The Growing Gig Economy in Singapore [And What it Means to You]

Gig Economy in Singapore
Helping Hands get a big thumbs up!

Jobs Flourish in the Gig Economy

The extraordinary advance of the so-called Gig Economy in the city-state of Singapore created opportunities for independent contractors or freelancers and on-demand workers to get employed in different industries. These sectors include e-commerce shops, Information Technology, banking, transport, healthcare, and insurance. Gig workers opt for a project-based task that provides them with absolute independence, ownership, and flexibility. The concept shows the opposite of 9 to 5 employment.

A survey conducted by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower in 2016 showed some 167, 000 freelance service providers make up almost 10% of employed locals. Many of these people work as property brokers, insurance agents, and share-a-ride or taxi drivers. Another study from a private research firm revealed a possible growth of nearly 60% in the share of contingent workers within the next three years. Automation and modified business processes will spur demand for very skilled freelancers or as we like to call them on Digigig; Helping Hands.

Helping Hands get a big thumbs up!

Improve Bottom-Line of Enterprises

The gig economy in Singapore disrupts the country’s labor force but bolsters the outcomes of businesses. Two companies Emergent Research and Intuit made an in-depth study in 2010 that explored changes in how people live and work worldwide. Their studies covered the following aspects:

  • Demographics
  • Social
  • Economic
  • Technology

The research studies made a current forecast. Gig work has become as widespread as regular employment with a ripple effect on many industries. Large corporations such as Microsoft Corporation and Accenture along with international freelancing platform Upwork provided figures that revealed the steady growth of the gig economy trend. In fact, more company executives prefer to hire consultants and freelance practitioners instead of full-time staff. Singapore’s education ministry also released the results of its Graduate Employment Survey last year showing more graduates prefer outsourcing rather than permanent positions.

The question remains. Does the Gig Model build more prospects or suppress growth? Some business owners and managers consider a couple of obstacles to complete adoption of this approach.

  • Inadequate Leadership
  • Not enough technology

Enterprises take longer to bring about the transition notwithstanding the upsides of part-time jobs. Besides the tedious process of hiring make it more expensive, lengthy, and unworkable for outsourcing. Just look at the steps implemented by web-based recruitment platforms and traditional agencies:

  • Job Posting
  • Screening of Applicants
  • Matching Skills and Credentials with the Position
  • Actual Hiring

Mainstream recruiters also do not offer a method of monitoring work productivity in real-time particularly with local employment. Besides, businesses in Singapore can prefer a particular labor niche composed of Singaporean citizens and permanent residents. The Singapore Business Federation carried out a survey (National Business Survey 2016-2017) wherein respondents pointed to the two most significant challenges in entrepreneurship.

  • High Operating Expenditures – 68%
  • Manpower Concerns – 66%

Human resources refer to increasing labor costs, policies for the workforce, enticing and retaining millennial workers.

Unstable Job Marketplace

A Maybank Kim Eng research report suggested that the burgeoning gig approach could have counterbalanced the effects of a weak employment market. More fresh graduates and millennial workers choose freelancing and part-time projects over the eight-hour type of job. Recent data further underscored the emergent outsourcing model. Take the case of applicants for private car hire (Grab and Uber).

Driving in the gig economy of Singapore

More than 50, 000 individuals tried to secure the vocational license for private car hire drivers last year following the move of the Singaporean government to enforce this rule. The number increased five times compared to the 10, 500 drivers from August of 2015 – July of 2016. Uber Singapore management declared that 25% of its company’s drivers have an average age of below 30 years while that of Grab announced that 20% up to 30% belong to this category.

Look at these statistics as well for graduates who chose to work as part-time or freelancers in 2017.

  • 10% – Universities
  • 47% – Institute for Technical Education
  • 35% – Polytechnic or Vocational

More workers opting to join this economy will surely help mitigate the adverse consequences from the hazy status of Singapore’s job situation. This workforce classification will continue growing as more startup businesses as well as large companies implement cost-cutting measures.

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Flexibility for Corporate Organisations

The Gig phenomenon offers a great deal of flexibility to employers. With more contractual service providers joining the bandwagon, company management can limit their full-time employees to a certain number and outsource projects to experts. Aside from cost-effectiveness, this strategy enables business entities to employ people based on their actual requirements and build a pool of talented resources with various fields of specialisation.

Companies become more compliant in dealing with emerging business challenges specifically in matters where they lack the needed proficiency. Moreover, this innovation provides a fallback for unemployed persons in Singapore for generating a source of income in between regular work or while waiting for permanent prospects. On the other hand, it presents alternatives to stay-home moms, students, elderly folks, and retirees not qualified for full-time occupations.

It feels good to help and platforms like Digigig can bring together individuals where both sides benefit. Odd-job employers who are time constraint or lacking in certain skills can easily hire someone to carry out a task for them. Helping Hands can also hire their service and earn an extra income for doing something they like.

Contractors can also choose their working hours and preferred earnings that will supplement existing income, develop their talents, and acquire new skills. Corporate stakeholders, freelances, and regulators must strive to learn about the prospects, advantages, and disadvantages of this system.

The Global Scenario

Elsewhere in the world, freelancing has become attractive as well as lucrative for many people who wish to step out of their comfort zones. It disrupts traditional employment and changes the workplace for the better. According to Intuit chief executive officer Brad Smith that 43% of the global workforce will become freelancers by the year 2020. Many industries continue to evolve. In the United States, some 68 million service providers continuously look for opportunities nationwide or other countries remotely.

However, many industry analysts believe freelancing cannot replace permanent work entirely. The common platform will still thrive particularly for career-minded individuals who seek consistent development and increase in financial compensation. Advocates of the Gig economy emphasise this revolutionary way of working suits nonconformists who want to earn additional cash, become independent (no bosses or fixed work schedules) or engage in rewarding ventures.

This emerging platform promises a lot of excitement. For its part, the recruitment industry remains a vital cog in assisting applicants to look for the right job as well as companies fill in their staffing requirements. Clients (employers) will always pass judgment on recruitment firms by looking at the quality of work aspirants.

Employers can post their job requirements and Helping Hands (freelancers) can post their services on this site to get started in the gig economy today.

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The Growing Gig Economy in Singapore [And What it Means to You]

Perry Stevens

By perry

Rock fan, frequent traveler, tree lover and tea drinker.

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