In Singapore, while job seekers are increasingly aware of the benefits of contracting, and are more open to seeking temporary contract roles over permanent ones, a sizeable number of candidates across industries still prefer permanent roles, with 33% of jobseekers saying they would not consider part-time or contract job offers. This not only presents certain challenges for companies hiring for contract roles, job seekers also forgo what could possibly be beneficial career progression choices.
Why do job seekers avoid contract roles? Their reluctance often stems from wider misconceptions towards contracting. While leaving a permanent role isn’t without risks, contracting can be an amazing opportunity for you to take charge of your career. The key is in ensuring you have the correct mindset before taking the plunge.
Here are four common myths that many jobseekers have about contracting:
Myth 1: You are less skilled if you are applying for contracting roles.
Professionals who are career contractors in fact often specialise in their respective fields. A good contract hire is expected to quickly fit into his or her team and company, expertly manage key projects, and deliver desired results. To this end, as a contractor, you require both soft skills and technical know-hows.
Myth 2: Being a contractor doesn’t enable you to develop skills and capabilities.
While it is true that contractors often receive little or no training for their role, as companies mostly prefer contractors with plug-and-play profiles, it is untrue that you will not learn anything new or develop critical skills. In fact, the variety that arises with working in contract roles increases your skills base, industry knowledge, experience, and exposure to dynamic environments. It also provides opportunities to test your capabilities in new environments, helping you make more informed decisions about your next career steps.
Myth 3: You will be paid less for contract roles compared to permanent ones. Correspondingly, the benefits given to contractors will be lacking as well.
In Singapore, most companies in competitive industries such as banks offer salaried packages to contractors with additional benefits, which includes annual leave, medical insurance cover and travel and food allowances for shift work. Banks are additionally offering slight increments in base salaries to attract contractors, in a bid to address tightening markets and headcount freezes.
Don’t work within the financial services industry? Recruitment consultancies such as Robert Walters also provide our contractors with market-aligned benefits, insurance coverage and other benefits.
Myth 4: As a contractor, you are an ‘outsider’ who isn’t integrated into companies’ businesses and culture.
To make contract workers effective from day one, companies are increasingly aware that they have to be clear to contractors about their roles, and give them opportunities to raise broader questions. You can therefore expect to participate in wider company discussions and activities, as firms want you to actively contribute your diverse knowledge and skills.
Contracting presents employees with varied experience and exposure. With good performances in their roles, contractors can even build up a strong network of companies and hiring opportunities. Additionally, the average length of most contract roles being a six-month period has made it popular among senior candidates who prefer flexibility in their lifestyles. After carefully weighing the additional financial compensation, industry exposure, skills learned, and flexibility gained from contracting compared with permanent roles, you might well decide that contracting is a suitable move in your career roadmap.
Read more on the benefits of contracting, and other tips on preparing for such roles on our career advice page. For the latest available contract positions, click here.