20 February 2023

The ongoing cost of living crisis in the UK continues to add new waves of pressure across multiple facets of day-to-day life. But speaking to working professionals in the healthcare communications sector, our team has seen an increasing number of freelancers making the transition to permanent roles in response to the increasingly alarming economic environment.

Is this transition trend likely to continue in the coming months? And if so, how should businesses looking to take on new talent respond to it?

Freelancing: the new pros and cons

The debate on the perks and downfalls of freelance versus permanent work has existed within the job-hunting space for years. With freelancing offering flexibility and independence, and permanent roles offering security and progression, however you choose to work it has been easy to weigh up your options. However, the cost of living crisis appears to be impacting the way traditional freelancers are viewing their ideal next steps. In the first few weeks of 2023 and extending back into the end of 2022, we have had multiple candidates mention their concern for the current state of the market, suggesting that the flexibility they had previously valued as freelancers has been overwhelmed by prioritising stability amidst choppy, unpredictable waters and high bills.

In fact, the Freelance Informer reports that 31.7% of contractors stated the cost-of-living crisis was one of their biggest concerns heading into 2023

Jumping from one sinking ship to the next?

Can we expect to see this trend of uncertainty relax over the coming months? It’s hard to say. For many professionals in the healthcare communications sector, the UK’s financial climate has given the cause for concern. No longer merely concerned with whether or not their current ship will stay afloat, they are now wondering whether or not the whole fleet is going under, and as a result are hesitant to consider new roles and opportunities. This in itself is a shame, with a vast influx of new roles emerging in the healthcare communications space every day. Of course, this is not a sector specific issue, but it is one that we have seen increasingly reflected in the freelance talent we speak with on a day-to-day basis.

Why companies need to take action now

This general period of instability is a problem for both candidates and companies alike. With candidates more hesitant to start a new role, clients looking to grow their team will need to illustrate the longevity and value of their offers more than ever before. For contract roles, this could mean offering longer term contracts (in excess of sixth months), and articulating the number of past contract talent which have since been retained as perm with the company. For permanent roles, this could also mean evaluating the want to continue to grow the team against the capacity for growth in our current financial climate.

Empowering yourself to make the best decision for you

Whatever your current stance on freelance vs perm roles, it’s important to weigh up your options and consider what’s best for you. Speaking with progression partners, like the team at Carys Mills Consulting, can offer you a sounding board for your thoughts and concerns. As industry subject matter experts, we can also tell you more about the market and help you to make the most informed decisions that wont see you sacrifice your progression for your security.

For impartial advice and guidance, reach out to the team at Carys Mills Consulting via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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