The rise of contracting in banks

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In recent years, the use of contractors or temporary hires in banks has become a more viable option in light of the difficulty in permanent headcount approval. Singapore’s higher cost location as compared to countries such as India, the Philippines and Poland has also contributed to this continued rise as contracting provides a more flexible workforce. We highlight the key trends and upcoming possibilities of contract roles within the global and regional banks.

 

Higher base salaries

In Singapore, a majority of banks offer salaried packages to contractors with additional benefits including annual leave, medical insurance cover and travel and food allowances for shift work. As the market tightens, there is an increasing need for contractors and banks are offering slight increment in base salaries to attract this pool of talent. Due to recent offshoring activity, finance-related contract roles are gaining popularity in the operations and middle office areas. In addition, new regulations set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have resulted in an increasing number of compliance and regulatory reporting focused contract roles over the past six months.

Promoting local talent

Fortunately, the social stigma among Singaporeans preferring permanent over temporary roles is dwindling and candidates are aware of the benefits contracting offers.

Financial institutions focus primarily on promoting local talent which is highly valued in the market. However, there are a number of specialist contract roles which require niche product and market knowledge that are also open to foreign talent. Unfortunately, due to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) tighter restrictions on the issuance of SPass and Employment passes, banks are facing increasing difficulty hiring foreigners.

Growing interest in contract roles

Fortunately, the social stigma among Singaporeans preferring permanent over temporary roles is dwindling and candidates are aware of the benefits contracting offers. Ultimately, contracting presents employees with varied finance experience and exposure. With strong performance in their roles, contractors can also look towards future full-time hire within the company. This had led to growing interest in contract roles among banks and financial institutions. Additionally, with the average length of hire for most contractors at a brief six-month period, this is increasingly popular among senior candidates who prefer the flexibility in their lifestyle.

To look for your next position in banking, click here.

 

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