Bristol-based tech, creative and digital recruiter ADLIB has seen a massive increases in the demand for contractors in the South West of England recently, and with more and more people inquiring about making the switch to contract work, the company has produced a guide for those considering becoming or hiring a contractor.

We caught up with ADLIB’s Senior Recruiter Francesca Fleming (pictured left) to find out more.

TechSPARK: What do you put down to the increase in digital and tech agency contractor roles recently?

Francesca Fleming: The Bristol Media Barometer 2017 captures some very interesting and sobering insights in this context. According to its findings, for local agencies, hiring does continue to be a major challenge with 87% of respondents reporting that it is the same or harder to find recruits.

For 57% of respondents, the challenge lies in finding people with the right expertise. This is one of the reasons many agencies we work with use contractors to fill this (often immediate) need when client briefs demand specific expert knowledge.

40% of respondents cited the increasing numbers of freelancers as a challenge in recruiting permanent staff – another indicator that some prime agency client services talent can now only be accessed by adding contractors to the team.

TS: How did you gather the information for this guide?

FF: The day rate suggestions as well as tips within the guide are based on the knowledge and experience we’ve collected over the past 12 months while working with agencies across the entire South West. The rates have been cross referenced with our survey data.

TS: What would you say to someone thinking of becoming a contractor in the South West – would you recommend it or not?

FF: We have seen a rise in the demand for agency contractors within Bristol and Bath’s thriving tech cluster. There are so many ambitious and innovative businesses out there, so being able to work for a range seems like an attractive option for many. The fact that it’s a lucrative option can be seen within our guide too.

However, making the move can be daunting and a decision that needs careful consideration. To freelance or not to freelance comes down to your personal circumstances in many cases and it takes hard work too.

76.9% of digital contractors feel that there are plenty of contract opportunities out there. This could reflect that contractors are working with and confirming market demand.

Permanent roles vs contracting are both equally attractive choices in our opinion – both have their draws and downsides.

For some first hand advice and insights we asked two experts in the field (both working in digital): “What one piece of advice would you give to any project managers thinking of going freelance?“, specifically, Georgie Power, Project and Operations Director with 18+ years experience and Adrian Hart, Project Management Professional with over 10 years experience.

And we’ve also gathered some expert thoughts and views on “How to establish a freelance client services career within the agency landscape“. For this we spoke with Charlotte Stirling who has 10 years of experience working agency side and Richard Picton who has 13 years’ client-side and agency experience.

We’d like to thank Francesca for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to us. You can download the report here: Contractor Guide (SW). And you can find out more about the company at the ADLIB website, or by following them on Twitter: @AdLibRecruit 

Jamie Middleton