Freelancers will make up 43 per cent of the global workforce by 2020, compared to a mere 6 per cent in 1989, according to Linkedin. A “gig” economy refers to a labour landscape where temporary jobs are common, with companies increasingly hiring freelancers or contractors instead of permanent staff or when a growing number of employees choose to freelance.
According to Robert Walters’ associate director of contract recruitment Carly Adams, the firm has seen a 20 per cent increase in contracted work in Hong Kong in the past year, and a 50 per cent increase from the year before. “Hong Kong is still focused on the permanent hire market, but since the 2008 recession and the resulting changes in the market, companies have looked at contracting as a good alternative to manage headcount more efficiently,” said Adams, adding that contract work is becoming increasingly common especially in the areas of IT and financial services.
“The mentality of the candidates has also changed over the last eight years … as companies offer better flexibility and benefits such as bonuses, more annual leave and even higher pay compared to permanent positions.”