According to recruiting experts Hays, engaging Singaporean talent through contracting and temporary arrangements increased further in 2017. This is just one of the key findings from the 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide which highlights salary and recruiting trends based on responses from more than 3,000 employers across Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore.
Research carried out found 49 per cent of employers in Singapore utilised a flexible staffing option in 2017 with 66 per cent of those opting to engage with contracting and temporary staffing solutions, up from the 65 per cent reported in 2016. 18 per cent of organisations in Singapore plan to increase their use of contract and temporary workers in 2018 with a huge 74 per cent planning to maintain current levels. Only eight per cent of employers plan to decrease their use of contractors and temporary workers in 2018.
“The number of organisations in Singapore using contractors and temporary workers continues to increase for a number of reasons, such as its ability to contain costs to enabling organisations to source specialist expertise for specific projects,” says Richard Eardley, Managing Director of Hays in Asia. “57 per cent of the organisations in Singapore we surveyed experienced increased levels of business activity in the year prior to our 2018 Guide survey and 68 per cent expect higher levels again over the year ahead,” says Richard. “Companies we talk to are bullish about 2018, particularly given Singapore’s positive economic outlook, but they also plan to keep a close eye on costs to maximise their potential for business growth and accessing a contingent workforce is an effective way to do this,” he says. Of the companies who engaged contractors and temporary staff, 38 per cent did so for ‘special projects’ while 33 per cent used contractors and temporary staff only in ‘exceptional circumstances’. 18 per cent enlisted the services of contractors and temporary staff on a regular basis.
While contracting and temporary staffing solutions tops the list of flexible staffing options utilised in Singapore, it is not the only method used. The 2018 Guide found that of the companies utilising a flexible staffing approach, 42 per cent employed ‘part time staff’, 24 per cent ‘casual staff’ and 12 per cent facilitated the provision of ‘job sharing’.
How Singapore compares
In all five markets surveyed in the 2018 Hays Asia Salary Guide, the use of contractors and temporary workers is the most popular flexible workforce arrangement. Japan is number one in the region with 85 per cent of companies utilising contracting and temping work solutions in the past year compared to 66 per cent in Singapore. In Hong Kong, that figure was 62 per cent, Malaysia (59 per cent) and in Mainland China, 46 per cent of employers make use of contracting and temp workers. A total of 54 per cent of employers in Japan employed contractors and temps on an ongoing basis in 2017. In Mainland China, 30 per cent of employers made use of contractors and temps continuously while in Malaysia, the figure is 23 per cent. In Hong Kong, 20 per cent of organisations regularly employed contractors and temps while only 18 per cent of Singaporean organisations did so on an ongoing basis last year.