Asia’s growing temporary workforce

Two thirds of employers in Hong Kong say they use temporary or contract staff, with 20% expecting their employment of such staff to increase over the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by recruitment consultant Hays.

The survey of 2,600 employers found that 43% of employers use temporary and contract staff for special projects or workloads, and a further 24% employ them on a regular ongoing basis.

And supporting anecdotal evidence that the contingent workforce is growing across Asia, 20% said their use of temporary and contract staff will increase in the next 12 months.

Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong, explains why the contingent workforce continues to grow: “Candidates are gaining more confidence and acceptance of temporary roles, aided no doubt by the higher compensation package they offer.

“This is a fortunate trend since more employers are turning to a flexible staffing approach and almost one quarter now use temporary and contract staff on a regular basis. Temporary assignments are no longer seen as simply a quick fix, but a long-term staffing solution that also offers headcount flexibility,” he said.

“For employers, they offer flexibility since a temporary worker can fill both long and short-term needs, and be engaged and released at short notice,” he said. “Employers can engage temporary staff with particular expertise or to support a permanent workforce during workload peaks. And temporary assignments reduce an employer’s administrative burden since they are paid by an agency and are fully interviewed and reference checked.

“And for candidates, temporary assignments offer exposure to varied workloads, systems and industries, allowing them to expand their skills base. Candidates also make valuable new contacts while on assignment, and often improve their work-life balance through the flexibility of their working arrangements.”

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