Grovelands launch report analysing the contractor market

We’re excited to announce the launch of our very first Grovelands Contractor Insights report. After surveying 173 financial services contractors, we’ve provided an analysis of where the contractor market is headed.

Introducing Grovelands Contractor Insights

This week we have been delighted to launch our Spring edition of the Grovelands Contractor Insights (GCI) report.

This is a brand new analysis report produced and written by Grovelands, which examines movements, trends, and focuses visible in today’s contractor market for financial services. Our intention is to publish this report twice yearly – in the Spring and Autumn – to track and examine the fluidity of the contractor market and new developments as they appear.

We have gathered the data for Grovelands Contractor Insights from a uniquely formulated survey which allows us to gain statistical data, but also allows contractors room to provide their personal opinions and view points on their market. We pride ourselves in maintaining excellent relationships with our Associates throughout and after their time on projects – Best Contractor Care for our level of care just last year – this means we can be confident in validity and accuracy in the data we have gained. However, we haven’t just sought input from our own Associates, to ensure we explore a breadth of the market we have also gained input from contractors who are not currently working via Grovelands also.

We have sought to cover a range of age, gender, sector, experience level and education level in our demographic. Hopefully you will agree this makes for more interesting reading.

Here are some of our highlights from the Spring edition:

    • Sectors and Markets:

Conduct Risk was listed by 74% of respondents as their current main sector, Retail Banking (34%) and Life and Pensions (22%) were also key response areas. Project specific focuses are still showing a high level of PPI work with 33% saying this is their current focus. We have identified one key growing area as Mortgages with 19% currently saying this is their focus. Due to the Mortgage Market Review conducted by the FCA in 2012, and the new policy enacted as a result, we expect Mortgage review cases to be in the increase in the coming months. This is echoed in the push we have seen for contractors completing the CeMap qualification.

    • Qualifications are Key

65% of our respondents hold additional qualifications (additional to undergraduate study) with a sizeable 75% looking to gain further qualifications in the next 12 months. Chief amongst these were Level 4 Diploma, Prince2 and CeMap. Grovelands has noted a marked rise in clients requesting CeMap and Level 4 Diploma especially. It appears to us that additional qualifications are becoming a common requirement from clients as they trend towards high skilled workers rather than bulk intakes of personnel.

    • Analysis of Contracts Ts and Cs

Most contracts (at 86%) are under 6 months in length however extensions are becoming regular occurrences that contractors can seemingly rely on, even when their initial contract is kept short. 84% of those asked feel confident that they will be offered an extension on their current project. This suggests to us that clients are comfortable retaining a level of flexibility in keeping contracts short, but realistically projects are rolling on for months and months at a time.

    • An end to flexible working?

Over production or over time on projects is reducing, with 57% of respondents not able to complete any additional work, and 52% keeping regular working hours of between 36-40 hours a week. This seems indicative of a real push from clients to treat contractors more like permanent staff. As project lengths roll on, keeping more standard hours of work and reducing allowances for over production allows for easier management of the project. This is much to the chagrin of contractors who cite flexible working as one of the key features that make contracts appealing to them.

    • Project Retention

Generally contractors gain when they move onto a new project as this is usually their opportunity to reap the benefits of the experience or qualifications gained from their most recently completed project. However, contractors should avoid leaving a project early as they can build a reputation for being unreliable. 75% of respondents said they had never left a contract early but the most common reasons they would consider doing so were for a rate increase, better location, or to avoid cultural or managerial issues on their current project. Certainly the latter can be monitored and directed by clients to ensure they are not losing good people to avoidable situations.

We are really excited to develop and enhance the Grovelands Contractor Insight report with each edition. As such, future copies will build on the analysis covered in our Spring findings and explore how the market has changed and developed in the intervening time.

Click here to see more on the above points and to read the rest of the report.

If you would like to sign up to receive the report regularly, or to pass on any feedback or comments then please email us. Alternatively, if you are a contractor and would like to contribute to the survey data then please sign up to do so here.

Hopefully you will enjoy the GCI report and find it as insightful as we do. See you in the Autumn!

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