Are contract jobs within the financial sector on the rise in Singapore?

With headcount and budgetary approval increasingly harder to attain, this results in a supply of contract jobs as compared to permanent ones. And this is especially common within areas of the bank such as IT or Technology related roles since the majority of them are relevant for certain projects. One example is the incorporation of banks locally which run on a project basis and would thus release quite a number of contract jobs.

With the supply of contracting jobs on the rise, this has not been met due to a lack in talent pool who are willing to undertake contract roles. This has been largely due to the perception of contracting jobs in this region. Most employees see contractors as a “low-level” member of the company, and can be fixated on the disadvantages of contract-roles such as lack of job security. However, most of them fail to see the benefits a contractor gets.

What are the benefits of contract jobs?

1. Immediate Start

With contract jobs, it often does not require headcount approval which means that you will be able to start almost immediately. And with budget issues inevitable across the financial sector, organisations are more likely to convert contractors into permanent roles, than seeking a new external hire which may involve additional costs such as training.

2. More Opportunities

In addition, contractors often get the opportunity to work on up-and-coming projects which are not always available to permanent employees. As such, contractors get the experience that are often in demand. And this may be pivotal for a conversion into a permanent role or for their hunt on the next job.

3. Freedom to Decide

Most importantly, the demand for contractors would provide contractors with the option to “choose” their job or demand for a better offer. The financial sector has witnessed an increase in salaries for contractors in the recent year and this will likely continue to rise.

Demand on the rise for contractors within Technology

Cyber security has been a sector that is increasingly popular in recent years. And this has led to a demand in talent within the security and technological space.

There has been an increase in demand for contractual jobs from locals as they seek to gain the exposure, training as well as development which they wouldn’t otherwise had the chance to. This includes projects and an opportunity to enter an organisation where they will be able to tap onto resources to expand their skills, especially within the evolving security and technological space. 

Organisations on the other hand, will also need to respond accordingly by accommodating local hires despite the lack of experience. Instead, they could choose to provide on-the-job training which could ultimately benefit the organisation itself.

What can organisations do to attract contractors?

To make contract roles seem more lucrative, organisations can also look to increase the benefits for contractors. For example, many companies have started to include year-end bonuses within contractors’ monthly packages, as well as provide monetary compensation for reduction in medical benefits or in replacement of reduced days of leave.

Organisations in Singapore will need to start looking at salaries and benefits’ packages that will attract local hires to apply for contractual roles. With this, the perception towards contractors will slowly shift and will naturally lead to a higher supply of contractors in the market which is especially crucial for the financial sector in Singapore.

This helps to normalise the concept of contracting as it gives a similar perspective to what a permanent position can offer. 

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