When we launched last week, we weren't expecting quite as much interest from contractors as we’ve received. It got us thinking: as the impact of IR35 forces many contractors to consider taking permanent employment, is there an opportunity for companies with flexible working policies to snap up high-quality talent?

One of the many reasons that people decide to move into contract work is because of flexibility. As opposed to a traditional 9-6 office job (5 days a week, 52 weeks a year, with 4 weeks of holiday...), contracting offers the ability to pick and choose where, when, and how often you work. Of course, there are risks and uncertainty involved in contracting, but the flexibility and choice are clear selling points (alongside other benefits of course, such as beneficial tax treatment).

When changes to off-payroll working are applied this coming April, 52% of contractors are planning to leave their current clients, and only 10% are currently considering a permanent role.  The remainder will seek to maintain IR35-compliant contracts, according to a study by offpayroll.org. This presents an opportunity for flexible companies to appeal to highly-skilled contractors.

The growth of flexible working has blurred the boundaries between "inflexible" work and contracting, as many companies are now offering the opportunity to start and finish when you wish, or work from where you want for parts of the week.

In addition, with 10% of contractors working that way to deal with illness or disabilities, forward-thinking companies can ensure that they provide environments where people with illness and disability can manage a permanent contract too (just like I did, as I wrote in my previous blog post).

It's certainly not an identical way of life, but the most progressive companies with flexible policies will be the ones that can appeal to contractors that value freedom and flexibility. A people-first approach will be key - how can a permanent role be adapted to work for both sides?

We'd love to help contractors find work that they want to do, without feeling like they're settling for second best. Helping people to find work that works for them is our mission.

If you'd like to find out more about what we're doing to make finding flexible working easier for candidates, or you're interested in joining us as a flexible company, then get in touch at hello@flexa.careers or sign up here https://flexa.careers/signup