Contract Staff & Temporary Staffing Trend in Singapore

Contract Staff & Temporary Staffing Trend in Singapore

Employers in Singapore are expected to prefer contract staff or temporary staffing hires due to budget constraints amid the global economic slowdown, according to the Hays Quarterly Report for April to June 2016. Hays Quarterly Report for 2nd Quarter of 2016

Hays also believe that candidates will be more opened to temporary roles in Singapore as budget constraints cause employers to move towards contingent hiring, said recruiting expert Hays on Monday (Apr 11), in its forecast for the April to June 2016 quarter.

The Hays Quarterly Report identifies key trends in the job market. Lynne Roeder, Managing Director for Hays in Singapore, said, “The global economic downturn has had an impact on the businesses in Singapore, with companies offering an increasing number of contract staff jobs to fill vacancies.”


Nonetheless, it won’t be easy to secure a temporary role as competition escalates, Hays added.

“Singapore is expected to see a rising number of senior candidates come onto the market as employers, owing to budget concerns, capitalise on the abundant pool of less experienced talent to take on a more senior remit,” said the report.

According to Hays, the banking sector is moving “towards hiring less experienced contract staff candidates to replace more experienced hires.” The report added that the volume of contract staff roles have increased.

In the engineering sector, Hays said it expects solid growth, attributing it to the expansion of the MRT network. “There will be greater demand for engineers and project managers, particularly those with experience in tunnelling, signalling design and permanent way design,” said Hays.

Ms Lynne added that, “Overall, hiring activity will be positive, particularly in areas such as compliance, engineering, technology and insurance.”

In an earlier survey, Hays says 40 percent of candidates in Singapore are now more open to temporary/contract work than they were in recent years.

Of the 878 respondents who participated in the survey, 40 percent said temporary/contract work is now more of an attractive option than in the past. A further 37 percent of respondents claimed no change in attitude to temporary/contract work, while the remaining 23 percent view it as less attractive.

In previous years, there were common perceptions that temporary/contract work was limited to entry-level office support or administrative jobs. However, this is no longer the case as employers grapple with an increasingly tightening talent pool as a result of the Fair Consideration Framework and worsening skills shortages.

Professionals at all levels and across various sectors are now being employed on a temporary basis to help alleviate skills shortages. Where we are finding the use of temporary workers or contractors increasing is within areas of high candidate demand such as Know Your Customer (KYC) professionals and finance talent within the banking industry, as well as project-based developers in the IT sector.

This is backed by findings of the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide, a separate report released earlier this year, where as many as 60 percent of employers surveyed said they had used a flexible contract staff approach in the past 12 months, and 19 percent expect to increase their use of temporary staff in 2016.

We are seeing more organisations open to hiring temporary staff as a lasting answer to their manpower needs. At the same time, more jobseekers are considering contract work to reap the benefits that non-permanent employment can offer.

Benefits for job seekers include:

Skills advancement: Temporary/contract staff assignments allow professionals to expand their expertise, expose them to new industries, and also build new skills and experience. A varied and flexible skill set enhances employability in the eye of future employers.

Work-life balance: By choosing to work as a career contractor, candidates can handpick and choose assignments that suit their schedule, enabling them more control and flexibility over their working life.

Expanded networks: With every temporary assignment, contractors further build their professional network as they meet new peers in their field. This can be invaluable when seeking temporary or permanent job opportunities in the future.

Benefits for employers include:

Talent on demand: Flexible hiring enables employers to recruit specific skills or expertise as and when they need for special projects, peak seasonal times, or unanticipated workloads. The extra advantage of the short notice period of contractors also helps employers be nimble in reacting to challenges in their business cycle.

Trialling talent: Many businesses use temporary workers on a trial basis to assess their capability and cultural compatibility with the organisation. This “try before you buy” method diminishes the risk associated with long-term commitment to a permanent hire.

Filling skills gaps: To address increasing skills shortages, contractors present an excellent opportunity to fill gaps temporarily. Rather than having to reallocate work amongst existing employees, which can cause stress and impact productivity, temporary resources can alleviate strain and provide support to an existing permanent team and help maintain productivity levels for a business.

We advocate the benefits of temporary and contract employment and look to give more employers access to a wealth of talented contract professionals to help effectively manage their workforce. Contracting is here to stay and the more we can support employers by providing temporary talent, the more I believe we can do to help alleviate skills shortages in Singapore’s workforce.

The above article is written by Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays in Singapore. She has over 17 years of experience within the recruitment industry across the UK, Australia, and Asia. Prior to relocating to Singapore, Lynne was Regional Director of Hays in Australia, where she managed teams across the country in many specialties. – See more at:

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