your diversity criteria. This is an example of an augmented writing platform that can help you write better job ads. This is the sort of thing that is hard to do without a machine – what would you do otherwise have a perfectly unbiased editor employed in-house?

     

    Machine intelligence is a transformational collection of technologies affecting every vertical in modern business and in government we are already seeing self-driving cars, enhanced recommendations of music and media, improved search algorithms.

     

    Talent acquisition will not be any different and we’re seeing the rise of a new generation of tools. As AI and other technologies take over the basic, time-consuming tasks of sourcing candidates, human jobs will shift. A recruiter in this new world can add value by building psychological and emotional connections with candidates. We call this augmented intelligence blending human and machine intelligence for better outcomes.

     

    AIPeadar Coyle is a product-focused Data Scientist working on Elevate Direct’s products. He is an avid blogger, international speaker and contributor to the Probabilistic Programming Framework PyMC3. Follow Peadar on Twitter @Springcoil

     

    If you’d like more information on Artificial Intelligence and how it is turning the process of recruitment on its head, get in touch or listen to a recording of our recent webinar.

     

  • Contractor Signup

    Roger Clements joins Elevate Direct

    We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of Roger Clements to the Elevate Board.

     

    Roger Clements

    Roger joined the company Board from Alexander Mann Solutions where, as Head of Sales – Europe, he managed and executed growth strategy across the continent.

    Roger brings with him a strong and enviable track record in the HR services, talent acquisition and workforce management sector, both in-house and via the service provider sector; plus a keen interest in what’s one of the hottest topics in the talent industry right now: using advanced technology and artificial intelligence to increase productivity and efficiency in the recruitment process.

    “We have talked about disintermediation of the recruitment supply market for a very long time,” he says. “Elevate Direct is proof that it’s here now and is the real deal.”

    The opportunity to change talent acquisition and workforce management as we know it

    Elevate Direct co-founder and CEO Dan Collier is equally enthusiastic about the company’s future with Roger on board: “To have attracted someone of Roger’s calibre goes to show just how fast our product has developed.

    “This leading edge approach to talent acquisition is no longer for a niche few,” Dan continues. “Soon it will be the norm and with Roger on the team, we can really shake the industry up.”

    Summing up his thoughts about the appointment, Roger added: “Together at Elevate Direct, we have a great opportunity to deliver positive change to recruitment as we know it, and I can’t wait to get started!”

     

    Discover more about Elevate Direct.

  • Smart cities

    Machine learning in recruitment isn’t coming, it’s here

    When we started Elevate 7 yrs ago, we had a vision for what we thought might be a simple app that connected people with jobs. It is easy, it’s a simple problem right: here’s some jobs, here’s some people, away we go, and boom, we’re all successful internet entrepreneurs…little did we know!

    Fast forward to now, and we have a very large Enterprise software application on our hands; it is responsive, has mobile apps, and incorporates the latest in machine learning and data science-led research.

    We realised around 4 years ago that purely having a route to attract candidates wasn’t going to cut it. The recruitment industry, whilst it has its many detractors, is a tough industry to succeed in,  because the art of being a successful recruiter – and it is an art – is a hard one to master. As someone who’s been in the game for almost 20 years there’s a lot I take for granted about how it works, and there’s obviously been many changes during those time.

    In 1998 we used to fax CVs; you’d have to wait in the queue to send them to customers – now we’re building automated recruiting bots that can interview people, transcribing voice to text and then running some NLP across the answers to create a set of scores.  Quite a leap.

    Total Talent Management (TTM)

    We needed more than simple matching. We needed to deconstruct the mind of a recruiter and tell the customer who’s the best person for the job; in the same way a recruiter would. Which led us down the data science path and eventually, in 2017 onto the pinnacle of the whole application, TTM.

