contracting: an attractive way to meet your talent needs.

19/06/2019 05:04

Contracting, or gig economy, is fast becoming a hot trend in Singapore. A blended workforce is an extremely attractive HR strategy as it not only provides companies with the flexibility to shape their team, it also helps deepen internal capabilities to address increasing and changing customer demands.

why do companies hire contractors?

International organisations hire a blend of contractors and permanent employees to remain agile and stay competitive. Professional contract employees are typically brought in for their expertise for a temporary period of time, usually to work on short-term projects or to fill in for employees who are on maternity or sabbatical leave.

Contracting talent are particularly in demand within start-ups and SMEs (small-and-medium enterprise) as they often have HR budget constraints, but need an extra pair of hands to manage the temporary increase in business demands or unique client requests.

new demand for professional talent with specialised skills

In Singapore, companies are most likely to hire contract workers to manage business restructuring, and such transformation projects require niche and specific skills from a small group of talent. Instead of engaging an external company to provide consultation services or to develop new processes, companies typically hire contract professionals who have had prior experience from these companies to work on these projects.

Managing finances and risk are not the only benefits that come from contracting. Hiring freelance workers allows companies to bring new and different perspectives into the workplace on a more regular basis. In addition, the flexibility of contracting allows managers to discover candidates with different skill sets that they might not have considered if the role were permanent.

Organisations have also become increasingly attracted to what can be referred to as a ‘try before you buy’ approach. Through this, organisations can ‘test’ the contractor’s true capabilities and personality, and only convert them to a permanent position if the candidate suits the role and company culture.

who are the talent in the gig workforce?

Job seekers, especially workers from Millennials and Generation Z, are becoming more open to the idea of gig working. They tend to gravitate towards such contracting roles because they seek an environment that can provide them with greater work-life balance and better learning opportunities. As a gig worker, they can build their network quickly and learn from experienced professionals, as well as gain invaluable exposure across different companies, industries and projects.

However, there is also interest from experienced workers who are open to the idea of gig work, especially those who are seeking better work-life balance and autonomy after having a hectic career. These professionals typically have prior experience working in global firms and are able to consult and share best practices.

contracting outlook in Singapore

The gig economy was initially made popular by technology firms, which hired contracting specialists with the niche expertise to design, develop and implement proprietary software. However, as more companies across key industries embark on their own digital transformation journey, the talent demand for contractors began to rise in recent years.

In Singapore, we see an increasing demand for contract workers in the Life Sciences, Human Resource (HR), and Construction, Property and Engineering (CPE) industries.

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