How good are Recruiters at matching Contractor skills to roles


PayStream’s contractor insights survey revealed that three-quarters of contractors use recruitment agencies when looking for their next role, but just how good are recruiters at matching an individual's skills to a vacancy?

PayStream have been busy over the past few months, interviewing 1,600 limited company and umbrella contractors to find out their views on everything from what motivates them to get out of bed and go to work in the morning, to their relationships with agencies, before compiling their findings into their Contractor Insights Survey.


PayStream found that 75 per cent of temporary workers like to go through an agency to secure their next contract, but in light of the widespread skills shortages that are currently affecting many of the UK's industries, just how effective is this path?

What do contractors think of recruiters?

As the majority of contractors regularly use recruitment agencies, this suggests that they are valued within the industry. Just seven per cent of respondents said that they never really use an agency, adding further weight to this theory.

PayStream asked workers how they viewed their most recent dealings with recruiters and 73 per cent of the responses were of a positive nature, with contractors highlighting that the professional manner in which they were dealt with and the ability to deliver a seamless end to end process, both being important aspects of the service they valued.

What's more, many of the individuals that were questioned said that having their skills matched to a role by their recruitment consultant is what set the recruitment agency apart from others, as did having their capabilities understood and feeling that their personality was being matched to the client culture of the company they would be working for.

This finding indicates that contractors believe recruiters are effective at matching their skills to roles, but how exactly do they put this into practice?

How do agencies prepare contractors for roles?

PayStream was also interested in how agencies prepared temporary workers for securing their next position and they discovered that less than half (44 per cent) of contractors had been given some form of interview preparation.

However, the level of support varied in relation to different sectors, with contractors specialising in the construction industry least likely to have been offered interview preparation and accounting and finance workers most likely to receive help.

Some 23 per cent of respondents said they would have liked to have been offered assistance in getting ready to present themselves in the best way during an interview, although 53 per cent stated that they weren't particularly interested in this support anyway.

A total of 84 per cent of contractors reported that they found the interview preparation they were given either 'very useful' or 'quite useful', with just three per cent not finding it helpful.

Paul Malley, Managing Director at PayStream said “In light of this, agencies may want to look at offering this kind of support more often because some contractors may not appreciate the benefit of interview preparation until they’ve actually received it.”

The majority of recruitment agencies (76 per cent) preferred to find out about a contractor's skills via face-to-face interviews, with 60 per cent preferring telephone interviews and 12 per cent embracing video technologies, such as FaceTime or Skype.

How else are contractors securing positions?

PayStream also explored how else contractors were securing themselves contract roles, as not all of the respondents used recruitment agencies.

Three per cent of contractors said that they had created a video profile in the past to showcase their skills and personality to either a prospective client or a recruitment agency.  Although the lion's share said they had not yet tried making such a video, 27 per cent said they would potentially consider this option in the future indicating that developments in technology could potentially change the way contractors try to secure their next role.

Other ways in which contractors may wish to develop and showcase their talents include by having an active, but professional, presence on social media sites, as well as setting time aside to learn new skills and work towards further qualifications to build on their expertise and increase their competitiveness.

To find out more about the findings of their Contractor Insights Survey get in touch with one of the PayStream team today.

Source: PayStream

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