Singapore’s finance leaders are increasingly embracing temporary staff

Contract work is increasingly being seen as a stepping stone to a permanent job. Read more here.

Contract work is seen as a stepping stone to a permanent job

  • 93% of Singaporean CFOs would hire an employee for a permanent position who have been working in continuous temporary/contract roles. 
  • 82% would extend a permanent contract to a skilled employee who was initially hired on a temporary basis. 
  • 65% think contract workers enjoy flexibility while still maintaining a healthy degree of job security. 
  • 67% say having a mix of both temporary and permanent employees is crucial to the success of their department/company. 

New independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half has found the dynamic of the Asian workplace is changing. Despite the perceived instability associated with contract and temporary work placements, the research reveals the majority of Singapore’s financial leaders are positively evaluating temporary work and actively extending permanent contracts to those in temporary/contract roles. 

From temporary to permanent employee
According to the survey of 150 CFOs in Singapore, more than nine in 10 (93%) say they would hire an employee for a permanent position who has been performing continuous temporary/contract work. Highlighting the potential opportunities for contract work to result in a permanent placement within an organisation, more than eight in 10 (82%) would extend a permanent contract to a skilled employee who was initially hired on a temporary basis. 

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore said: “The dynamic of the Asian workplace is gradually shifting with more employers embracing temporary staff. While organisations engage temporary staff to enjoy the flexibility, it is also becoming progressively more common for managers to offer permanent positions to their existing temporary staff where the staff member has met or exceeded expectations and if there’s an available opportunity – which is a positive sign for those already in temporary work.”

Top five in-demand areas for contract workers
When asked which areas within their finance department they have allocated budget to hire temporary/contract employees in 2018, Singapore’s finance leaders cited: Accounting (45%), financial management (45%), compliance (31%), audit (31%) and business/financial analysis (28%). 

“Financial employers are actively filling their talent pipeline with a mix of both temporary and permanent staff, with particular demand for contract workers within the mid-level financial areas of accounting, financial management and compliance. Demand within these areas is set to increase as the financial sectors continue to face growing disrupting, increased government regulation and scrutiny over fraudulent behaviour.”

The benefits of contract work 
Other than exposure to different industries, the benefits of contract work for employees have become more apparent, as according to almost two-thirds (65%) of CFOs, contract workers enjoy flexibility while still maintaining a healthy degree of job security, removing the stigma that some professionals have about the perceived instability of this type of work. Avoiding prolonged recruitment processes is also a bonus, as more than six in 10 (61%) finance employers agree filling temporary positions quickly is of the essence when hiring contract workers. 

“We’re seeing more and more working professionals in Singapore opting for the benefits offered by temporary work placements, as they are not only looking to diversify their career and skillset, but also expose themselves to multiple industries and workplaces,” Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard added. 

Singaporean employers are also fast realising the rewards of flexible staffing arrangements, as more than two in three (67%) say having a mix of both temporary and permanent employees is crucial to the success of their department/company. 

Looking forward, the changing dynamic in the Asian workplace is set to continue as more than two-thirds (68%) feel contract workers are a key component of their department’s long-term staffing strategy. 

“In a market under pressure from the growing skills shortage, particularly within the financial sectors, companies can gain access to a larger pool of talented professionals by adopting a flexible staffing approach that consist of both permanent and contract workers. By doing so, companies gain a competitive advantage in the market simply because they can avoid the additional financial burden of expanding their permanent headcount, whilst simultaneously filling essential skills gaps quickly, maintaining business continuity and developing new business projects,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard. 

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About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in December 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 150 CFOs within the finance, accounting and financial services sectors in Singapore. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.  
 

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Gabrielle Nagy 
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