Talent Monitor: Extreme labor market tightness

At present, Total Talent Management (TTM) and labor market tightness seem to go hand in hand. So after focusing on TTM in the first issue of the Talent Monitor, we thought we might as well focus on labor market tightness in the second issue. In this issue, we provide an in-depth analysis of this trend, as well as unique insights based on Intelligence Group's recruitment data and HeadFirst Group's hiring data.

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For the first time in history, the flexible work market is extremely tight.

For quite a while, organizations were fortunate in that they could fill any vacancies for staff on permanent contracts with temporary, external workers. That time is over now. The flexible work market, like the rest of the labor market, is subject to pervasive tightness. Read the entire press release here

The fees commanded by self-employed persons without employees are rising, even though inflation is at its highest point.

While inflation rates in the Netherlands are at a 20-year high, a sharp distinction can be observed in the wages earned by employees on a contract and the fees charged by self-employed persons without employees. This latter group can significantly raise their fees, while the wages paid to employees on a contract as specified in the applicable collective labor agreements are lagging behind the development of prices.

Key findings

  • The percentage of self-employed persons without employees actively looking for an assignment was 26% and 30% in the two most recent quarters, which means that nearly three-quarters of freelancers were not looking for a new assignment or were only doing so casually.
  • Assignments for highly educated professionals currently receive five times fewer responses.
  • In Quarter 2, 71% of highly educated and 58% of less educated self-employed persons without employees had fewer assignments than usual because of the pandemic, but these percentages dropped to 27% (highly educated) and 47% (less educated) in the third quarter of 2021.
  • Talent sourcers are contacting a record number of self-employed persons for new assignments: nearly 7 in 10 self-employed persons without employees are currently contacted for an assignment at least once per quarter.
  • The fees of highly educated self-employed persons without employees are rising by 3.5 to 7% each year. Fee rates seem to be rising faster and faster, particularly in recent quarters.
  • Secondment agencies are responding by recruiting new staff: 47% increase in the number of vacancies advertised between Q3 2020 and Q3 2021.


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