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Contractors should focus on niche skills to increase opportunities

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Contractors might be interested to learn that a new report has found those who fail to display niche and in-demand skills, are at risk of being overlooked.

Latest research from Parasol used data from 40 recruitment consultants, asking them to describe what their policy was towards contractors approaching the end of a contract. 

Of those surveyed, 97% of respondents said that they do regularly track the time in which a contractor’s assignment is about to end, with 69% saying that they actively seek out new opportunities for the contractor, in advance.

When respondents were asked why they would choose not to find a new assignment, many said that it was because the contractor didn’t have the relevant skills.

For example, one recruiter said, “If the contractor has generic skills that we are not looking for, we would not pro-actively ‘sell’ that kind of person. 

Jeff Blakemore, sales director at Parasol, explained, “We predicted that 2014 would be the year of the niche contractor, and that the era of the generalist was over. These results seem to confirm that trend.

“Plenty has been said and written about the UK’s skills shortage in recent months, and we are firm believers that contractors can help plug the gap.

“The talent crisis only represents an opportunity, however, for those contractors who possess the expertise and niche skills that recruiters and their clients are crying out for.As economic conditions improve and demand picks up, contractors who invest in their own professional development and continually enhance their skill set are in a fantastic position.

“In contrast, those who have failed to carve a niche for themselves may find opportunities drying up.”

For more information on finding work as a contractor, why not visit our specialist sector, for top tips and advice on finding work in your market.

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