Major Players asks creative industries freelancers to have their say

'What is your worth?’ ‘Are you being paid fairly?’ ‘Have pay rate gaps improved?’

Open for answers until Wednesday, the three questions are being posed by creative industries recruitment agency Major Players to readers of FreelanceUK.

The trio are part of the agency’s Creative Industries Census 2023 – an annual call for views to marketers, designers, and creative techies, which in tone is turning increasingly freelance.

'More inclusive'

In fact, last year Major Players made a change to the 5-minute-long poll, which is open to many other creatives too, by splitting it into permanent resource and freelance resource.

This year, for 2023, to make it “more inclusive” to the self-employed, gone is the old title ‘Salary Survey’ and in its place is the Census, or ‘CIS’ for short (Creative Industries Census).

Major Players also told FreelanceUK that anyone who participates in the CIS will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win £500.

'Still lumpiness'

And the hard cash, which exceeds the day rate on a three-month contract in London for a freelance paid-media director who the agency is searching for, probably won’t be sniffed at.

That’s because despite a big bounce back for much of last year, “there’s still lumpiness” in the freelance market for creatives, partly due to covid, partly due to new financial caution.

“2022 saw an incredible recovery but the fourth quarter, and early indications in 2023 show there is some hesitancy to commit to freelance creative support,” Major Players’ freelance director Carrie Powell-Symon continued in a statement to FreelanceUK.

'International relocation'

Some companies’ reservations to committing to specific freelancers, or slowness in getting sign-off in certain freelancing areas, may have inspired the agency’s fourth big question.

So, below the agency’s pay-related questions of ‘What’s your worth?’ ‘Are you being paid fairly?’ and ‘Have pay rate gaps improved?’, the census switches focus.

Question five on the UK-focussed CIS states: “Is international relocation something you’re now open to exploring?”

Last year, Major Players became part of the Majar Group, and operations in Amsterdam and Berlin followed, so the question about relocating overseas may have it roots in the 2022 deal.

'More than four in ten candidates open to working abroad'

But Powell-Symon spoke of “the desires” of “our candidates,” and it seems the lure of working overseas is strong for many this year -- but not necessarily on a contract basis.

“Early data from our 2023 census shows that 43% of respondents are open to opportunities abroad,” the agency director said.

“There are opportunities and significant interest from freelancers, [but] most are preferring permanent roles, as this is easier for securing residency [status] and appropriate visas.”

'Clients putting the feelers out'

Nonetheless, freelancers ‘shouldn’t be put off,’ she says, as in The Netherlands, a self-employed person can secure a long-stay visa ('MVV') which can be valid for 90 days or more.  

At the same time, freelancers won’t want to miss lucrative opportunities at home because speaking yesterday, Major Players said agencies and brands were now “putting the feelers out.”

Powell-Symon explained that this delving into talent appears to be underway “in anticipation of projects.”

'Steady flow'

“We’re yet to see the market return to the height of 2022,” she said, “[but] we have a steady flow of roles… [and are] supporting clients to plan their workforce efficiently.”

Respondents to the CIS can also have their say on representation in their creative sub-sector, and outline what they regard as “important” in relation to their career goals and aspirations.


3rd February 2023

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