Skills Gap Surges Trigger Sharp Rise in Businesses Hiring Freelancers

Friday, April 12, 2024

In a bid to bridge widening skills gaps, businesses are resorting to an unprecedented surge in temporary staff hires, freelancers, and contractors, according to the latest Hiring Trends Index by Totaljobs.

The index, covering the first quarter of 2024, unveils a staggering 69% uptick in temporary staff hires compared to previous years, showcasing a frantic race by businesses to secure essential skills amidst heightened competition. Notably, the struggle to find adequate talent is most acute among larger corporations, with 74% of companies boasting over 1,000 employees feeling the squeeze.

Totaljobs highlights a seismic shift in candidate expectations, attributing it to the pandemic's transformative impact. A remarkable three-quarters of employer’s report that candidates now harbor loftier salary and benefit expectations, while 69% cite demands for remote work as a prominent obstacle in filling positions.

To combat this talent vacuum, a quarter of businesses are turning to cutting-edge AI solutions and comprehensive training initiatives. Notably, over a third of proactive companies are already integrating AI into their workforce strategies.

The study underscores a widespread adoption of skills-based hiring approaches, with 85% of businesses leveraging at least one such method. From job ad overhauls to tailored competency-focused interviews, employers are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for talent.

Moreover, Totaljobs identifies a notable trend towards incentivising upskilling, with 88% of forward-thinking employers offering promotion opportunities and pay rises to staff who undergo training or certification programs.

Despite these proactive measures, Julius Probst, labour market economist at Totaljobs, sounds a cautionary note. He warns that while short-term fixes are commendable, a myopic focus could leave businesses perennially lagging in the talent race. Probst urges businesses to prioritize long-term workforce and succession planning to pre-emptively address skills gaps and secure a competitive edge in the talent landscape.

As the global economy grapples with a rapidly evolving job market, businesses face an imperative to adapt swiftly, lest they risk being left behind in the relentless pursuit of talent.


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