NEWS14 July 2022

Risks in relationship between independent researchers and hirers

News People UK

UK – There is often insufficient detail agreed upfront between hirers and freelancers, which could destabilise the relationships between the two, according to research from the Independent Consultants Group (ICG).

Apprentice taking notes

The findings are based on an industry survey of more than 242 independent researchers and hirers, as well as online qualitative research with ICG members and Further, and crowdsourced ideas with ICG members to generate potential solutions to the problems faced by freelancers.

The research highlighted several risks to independent consultants when working with new hirers, including 60% of whom said there was an underestimation of the actual scope of the work they were recruited to complete.

Other risks included not receiving enough strategic context in client briefings ( 55%), late payment ( 40%), and not being paid more despite doing more work than was previously agreed ( 30%).

The research found that 51% of independent consultants agreed payment terms upfront, while 36% use a signed, statement of work including terms and conditions before starting.

Only 23% of independent consultants agreed with hirers on the hours expected to be worked, while 15% state what is billable if there’s a cancellation.

The research added that 8% state what will happen if a definite project comes up before a tentative one has been confirmed, and 7% agree what is billable if there are no shows in qualitative research,

A statement from the ICG said: “In conclusion, based on the experiences of both hirers and independent consultants and our industry survey, we have identified a clear guiding policy to nurture happier and more productive working relationships: independent consultants and their hirers need to agree on more detail upfront.”

More information on the research can be found here and an opinion article about the research from ICG member Tom Woodnutt is here.