What are the Current Trends within HSE's Contract Market?

by Natasha Mughal

The HSE Recruitment Network recently carried out a survey to discover what our followers on LinkedIn and within our database thought about a few current underlying issues within the health and safety industry. The survey is still available online by clicking here.

The survey was produced by one of our consultants, Lauren Tai Sen Choy, who explained her reasons for carrying it out: “As interim specialists in the HSE Market it is really important for our team to keep up to date with the latest trends in the market. There were a number of hot topics that we had discussed around the current market such as whether there were particular specialist fields which were currently more sought after than others, what has been the impact of CDM 2015 and how important HSE professionals felt the CMIOSH Membership was."

She goes on to say, "We thought that these questions were probably of interest to other people operating within the contract HSE Market and wanted to engage with our network of interim specialists in a way which would be meaningful to both ourselves and our network. We were really impressed with the level of engagement we had from our network and found the responses enlightening.”

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"36% of people that were asked saw an increase in contracts within Behavioural Safety"

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We asked those taking part whether they had seen an increase in trends towards contracts within certain specialist fields, asking them to nominate one from a list of 8, including Behavioural Safety, CDM Consultant, Process Safety, Health/Wellbeing, Occupational Hygienist, Fire safety, COMAH and DSEAR. 36% of people that were asked saw an increase in contracts within Behavioural Safety. Behavioural safety, also known as behavioural modification, is the notion that good behaviour can ensure the minimisation of potential errors.

24% of those questioned cited CDM-Cs as the most requested specialism for current contract roles. This is especially interesting as there has been a lot of speculation regarding the future of the CDM-C roles, following the introduction of CDM2015. We have continued to have requests from clients to source CDM Consultants, for both permanent and contract roles, and although there is certainly an increase in requests for Principal Designers, it does not appear that the role is now obsolete as some thought it would be.

We also wanted to determine whether people think that there is still an importance to having CMIOSH status within the current health and safety contract market. The results were surprising for this question, and although the majority agreed that CMIOSH status gave the most attractive contract opportunities, it was still fairly close between the two choices, with 55% agreeing that CMIOSH was important and 45% agreeing that it was not. This may go to show how CMIOSH status is dividing the health and safety industry and that many people within HSE are torn about it’s importance.

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"CMIOSH status is dividing the health and safety industry, and that many people within HSE are torn about it’s importance."

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The consultants at HSE Recruitment Network strive to seek and secure long-term contracts for their candidates, where appropriate. Therefore, we were pleased that a majority of respondents, 28% to be exact, answered that they were currently on contracts that are 18 months or over. What's interesting is that 25% of respondents said they are in contacts that are 0-3 months. With more than half of all responses being in a long-term or short-term role, does this show that mid-length contracts are falling out of favour? This could be due to the nature of the work, or it could be due to a cultural shift for employees, making it more appealing to take on shorter contracts more regularly or settle into a more permanent contract project.

Within the comments section of the survey, a lot of people expressed their frustration at the importance placed on CMIOSH and how they felt that it sometimes showed a lack of understanding of what is required for roles. We certainly feel as recruiters that it is our role to educate health and safety decision-makers within organisations on whether or not it is necessary for a particular role.

What do you think about the results of this survey? Would you agree with them? Let us know by tweeting us @HSE_Jobs.

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