MYOB’s SME Snapshot, which surveys the MYOB user base, showed 74 per cent of business owners under 40 would consider using a freelancer for specialised help with a task or project, in comparison to 40 per cent of business owners over 40.
About 89 per cent of SMEs that had used a freelancer in the last six months said they are likely to hire a freelancer again, with younger business owners 34 per cent more likely than their counterparts over 40 to hire freelancers.
Reasons for hiring freelancers included more flexibility for seasonal businesses at 47 per cent and access to different skillsets at 41 per cent. However, about 26 per cent of SMEs found freelancers don’t understand their business.
Recruitment firms like Hays tipped a rise in freelance workers and short-term contracts in accounting for 2017 late last year, particularly for those firms looking to expand into new service lines.
“We're seeing quite a lot from businesses where they're taking the opportunity while the economy is better to do the projects they've put off for a while, or expanding into new areas of business,” said Hays regional director David Cawley at the time.
“They’re taking a bit of a punt on things, whereas previously they haven't because the economy hasn't been as good,” he said.
“That probably tells us temp and contract jobs are going to continue to grow, but also permanent is going to grow as well.”