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In recent years, the gig economy has revolutionised traditional employment models, leading to profound changes in the way we work. As the popularity of freelance and contract work continues to rise, the gig economy is significantly reshaping the recruiting landscape. This blog post explores how the gig economy has transformed recruitment practices and its implications for both employers and job seekers.

  1. Flexibility and workforce composition

The gig economy has brought about a noticeable shift in the composition of the workforce. According to Intuit freelancers, contractors, and gig workers will make up 43% of the workforce by end of 2023. The number of independent workers is rising rapidly, Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) reported that there were 5 million self-employed individuals in the UK, accounting for 15% of the total workforce.  This expanding talent pool allows recruiters to access diverse professionals with specialised skills, making it easier to find the right talent for specific projects or short-term assignments.

  1. Changing employer needs and adaptation

To meet evolving business needs, employers are adapting their strategies in response to the gig economy’s influence. Instead of relying solely on full-time employees, organisations are increasingly seeking freelancers or contractors to fill certain positions. This approach allows companies to scale their workforce as needed, reducing overhead costs, and increasing operational flexibility. According to a survey by Deloitte, 77% of organisations anticipate an increase in their use of independent contractors and gig workers in the coming years.

  1. Fuels to the rise of skill-based recruitment

The gig economy has prompted a shift in how recruiters assess candidates. With freelancers and gig workers often focusing on specific skills or projects, recruiters now prioritise assessing candidates based on their expertise and experience rather than solely relying on their employment history. This skill-based approach to recruitment allows employers to prioritise candidates who possess the right capabilities for the job at hand. According to a survey conducted by People Management, 85% of HR professionals in the UK believe that skills and expertise are more important than formal qualifications when evaluating gig workers. And LinkedIn’s survey found that 70% of talent professionals reported an increase in their organisations’ utilisation of gig workers over the past five years.

  1. The rise of platforms and technology

The growth of the gig economy has been facilitated by the emergence of online platforms and technological advancements. Digital platforms serve as intermediaries, connecting freelancers and contractors with employers. These platforms provide recruiters with access to a vast talent pool and streamline the recruitment process through features like skill matching, rating systems, and secure payment mechanisms. Utilising technology in recruitment has made it easier for employers to efficiently find and hire gig workers. The Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) reported that there are more than 600 online platforms in the UK catering to the gig economy.

  1. Talent attraction and retention challenges

As the gig economy expands in the UK, organisations face new challenges in attracting and retaining talent. With gig work offering greater flexibility and autonomy, job seekers have more choices and options. To attract top gig talent, employers must offer competitive compensation, meaningful work, and opportunities for professional development. Additionally, organisations must consider the preferences and needs of gig workers, such as flexible schedules and remote work options, to retain their services. The REC’s report highlighted that 78% of UK businesses struggle to attract gig workers due to increased competition and evolving worker preferences.


The gig economy has brought about significant transformations in the recruiting landscape in the United Kingdom. It has provided employers and job seekers with new opportunities and challenges. To leverage the benefits of the gig economy, such as access to specialised talent and increased flexibility, UK companies must adapt their recruitment strategies. By embracing the gig economy and leveraging technological advancements, recruiters can navigate the changing landscape successfully and find the right talent to drive their organisations forward.

At Northreach, we understand the evolving nature of work and the importance of finding the right talent for contract work. Whether you are an employer looking to tap into the gig economy or a job seeker seeking contract opportunities, we can assist you in finding the perfect match. Our platform provides access to a vast network of skilled professionals and innovative recruitment tools to streamline the process. Get in touch with us today and let us help you navigate the world of contract work in the gig economy.

As the gig economy continues to shape the future of work in the UK, it is crucial for recruiters and job seekers to remain adaptable. By embracing the opportunities, it offers while addressing the challenges, we can effectively navigate this new paradigm of work, ensuring a mutually beneficial relationship between employers and gig workers.