As the UK market for freelance consulting and business-candidate connecting continues to boom, companies like the German Comatch and American Catalant have expanded into the country to take advantage of the climate - and now Denmark's Worksome is joining the bandwagon.
According to Consultancy.uk analysis based on the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics ONS) and the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), the industry currently contains a labour pool of around 5 million people (or around 15% of the workforce), having increased from 3.3 million (12% of the workforce) in 2001. This includes a burgeoning independent consulting sector, which is winning an ever-widening segment of work from the traditional consulting scene.
Issues relating to pricing and agility mean clients have seen sourcing freelancers to staff projects as a major asset, with many of the professionals in the gig economy having exited larger firms with years of training and experience, which they can now tap without the broader fees of an attached company. According to the CTA's second annual Future of Work survey, 92% of businesses will need more employees with technical skills; however, 74% believe finding people with the right skills will be harder. Since the consulting industry is not chartered, anyone can call themselves an independent consultant – making it difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to recruiting talent.
This has spawned the dramatic rise of the matchmakers to the fore of the consulting market. Matchmaking firms help connect the needs of clients to consultants with the relevant skills, price range and availability in a short time frame, while also ensuring a degree of quality control, as they feature a number of requirements for professionals to join their networks. Demand for this service has risen hand in hand with demand for gig economy consultants, and has seen a host of new firms created or arriving in the UK in recent years, including the likes of Catalant, Outsized and Comatch, among many more.
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