Fixed-Term Contracts

After a brutal financial 2020, where the economy shrunk by a whopping 9.8%, the UK is showing real signs of growth.

With the fastest growth forecast since the end of World War II, increased employer confidence and a spike in hiring there are real positives for job seekers.

In recent months, vacancies have soared, with the market seeing a 20% increase in opportunities between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021.

Despite the increase in vacancies, a large percentage of the roles on offer are Fixed-Term Contracts (FTC), rather than permanent positions.

While FTC opportunities are attractive to some, in such a competitive hiring market, they represent the toughest vacancies to recruit for.

FTCs are popular with employers who want a flexible workforce and don’t want to commit to a permanent hire.

Although the Fixed Term Employees Regulations (2002) ensure fixed-term contractors are prevented from being treated less favourably than permanent members of staff, FTCs are not always popular with candidates due to the lack of security they provide.

One of the main disadvantages from a hiring perspective is that you decrease the talent pool available to you, and with such a fiercely competitive hiring market at the moment this could lead to missing out on the best hires and therefore losing out on a competitive advantage.

Also, many FTC positions require someone to be immediately available, which further limits the talent pool.

Often, contractors won’t want to convert to FTCs – which effectively means the hiring companies are looking for an immediately available permanent candidate, who stereotypically are looking for permanent opportunities. This itself can cause an issue as the desire for security and a permanent position could result in them leaving the business, meaning the organisation has to hire once again.

At HR Heads, we are operating in a market where candidates are engaged in numerous processes and often have multiple offers on the table at any one time.

This means that candidates have the option to pick the opportunity that is right for them.

In many instances, we have seen candidates choose security over salary, meaning they are less likely to go for the FTC option when also presented with a permanent offer.

It is evident that when businesses are choosing to hire staff they are doing so on a fixed-term basis, however, if these businesses want to employ the highest calibre of staff they must consider the downfalls of FTCs when making this decision.

By only hiring people on a fixed-term basis they are limiting themselves greatly as to which candidates they attract, hire and retain.

Image linking to other HR Blogs like the D&I blog with Joanne Lockwood from SEE Change Happen