Job Market

Number of UK freelancers doubles since 2016

As a result, firms are mismanaging their freelance workforce

A study conducted by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and Kingston University has found that the number of freelancers across the UK has doubled since 2016 to over 4.4 million workers.

As a result, more firms are looking to hire freelancers without understanding the implications of “managing global armies of freelancers”.

To tackle this, Distributed, a tech start-up, has created an “elastic teams” branch, consisting of tech freelancers who work on-demand for a range of clients, providing employers with access to specialist workers on a flexible basis.

The team is designed to contain high-skilled workers who face job uncertainty as a result of both Covid-19 and Brexit.

Callum Adamson, CEO at Distributed, said: “For employers, hiring tech teams takes too long – 80 days on average for a single app developer – and it costs too much, with 53% of the hiring budget typically spent in order to recruit a software engineer. They are expensive to retain and the average tenure is just 11 months. 

“Many companies are realising that they need to hire freelancers, but underestimate the management time, lack of cultural and goal alignment and legal implications that come with managing global armies of freelancers.”

While Distributed currently focuses solely on software developer teams, it plans to expand into both the creative and design industries.

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