Nearly four in ten IT workers will be temps by 2023

More control over staffing and recruitment costs are pushing bosses to embrace flexible set-ups.

Despite only 8.4% of Singapore’s employed residents classified as independent contractors, future forecasts predict a 61:39 split between permanent and temporary employees by 2023, reflecting a strong indication of the future direction of Singaporean workplace dynamics, recruitment company Robert Half revealed.

Robert Half’s research polled over 3,800 business leaders in 12 countries worldwide, and the research found that 97% of business leaders identified benefits of adopting a more flexible approach to recruitment including more control over staffing and recruitment costs (36%), support for long-term absences, such as parental leave, secondments or sick leave (34%), and better management of workload fluctuations (32%).

This compares to 31% who respectively referred to access to new ideas and initiatives to support innovation and providing a stop-gap when permanent hiring takes too long. Furthermore, 30% of respondents said flexible recruitment would provide access to technical and niche skillsets and ensure knowledge transfer to existing employees.

Also read: 3 in 5 employers favour hard skills over soft skills: survey

“The increasing adoption by employers of the gig economy and a flexible workforce is being driven by several factors, mainly by new technologies that allow for greater workplace flexibility such as collaboration tools which offer businesses a more flexible approach to how they manage key project initiatives and workload fluctuations,” Robert Half noted.

Other contributing factors include the difficulty of acquiring specific skills on a permanent basis, owing to the worldwide war for talent and the evolving complexity of traditional job roles.

“Growth and scale will also be easier to achieve and manage for those businesses working with contractors. Companies can then benefit from a flexible recruitment strategy by getting fast access to specialised skills, becoming more agile and being equipped for managing workload fluctuations and new projects,” explained Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore.

Robert Half also highlighted that the rise of web-based platforms, such as Freelancer and Airtasker, in sourcing temporary resources in the professional gig economy has made it easier to find the talent that businesses need, with 94% of global business leaders currently sourcing contract workers from online job platforms.

Also read: Online hiring activity in IT and telecom sectors jumped 23% in 2018

However, only one in three or 36% of Singaporean CIOs source contract workers via online job platforms, indicating a more cautious approach by the city-state’s IT leaders when it comes to engaging contract workers through digital marketplaces.

However, many of the global businesses polled cited several perceived problems with these new online platforms. The most common concerns found include no guarantee of the standard of work (41%), a lack of alignment/understanding of the company (38%), concern on their eligibility to work (37%), unclear expectations of the service (28%) and the perception that contract workers are only freelancing because of their inability to find a permanent job (28%).  

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