The Big Independent Professional Survey - Results

We recently asked our clients to take part in our Big Independent Professional Survey. With over 480 respondents, we are incredibly grateful to all those that took the time to have their say! Keep an eye on our social channels over the coming weeks for industry specific results!

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We recently published a survey to all our clientele and received over 450 respondents which we are incredibly grateful for.
We've always been big on Contractor Community and as part of our lobbying for Independent Professionals, it is always helpful to get an insight in to the thoughts, perceptions, and concerns, if any, that Independent Professionals in Ireland have today.

A summary of the 484 respondents’ answers can be found below.

78.5% of respondents were male, 19.5% were female and just over 2% preferred not to specify.

Age Range
18-25 – 1%
25-35 – 27.7%
35-45 – 31.3%
45-55 – 26.7%
55+ – 13.3%

8.2% of respondents have a Leaving Certificate or equal qualification
53.3% have a degree
36.4% have a master’s degree
2.1% have a Doctorate qualification

Rate of Pay
10.8% of respondents outlined a rate of pay of up to €300 per day, 15.9% have a rate of pay between €300-€400 per day, 23.1% are represented with a rate of pay between €400-€500 per day, 24.1% of respondents have a rate of pay between €500-€600 per day, 22.6% have a rate of pay between €600 and €800 per day and 3.5% have a rate of pay of more than €800 per day.

Entry to Contracting
67.2% of respondents entered the contracting market because of a contract opportunity being presented to them whereas over 27% sought out a contract opportunity. The remaining 5% of respondents entered the market through relocation, redundancy or as an alternative return to work.

Current Contract Duration
6 months or less – 16.5%
6-12 months – 37.4%
12-18 months –15.9%
18 months+ – 30.2%

Experience as an Independent Professional
Less than 12 months – 12.8%
1-2 years – 14.4%
2-4 years – 21.5%
4 years+ – 51.3%

Current Working Environment
53.3% of respondents are currently operating remotely, 37.4% are operating on a hybrid model, and only 9.2% are always required on-site.


Favourite aspect of working as an Independent Professional
Unsurprisingly, 42.5% outlined the rate of pay as the favourite aspect, a further 26% outlined the flexibility offered whilst 15% outlined the work/life balance as the biggest attraction to their current contract. Over 12.5% outlined the increased pay retention whilst the remaining 4% included the opportunity to become their own boss and remove themselves from office politics.

Rate Increase
58.5% of respondents had experienced a pay increase within the last 12 months.

Skillset Rate Increase
80.5% of respondents felt their skillset had witnessed a rate increase within the last 12 months.

Confidence in Current Contractor Market
6.2% of the respondents were neutral and neither concerned nor confident about the current market. Almost 92% of respondents are confident about the current landscape for the Independent Professional market and less than 3% of respondents highlighted a lack of confidence in the market.


Confidence in Number of Opportunities
76% of respondents are confident in the number of opportunities available to their skill-set in the market, 21% of respondents weren’t sure and 3% are not confident in the number of opportunities arising within their area of expertise.


Confidence in Irish Economy
11% of respondents were not confident in the Irish economy, 26.6% of respondents were neither confident nor concerned but, 62% are confident in the Irish economy.


Time Taken to Source a New Opportunity
Less than 4 weeks – 37.4%
4-8 weeks – 42.1%
8 weeks+ – 20.5%


Satisfaction with Rate of Pay
Dissatisfied – 3.6%
Neutral – 7.2%
Satisfied – 38.2%
Extremely Satisfied – 51%


Satisfaction Working as an Independent Professional
Dissatisfied – 1%
Neutral – 7.6%
Satisfied – 39.5%
Extremely Satisfied – 51.9%


Contacted by a Recruiter
10.3% of respondents have not been contacted by a recruiter within the last 12 months, 24.1% have been contacted up-to 5 times by a recruiter regarding an opportunity and 65.6% had been contacted more than 5 times within the last 12 months.

Considering an Opportunity
When asked what the biggest turn off is when considering a new opportunity, 7.5% outlined that an interview process that has too many stages or is too long turns them off the opportunity, 40% outlined a lack of remote flexibility, 35% were primarily turned off by the rate of pay being insufficient, 13% highlighted that an unfulfilling role or uninteresting project would be enough to disengage and 4.5% dislike when qualifications supersede experience in the interview process.

Searching for New Opportunities
19% of respondents look for new opportunities directly through their existing network, 44% use LinkedIn to search for opportunities, 11% use other job boards whereas 22.9% will contact trusted recruiters that they have worked with before.

Appetite to Upskill
66.7% of respondents had up skilled within the last 24 months.

Post Contract Expiry
51.7% of respondents expressed a desire to seek another contract opportunity with their existing client, whereas 28.7% would prefer to start another contract opportunity elsewhere. 7.2% of the respondents would like to consider permanent opportunities, 5.2% would like to take a break or retire and the remaining 7% of respondents are open to both contract and permanent opportunities.


Overall, the current landscape of the contracting market is in a very healthy position with the vast majority not only citing high satisfaction and confidence levels, as well as ambition to continue contracting when their current contract expires. The activity within the contract sector is demonstrated by the level of engagement between recruiters and the respondents of the survey, accompanied by the confidence levels in the overall market. There is still significant work to be done to attract a higher proportion of female representation within the sector, which we are determined to impact.
The importance of building relationships with recruiters is also outlined alongside networking and having a LinkedIn profile to ensure opportunities are being presented to you.

We would like to take this opportunity again to all respondents for taking the time to provide vital feedback and insights that we will strive to use to lobby on behalf of Independent Professionals in Ireland.

Finally, we invite everyone to follow our social media channels, particularly our LinkedIn page, where we will be releasing industry specific results in the coming weeks.
If you are interested in hearing more about working as an Independent Professional, please feel free to contact our team of advisors by emailing or by calling 01-8077106.

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