The recruitment scene in Singapore has seen rapid growth in the number of contract opportunities over the past few years.
Contract hires were traditionally hired as interim solutions to save cost and to fill the roles for full-time employees on extended leave such as sabbaticals and maternity leave. However, increasingly, contract professionals are hired to implement and transform projects. Companies have even recognised the need to attract and retain talented contractors, with some organisations offering additional benefits such as completion bonuses at the end of a contracted term.
Despite this increased demand, many candidates still have reservations about being part of the contingent workforce. Such roles are often seen as unstable compared with a permanent position. Candidates are also wary of being labelled as job hoppers should they have too many contract roles on their CVs.
Related: Finding your contracting career path
However, these myths could not be further from the truth. The landscape of temporary employment is changing in Singapore, and there are now more reasons to consider a contract role. Here are five reasons:
1. Diversify your skills set
Often, contract roles are positions that need to be filled urgently. However, at times, employers are willing to overlook any minor gaps in expertise if a candidate has most of the skills the company is looking for. Such flexibility, which is not often seen for permanent positions, allows contract employees to add more skills, like mastering a new tech system or work process, to their resume.
2. Get connected
Searching for the ideal job often comes down to who you know as well as what you know. Taking up contract roles can help you to build valuable industry contacts who may, in turn, provide a lead to a future position. For example, a new colleague may know the hiring manager of a role you would be suitable for and recommend you.
A role could also open up internally in another team or department due to a merger, new project or resignation. If you can impress your current supervisor with your work ethics and skills, he or she may recommend you for the role, allowing you to move within the organisation. Again, having already demonstrated your capabilities, you will likely be ahead of other interested job applicants.
3. Good entry point
A contract role is sometimes a good entry point into a multinational corporation (MNC) when permanent vacancies open up. A stint at an MNC often has several advantages, including learning and development opportunities working with experienced colleagues familiar with translating industry best practices into reality. Having a well-known global company on your CV will make you more marketable to future employers as well.
4. Make an impression
A contract role is perhaps the perfect opportunity for you to show your capabilities. For example, if you have been hired as a human resource assistant, highlight your payroll administrative skills or ability to speak another language. These additional skills will help you stand out from other job seekers, giving you a better chance at a future role within the company.
5. Explore and choose your own path
If you’re undecided about the next step in your career journey, a contract role may be perfect for you. Contract opportunities can offer you a taste of a wide variety of industries, allowing you to make an informed decision on the types of roles or office cultures that work best for you.
Even if you decide that the position is not a good fit, you will have the opportunity to make a graceful exit at the end of the contract without future employers questioning your loyalty and commitment. It was, after all, a temporary role.