Helpful advice when seeking a new temporary assignment

The webpage contains information to help contractors and freelancers with their next search for a temporary assignment.

Contracting is a very popular career choice for many UK-based workers and is an excellent way to grow your skills, enhance your CV and boost your earning potential. Contracting also allows you to have more say regarding your work/life balance, which is one of the key benefits of picking a career as a contractor. However, contracting is competitive and finding your next temporary assignment can be troublesome and time-consuming. We’ve put this page together to help you with your search and hope it’s useful.

Please scroll down to see some helpful tips when seeking temporary assignments through a recruitment agency and when looking for work directly with a hirer (end-client). We have also provided some links to external sites that may help you with your job search.

If you are new to contracting and have questions about seeking a new assignment, or you want to discuss your payroll when operating as a temporary worker, please get in touch with the Umbrella Company UK team on 01707 669023.

Sourcing new work through recruitment agencies

In the UK, there are thousands of recruitment firms that focus on matching temporary workers with jobs.

You have most likely dealt with recruiters in the past if you have ever conducted a job search. If not, they are among the most useful resources for assisting you in obtaining a contract. They will put in endless effort on your behalf to locate a position that fits your needs; they will even schedule interviews and communicate with end users.

To increase your chances of landing a contract job through a recruitment agency, keep the following points in mind:

  • Sign up with a few hiring companies that specialise in matching independent contractors and freelancers with short-term jobs.
  • Select hiring firms that specialise in hiring people in your industry, such as finance or IT recruiters.
  • Decide on your chosen pay rate as soon as possible. By doing this, you’ll avoid accepting less money than you deserve.
  • Take the initiative and follow up on your applications by giving your recruiters a call or, in the event that you had an interview with a prospective customer, sending a kind email thank you.
  • Consult your friends and former coworkers to see if they can recommend a recruitment firm or provide you with useful contacts.
  • REC, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, has an easy to follow guide for jobseekers looking for a recruitment agency. You can see their guide here, and also search their database of agencies to find one that works for you.

Finding contracts directly with the end-client (hirer)

Although obtaining contracts directly from end clients can be difficult, it gives you greater flexibility in terms of the responsibilities you can take on. Applying for a job directly through an end-client requires a lot of networking, and while you work in the contracting business, you will inevitably develop a professional network of clients and colleagues from which you may be able to obtain contract possibilities in the future.

  • Recruiters and end users typically make hires for prompt starts. Since contract work moves quickly, it’s best to be available to begin a contract role as soon as possible.
  • It’s important to be competitive and try to differentiate yourself with a stellar resume. Get our CV writing advice for contractors by getting in touch with us.
  • When looking for temporary work, LinkedIn is a really helpful tool, especially if you’re looking for a position directly with the client. Ensure that your most recent employment history is included in your profile. After that, you can get in touch with recruiters who work for companies you’re interested in joining. By visiting corporate pages, you can also find out if any positions are available at that company.

Online tools to help with your job search

Indeed is a really powerful online job board which collates roles from hundreds of different sources. Create a profile, upload your CV and filter your job searches to find a role that meets your expectations.

Monster is one of the most popular online job platforms in the UK and may be featuring your ideal next role. Please check out the Monster website and create a profile to be alerted about new roles that may be suitable.

CWJobs specialises in IT recruitment, but also posts roles in other tech-related fields such as digital marketing, animation, media, mobile, social media, telecoms, etc.

CV Library is not just for permanent roles – the site, which is one of the most used jobsites in the UK – advertises around 20,000 contract based roles. Whether you are an IT worker or a marketer, or looking for a private or public sector role, CV Library has options for you.

JobServe is a diverse jobsite which offers something for contractors in every industry and sector. Most roles are advertised by recruitment agencies, so this site is a great way to connect with recruiters as well as find a job opportunites.

Payroll options for contractors and freelancers

If you find a new temporary assignment that is inside IR35, you may be required to use an umbrella company (like Umbrella Company UK) for your payroll. Please give us a call to discuss your requirements and request a free, tailored take-home pay calculation.

Umbrella companies like Umbrella Company UK provide a compliant and transparent payroll service for temporary workers who operate similarly to permanent employees. Should you accept an inside IR35 assignment, you will be required to receive PAYE into a personal bank account. In this scenario, there are no benefits of being a director of a limited company—although you may prefer this option if you work outside IR35 in the future.

Umbrella Company UK is an accredited member of the FCSA – the UK’s leading professional body committed to ensuring the supply chain of temporary workers is compliant. We are also SafeRec Certified, meaning that all of our umbrella employees have access to independent payroll audits every time we pay them and issue a payslip. Not only are we compliant, but we can prove it too!

Are you currently using our service?

If you are currently an Umbrella Company UK employee and you are interested in our help to find a new temporary role, please reach out to our team by calling 01707 669038 or emailing We would be happy to discuss your job search and provide some tips to help you flourish in a new assignment.

Can't talk now? No problem!

The following may be of interest...