Starting a business is the aim of one in ten

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Setting up a business is becoming the goal for more and more British workers, according to a new study.

Research from the Institute of Leadership and Management (IML) showed that of those that want to leave their jobs this year, one in ten would like to set up their own business.

The survey of more than 1,000 workers showed 16 per cent are looking to exit their current employers over the next 12 months.

While 79 per cent intend to go to another company, there is a growing body of people that have aspirations of going it alone in their own business.

Indeed, Labour market statistics from Q3 showed the number of self-employed people grew by 34,000 on the previous quarter to hit 4.21 million.

Charles Elvin, IML chief executive, isn't surprised that more and more workers are looking for a change of pace, as the New Year is a popular time to assess careers.

"Our findings show that UK employees are beginning to reassess the job market and look into a range of new opportunities, from starting a new job to developing a new business," he said.

One reason behind the desire to strike out alone could be to achieve a better work/life balance. Indeed, this is the third greatest priority for people in 2014, according to IML.

Becoming a contractor or starting a business gives people the freedom to choose their own working hours and holidays. Self-employed people are also able to have autonomy over the jobs they complete, tailoring their role to their own personal desires.

However, moving on isn't the only desire of the UK workforce, with a fifth wanting to improve their own leadership skills.

Seventeen per cent also hoped for more transparent leadership from their managers - an issue that affects contractors. Ineffectual leadership could harm a company's ability to attract the freelancing professionals they need to plug the skills gap.

With the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) claiming the UK is entering a candidate-driven market, contractors hold all of the cards.

Businesses have to focus on creating an enticing package that will secure the services of freelancers in what is becoming an incredibly competitive environment.

With one in five workers intending to leave their jobs in 2014, however, there are question marks about the ability of some employers to do this.

"As many workers like to make a change at this time of year, it is important that organisations adapt to this phase by offering the chance to learn new skills and opportunities to progress wherever possible," Mr Elvin said.

However, for top-level professionals, this might not always cut it and employer value propositions need to be based around remuneration, interesting projects and job fulfillment for contractors.

According to the REC, recruitment firms are in a similar position when it comes to building a pool of candidates and contractors. It claimed that to be successful recruiters will need to "develop content" capable of attracting scarce talent, while building meaningful relationships to keep talent close.

By Victoria McDonnell

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