    Total Talent Management or TTM, is a phrase we first came across around 3 years ago. It’s been widely used since but the number of firms actually attempting to do something with it has remained very minimal, until now. We see the next 12 months as an awakening moment where organisations are finally starting to realise they have so much data to hand, often in disparate sources, but by connecting it and energising it, they can start to streamline talent in a way that’s never been done before.

    Until now, what’s happened is customers have “reacted” to demand; we need a body to fill this space, and more often than not the 1st route is to look externally. That’s changing. It’s often said that people are the most important part of an organisation which is mostly true, so we found it hard to understand that once an organisation reaches a certain size, they lose track of what those same people actually “do” and more importantly “can do”.

    By using a much deeper skills and experience profile than you’d get in a traditional ATS or HRIS, firms can start to uncover the hidden skills and talents that exist within their organisations before they even need to consider going external. If there truly aren’t the skills in house, then you’ve a validated approach and justification for looking for a new hire. Using data, firms can now judge whether a role should be a full-time or contingent hire, based on actual population forecasts, backed up by real data. See what the market’s paying, and review all the potential applicants, build an external talent pool at the same time as an internal talent pool, blending the results to give a truly holistic view of who’s the best fit for a given piece of work.

    We’ve had many hundreds  – possibly thousands of people find work via Elevate through a plethora of clients, ranging from small 1 man band startups to global corporations and Government.  Faster hires, high quality and based on statistics, not guesswork. This is the key. We now have 35 staff across 3 locations, a smart new office in a cool part of town, and for the first time, a ping pong table – corny I know. We even had to pay someone to come and put it together. We can build a machine learning algorithm, but we can’t put a table tennis table together. Hmmm.

    We’re excited about the next 12 months; some significant change is coming to the recruitment industry and we’re proud to be helping drive the change

     

  • shutterstock_600836126 (1)

    How much are you worth? Setting your day rate as an IT contractor

    “Hard-working, talented IT contractor, day rate = £XXX. Seeking attractive prospects for potential ongoing relationships. Drinks and maybe more?”

     

    Promoting yourself as an IT contractor isn’t too far from placing a personal ad on a dating site. The major difference is that “drinks and maybe more” isn’t the outcome you’re hoping for; it’s work.

    (Actually, scratch that; if the client is buying, by all means get boozy with them. Just make sure the ‘maybe more’ translates to a work contract afterwards!)

    But how do you get the clients to want to meet in the first place? You’ll obviously have the talent for the job, but is your day rate hitting the sweet spot? As freelance contractors, you’re always walking that delicate tightrope between charging too much and selling yourself short.

    Love at first sight

    It reminds us of the The Office’s David Brent, who when filling out an online dating form says: “You can’t put ‘very attractive’. It looks like arrogance, doesn’t it? Put attractive. She’ll see me.”

    If you sell yourself short like this when it comes to your day rate though, not only are you letting your clients off for cheap, but you might come across as less skilled than you are and not even get the interview. Alternatively, you might get a meeting but then find you’re actually overqualified for the position.

    Then again, if you do put ‘very attractive’ – or in this case, quote a day rate that’s too high – you could end up putting off the clients from the get go. The client needs to approve of your day rate at first sight, or they could move straight past it.

    Ultimately you want to ensure you’re getting paid fairly for what you can bring to the table, and yet you also want to make sure you secure the work by charging an affordable rate. It’s a delicate balance, and one that many IT professionals struggle with. Just how much are you worth?

    Plenty of fish to research

    Permanent positions are often advertised with salaries – or at least salary guidelines – attached. This makes it much easier for you to know whether you’d be suited for the role. If the salary seems to be the next logical step for you to make in your career, and you have the required skills they’re looking for, you can apply with confidence.

    Unfortunately this isn’t a luxury granted to many IT professionals when they’ve gone contract. Unless potential clients have quoted ‘market rate’ as the amount they’re willing to pay, it will be up to you to provide them with a quote. Besides, market rates for IT professionals will differ drastically depending on the skills required for the project.

    Like you though, there are plenty of other proverbial fish out in the proverbial IT Professional sea, so start researching.

