How to secure the best contractors in 2022

28th October 2021
Written by Alice Hickling

Coping with the national talent shortage, how to attract highly skilled flexible workers

Demand for skilled workers is rising as a steady flow of contractors leave self-employment. As a result, employers are struggling to fill vacancies as reaching into the UK talent pool gets more competitive.

According to research undertaken by the recruitment industry body, REC, 65% of recruiters say that their biggest concern for the remainder of 2021 is a shortage of skills.

97% of respondents to REC’s survey stated that, despite working more hours than usual, it is taking longer to fill vacancies which is only serving to worsen the problems faced by the industry.

Facing an overall increase in demand, 3 out of 5 recruiters have 30% more vacancies in comparison to previous years.


Why are we seeing this shortage and increase in demand?

The impact of the IR35 reforms resulted in some contractors leaving self-employment, many either opting for early retirement or a move to permanent employment. This is reflected in recently published research from the independent body for the self-employed, IPSE stating that, since the implementation of IR35 reform, over a third of contractors (35%) have left self-employment.

COVID-19 lockdown, having previously put workplace projects on hold, has resulted in a backlog of work to be completed. This has increased the demand for workers, with highly skilled and flexible contractors desperately needed.

It appears that this increased demand might be here to stay. With Brexit signalling the end to free movement and changing immigration rules to contend with, gaining access to workers from outside the UK is set to become more difficult and more expensive.


Making your organisation more attractive to contractors

With the demand for flexible workers reaching an all-time high, it might be difficult to find talent that’s a perfect fit for your organisation’s needs. With so many vacancies available, the best workers are able to choose between roles. By ensuring your organisation appeals to these workers, you stand a better chance at landing your roles at the top of the list.

Streamline your onboarding processes: By making your processes for taking on new workers more efficient, you are less likely to lose out to other offers.

This might include something as simple as automating some of the admin or may involve asking new hires for feedback on their experience and evolving the recruitment process from there.

Keep on top of IR35 compliance: Contractors who have the choice, are more likely to work for organisations that have a track record of assessing the IR35 status of its workers fairly. They may even only apply to roles that are advertised with an indicative ‘outside’ of IR35 role assessment.


What can your organisation do?

  • Opt for a compliance solution that offers case-by-case assessments of IR35 status combined with a comprehensive tax liability insurance policy.

  • Set up a process for undertaking indicative role assessments and using the outcome as part of the advertisement for each vacancy. That way your vacancy stands out against the crowd and will likely attract more high-quality candidates who prefer to see a proactive and fair approach to compliance.


Qdos Status Review provides organisations with a complete compliance service, combining individual and role assessments undertaken by industry experts and a management system to minimise admin and unnecessary back and forth.

By assessing IR35 unfairly, organisations run the risk of losing high-quality industry talent. With services like, it’s becoming easier than ever for contractors to find organisations who assess IR35 fairly and identify those who assess it unfairly.

Not only does the site include reviews of how organisations are dealing with compliance, but there is a new feature where only outside IR35 vacancies are advertised to contractors. A prime example of how completing indicative role assessments may increase your organisation’s attractiveness to contractors.

If you want to discuss your IR35 requirements or explore your options when it comes to compliance, feel free to email us at [email protected] or call on 0116 478 3390 and we can work towards a solution together.

Alice Hickling
Written by
Alice Hickling
Part of the Qdos marketing team, Alice Hickling is our chief Copywriter. She has worked in the contracting industry for over 4 years with bonus experience as an IR35 Status Consultant. She gets a kick out of the written word but is also responsible for singlehandedly keeping the plants of the Qdos office alive. A role she does not take lightly.

Have a question?

Ask away! One of our team will get back to you!

Prefer to talk to us in person?

Call our team on 0116 269 0999 or we can call you back at a time that suits you!