Industry Feature: What is with all the freelance Quantity Surveyors?

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I am currently recruiting for a number of Permanent Quantity Surveyor positions, and the majority of candidates I speak to appear to only be looking for a contract role. This led me to thinking, why is it that contract QS positions are so much more attractive?

Over the past 8 months I have spoken with many Quantity Surveyors across a variety of industries, ranging from Nuclear to Pharmaceutical. One strong trend has arisen from my conversations with them – the majority of suitably qualified and experienced Quantity Surveyors, appear to only be interested in contract positions. In contrast, most of my clients are only intent on securing permanent candidates.

As you can imagine, this poses quite a problem, and led me to think what is it about contract roles that are so appealing that out of work QS’s would rather not work for a while than accept brilliant permanent positions?

Another question also sprung to mind. Since the majority of my clients only want staff, where are all these contract roles that are so appealing??

It strikes me as strange that a person would rather take a contract position, with all the uncertainty that comes with it, over the security and benefits that comes with a permanent position. The pension, holiday pay, health care that come with working for a company obviously are not as big an attraction as they once were.

Another thought struck me. Would people change between contract and permanent? Or is it a case of “once you go contracting, you never go back”.

I needed to do some further investigation in order to answer all these questions, and discover why the market is like this. Therefore, I have written a survey to decipher these facts and would greatly appreciate if any of the Quantity Surveyors in my extended network could spare a couple of minutes to complete it…


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