     Ask other contractors what they charge

    Sounds simple, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t do this. Of course there are reasons why people working in the same profession as you would want to keep their day rates to themselves; they might feel they’re charging too little, or that their competitors could undercut them.

    The problem with this is that if contractors don’t discuss their day rates, new contractors will come in and undoubtedly price themselves too low. This will eventually push all day rates down, as the market for contractors becomes too competitive. So chat with other contractors, and make sure you’re earning what you should be.

    If you have any contacts working in HR, they could also be very valuable to you. As they often deal with invoices and contracts, they can let you know what the going rates are.

    Use online salary tools

    Researching through salary tools is one of the best places to start when deciding what to quote. LinkedIn’s salary tool amalgamates hundreds, maybe thousands of submitted salaries, to show the median yearly salary for a particular job title in a particular location. Alternatively, you can just search by country. Let’s take a look at some popular IT job titles and their salaries in the UK on LinkedIn.

     

    Job title:                                 Median base salary (per year)                     Range:

    IT Consultant                           £40,000                                                           £22K-£77K

    IT Manager                             £42,000                                                           £30K-£62K

    IT Analyst                                £25,500                                                           £18K-£40K

    IT Project Manager                 £46,000                                                           £33K-£65K

    IT Engineer                             £25,400                                                           £18K-£36K

    IT Administrator                      £23,600                                                           £17K-£40K

    For further salary research there are other versions of this tool available, such as Glassdoor’s. These average salaries are for full-time positions of course, so next up would be determining the additional costs you have that need to be compensated for.

    The perfect match

    There are two main reasons that IT contractors can charge a higher day rate than that of their counterparts on full-time salaries. The first is that a contractor doesn’t work every working day like someone in permanent employment does. The second is that there are plenty of additional costs the contractor has to factor in, such as:

    • Tax
    • National insurance
    • Healthcare
    • Funding your own sick pay
    • Funding your holiday time
    • Travel expenses
    • Business expenses

    The trick is to find the perfect match between payment for your work and funds to cover these costs. For one thing, be realistic: there’s probably no way you’ll end up working all of the 252 working days in the year. The actual figure might be something closer to around 120-150 days a year (we’ll call it 135).

    So let’s say your expected salary if you were in a full-time position was £45,000. If you divide that by 252, that comes to a day rate of £178.50. Divide by 135, and it comes to a day rate of £333.

    This isn’t taking into consideration the things we mentioned however (besides tax and NI). So, instead, let’s say your day rate was £450. Multiplied by 135 working days, it comes to annual earnings of £60,750, which after tax and NI would be similar to the full-time salary, giving you enough to cover any additional costs.

    Assess your own value

    When you think you know all you need to know about day rates, there’s one more thing you need to ask yourself honestly: how much value do you provide to the client?

    If you feel good about what you’re charging, and you can produce the work to back it up, then you should feel confident and stick to your guns.

    When you first go contract, there are likely to be times when you undercharge for work, and times when you quote too much and lose work. Use this experience to determine the right day rate for you.

    Now, who’s up for drinks and maybe more?

     

     

     

  • contractor jobs

    Contract or perm? Your next big employment decision

    What did you watch on Netflix last night? Maybe you binged on some ‘Breaking Bad’, or watched that new Adam Sandler remake of ‘Pretty Woman’ in which he plays every single character.*

    Or maybe you came to the conclusion that you’ve now exhausted the Netflix catalogue. It was fun for a while – how good is Breaking Bad?! – but now you’ve finished it, you’ve got all you’re going to get out of Netflix for the near future. It’s time to move on to something new.

    Now, before this article turns into a full-blown ad for Amazon Prime, let’s get down to what we’re really talking about here: your career. Like Netflix, a job can be perfect for a while, until you feel you’ve got everything you can get from it. At that point, it’s time to find something more fulfilling.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean going from one permanent position to another though. After all, you didn’t only watch Netflix, did you? You probably streamed things online from time to time, and occasionally watched a programme live on TV as it happened (how retro of you).

