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"Gig" economy fuelling specialist contract roles in 2017: Michael Page survey

Singapore, 02 March 2017: 68% of companies in Singapore polled said contractors are part of their staff headcount, according to survey findings from the Michael Page 2017 Asia Salary & Employment Outlook. Of these companies, 4 in 5 are planning to maintain or increase their contract hires in 2017.

This is a continuing trend in the current employment market, where contract hires are gradually forming a larger proportion of a company’s workforce. Specialist professionals are securing temporary hire to work on freelance “gigs” or projects because of the job flexibility as well as learning and development opportunities. Projects could last anywhere between three to 12 months depending on the role.

Banking operations positions were most common roles for contract hires, occupying 52% of opportunities, followed by 41% of positions in both technology and business support. Nearly 450 employers in Singapore across industries participated in the survey on 2017 employment trends.

Companies are also beginning to recognise the value of contractors. According to our survey, the top three benefits received by contract workers are annual leave (68%), medical coverage (57%) and completion bonuses (34%).

Anthony Thompson, regional managing director of Greater China, South East Asia & India, Michael Page, said that the perception of accepting short-term employment in Singapore is seeing a notable shift with both organisations and employees.

“We have observed companies adopting strategies such as annual leave, medical benefits and completion bonuses to engage the professional contracting workforce. Demand for specialist short-term hires is high in industries with an acute talent shortage, for example in digital and new technology. These qualified professionals are often hired to plan, implement and execute specific projects based on the business direction of the organisation.”

Initiatives from the Singapore government to play a role in enabling innovation particularly around fintech (financial technology) is also set to create a sustainable number of jobs and employment. Singapore’s position as a regional financial hub has been strengthened by the growth of new payment, security and data management technologies.

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Editor’s notes: The Michael Page 2017 Asia Salary and Employment Outlook covers market insights and recruitment trends in Asia. This includes Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. The report incorporates the views of over 3,400 employer survey respondents in addition to feedback from corporate human resources directors across different industries in Asia and business experts' insights from the Michael Page leadership team.