It’s my opinion that the employment market is going to make a major shift over the next two to three years, from predominantly permanent roles to more of a mix between permanent and fixed-term contracts.

Why am I saying that? Well, given the uncertainty around many world economies at the moment, it makes good sense instead of having a fixed headcount to have a more flexible workforce. In recent times there have been announcements from a fair few organisations in the UK making people redundant. Making people redundant is very often a costly business and one that saves money in the long term, not immediately. How many times, however, have we seen a company announce redundancies to hire again two years later and probably just when the savings were about to kick in?

And I don’t think it will just be large firms doing this. Nor do I think it will just be certain types of employers or for only certain types of roles. For example, it makes perfect sense to hire a recent graduate on a six or twelve-month contract. Regardless of the economy, first jobbers are a huge risk anyway.

And I’m not talking here about jobs that are already a contractor’s domain such as IT or change management – or manufacturing where there is a lot of temporary workers hired through an agency. They are both typical situations already for anything that is project led or when the employer itself has a fixed term contract with a customer.  What I’m suggesting is that permanent roles when someone leaves will be looked at with a view to converting it to a fixed term, renewable contract. New startups will be hiring people on a contract basis. The contracts will be at the same rate as a permanent persons salary and therefore much more risk-free hire from the employer’s point of view.

Now I could be talking rubbish and as said its only my opinion but what if I am right? This could be great for everyone. If a client has to hire they might be more inclined to take a small gamble on someone if it’s just for 6 months initially. If a client has a business opportunity that’s a little uncertain, hiring staff knowing they can be let go with no bad press because of it is a big plus and we might see more roles being created. If a prospective employee isn’t 100% sure about joining a firm or taking in a certain type of role then a contract makes good sense. The question is, what if I am right? Are you ready for your recruitment agency to become a recruitment business?