    So why not take this approach with your career? Work when you like, at whichever company is offering the work that appeals to you the most.

    Going freelance and becoming a contractor is a decision that thousands of highly-skilled professionals have made (49 million across Europe and the US, according to The McKinsey Global Institute). If it’s something you’re also considering, read on to see if going contract or staying in permanent employment is best for you.

    Contract jobs

    If you have skills that are in demand, you needn’t limit yourself to one company or one position for an extended period. Instead, you could bounce from project to project, company to company, and only choose projects you want to work on.

    This is definitely one of the biggest pros of going contract (or freelance). Not only are you free to pick and choose your work, but you’ll also be paid more for your time than you would with a regular salary.

    Let’s say you’re a highly-skilled IT professional earning £30,000 a year; divide that £30K by the 12 months of the year and you have £2,500; then divide that by 20 working days of the month and you have £125 – your day rate. However, if you’re working under contract, you’re able to command a much higher daily rate – say, £400-£500 for example – meaning in just one Mon-Fri week working on a project you could earn as much as you did in a month previously.

    Remember, you’re doing employers a favour, too. They’re urgently searching for skills that don’t exist in-house and contractors provide the perfect solution. You’re not an addition to permanent headcount and won’t be subject to a lengthy recruitment process or notice period. As you’re hired based on your expertise, there’s no need for protracted training; you can hit the ground running and deliver fast. In fact, despite your extremely nice day rate, you’re a cost-effective and attractive option.

    Of course, unless you’re particularly organised and sought after, there will likely be times where you don’t have any work (this might be out of choice – time off is one of the perks, after all!) This is justification for that day rate; it’s not only higher to compensate you for a job well done, it’s higher so it covers you for the days you’re not at work. Then again, if you go contract but use an agency or an online marketplace like Elevate to help you find regular work, this isn’t so much of an issue. You won’t have to hunt for contracts (or contractors, if you’re an employer), as we’ll do it for you. That’s why Elevate is here.

    find contract jobs

    Permanent jobs

    You only need to look at any ‘Office Administrator’ position to see just how competitive the job market is right now. Each of these posts receive hundreds of applications, due to the broad, common skill-set required. If you’re a highly-skilled professional, however, your likelihood of finding a good role is far higher.

    Around a quarter of employers said they expected to take on more staff in the first quarter of 2017, according to the REC’s JobsOutlook survey, while 48 per cent predict there’ll be a ‘shortage of suitable candidates to fill vacancies for 2017’. This is obviously good news for Generation Skill.

    You’ll be familiar with the benefits of permanent employment already: pension plans, private medical cover, training and new technology, etc. It’s ideal for people who like stability; who want to see the long term effects of their work and enjoy the perks. One of the biggest factors, however, is that it offers the ‘safety blanket’ that many of us require, particularly those with families and mortgages.

    There’s also the social side which comes with being a regular part of a team, though this isn’t denied to contractors, of course.

    But if you’re feeling restless both in work and perhaps in life, then going contract could be your next big employment decision. For the highly skilled, you’ll almost certainly make more money and have more freedom than you previously had.

    What’s more, some contractors argue that they have better job security than perm staff, in that they have control of the what, where and when – plus they expect contracts to end and don’t take it personally.

    Ultimately, you might find you achieve greater job satisfaction working as a contractor, where your skills are both highly valued and appreciated. Your work-life balance can be optimised too; giving you plenty of time to catch up on Netflix, or indeed, Amazon Prime.

    I’ve heard that ‘Mr. Robot’ is pretty darn good.

    Discover how Elevate can enhance your career or help you build a team of specialists.

    *This film does not exist. If you’ve now signed up for Netflix just so you can watch Adam Sandler’s ‘Pretty Woman’ remake, we apologise, but hope you find the help you need soon.