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World – A third of the workforce expected to be contractors by 2023: Robert Half

21 May 2019

Global research by international recruitment firm Robert Half found that business leaders expect to achieve a 66:34 split between permanent and temporary workers by 2023.

Robert Half’s research polled over 3,800 business leaders in 12 countries worldwide, and the research found that 97% of business leaders identified benefits of adopting a more flexible approach to recruitment in the years to come, including more control over staffing and recruitment costs (36%), support for long-term absences, such as parental leave, secondments or sick leave (34%), and better management of workload fluctuations (32%).

“The increasing adoption by employers of the gig economy and a flexible workforce is being driven by several factors, mainly by new technologies that allow for greater workplace flexibility such as collaboration tools which offer businesses a more flexible approach to how they manage key project initiatives and workload fluctuations,” Robert Half stated. “Other contributing factors include the difficulty of acquiring specific skills on a permanent basis owing to the worldwide war for talent, and the evolving complexity of traditional job roles.”

Robert Half added that the rise of platforms such as Freelancer and Airtasker in sourcing temporary resources in the professional gig economy has made it easier to find the talent that businesses need with 94% of global business leaders currently sourcing contract workers from online job platforms.

Many global businesses polled cited several perceived problems with these new online platforms. The most common concerns include no guarantee of the standard of work (41%), a lack of alignment/understanding of the company (38%), concern on their eligibility to work (37%), unclear expectations of the service (28%) and the perception that contract workers are only freelancing because of their inability to find a permanent job (28%). 

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore, commented, “While the temporary workforce will be instrumental to helping businesses become more responsive in a competitive tech-driven environment, the increased flexibility contract workers offer will also help businesses find the right balance of skills as traditional job roles evolve.”

Imbert-Bouchard added that “while employers enjoy more avenues of recruitment than ever before through online job platforms, human expertise will continue to play a vital role when it comes to conducting a rigorous recruitment process.”


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