Indian Companies Say ‘I Do’ To The Freelance Economy

freelance and part time jobs in india

Flexing It,  a platform for flexible management talent in South & South East Asia, released a report revealing the key trends on how the freelance economy has been shaping in India.

The report, ‘Indian companies say ‘I do’ to the freelance economy’ leverages Flexing It’s proprietary data borne out of the short-term, project based and consulting assignments posted on the platform over the period of six months from April 2016 to September 2016. Flexing It analyses how organisations in India are starting to look at work differently, with increased focus on skills and delivery rather than simply employment contracts.

The report shows that flexible and independent working goes beyond working remotely as 46% of the projects posted have an onsite component. While MNCs and large corporates prefer onsite work, start-ups are more agile and flexible creating more remote assignments. It also notes that 61% of the demand for freelancers involves less than 3 months of commitment, indicating that firms are hiring high quality talent and expertise for a short burst and specific purpose to fulfill key initiatives.

Chandrika Pasricha, Founder & CEO, Flexing It  said, “As technology, culture, demographics and what professionals want from their jobs today, undergo a rapid transformation, Indian companies are evolving their HR policies to embrace the freelance economy. Organisations are bringing independent professionals on board to drive projects and new initiatives, access quality capacity during peak periods, retain flexibility, and of course source very specific skills and expertise”.

As per the report, the trend which began with start-ups and SMEs is being adopted by larger enterprises and consulting firms that are co-opting independent professionals to drive projects and new initiatives, access quality capacity during peak periods, retain flexibility, and source very specific skills and expertise. It also highlights how project-based and freelance arrangements have become an integral part of business strategy to match evolving business needs with the best talent and at the right budget. Other key findings from the report include:

New work models that involve flexibility

  • Majority of demand for freelancers (61%) involves less than 3 months of commitment indicating that firms are hiring high quality talent for a short burst and specific purpose.

Start-ups and SMEs lead the way

  • Start-ups and SMEs are the largest segment(about 50%) engaging with freelancers and business consultants in the field of marketing (21%), creative & design services (17%) and sales (17%).

Disruptive undercurrents in large companies

  • MNCs & large corporates and consulting biggies are realising the value of adopting non-traditional approaches of sourcing talent on-demand.

Stalwarts of consulting exploring new models

  • In the last six months, consulting firms have also become very active users (33%) in addition to start-ups in driving the demand for independent professionals .

Cities leading the way

  • Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore mark 2/3rd of the market demand for business freelancers and independent consultants.

For more information, the report can be accessed here.

2,000 More Jobs In Singapore’s Food Manufacturing Sector

food manufacturing jobs in singapore

The Singapore government has launched an initiative to further develop and create more jobs in the food manufacturing industry.

The initiative was launched last week and is called the Food Manufacturing Industry Transformation Map (ITM).

One of the main goals is to make Singapore a leading food and nutrition center in Asia. This will lead to a number of globally competitive food companies having a base in Singapore, an increase in sector productivity by 4.5% and 2,000 new jobs for Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians, by 2020.

The food manufacturing industry contributes a decent amount to Singapore’s economy. It employs over 40,000 people and added SGD 3.7 billion to the country’s GDP in 2015.

“Singapore’s Food Manufacturing industry is performing well. To continue thriving in today’s world of myriad options, our food manufacturers need to find new ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. One way to differentiate yourself in food industry is to vacuum seal the food, it’s important to know why and what is the best vacuum sealers to buy. Leveraging Singapore’s strong reputation for high quality, we could develop new products or product extensions based on lifestyle and health trends, so as to better compete in the global arena”, said Mrs Kee Ai Nah, Group Director (Industry & Enterprise), SPRING Singapore.

Some of the plans of the transformation map include:

  • Creation of a Food Innovation Cluster, with resources and shared facilities for R&D and production. This will help companies to develop and commercialize new products.
  • Enabling the establishment and expansion of Singaporean food companies in other parts of the world.
  • Helping companies adopt new technologies to increase productivity.
  • Increasing the number of jobs available in the industry and ensuring enough supply of skilled people.

Top Skills Employers Are Looking For in 2017

job skills in demand 2017

As people get ready for the New Year, one of the most common resolutions isn’t just to lose weight, learn a new language or start a new fitness routine.

Many people want to leave behind their old job, the one that causes stress, pays too little or makes someone feel underappreciated, for a better career and more stable financial opportunity.

LinkedIn recently issued a press release noting that the number of job applications spiked in October, showing that people are looking in anticipation.

However, with many individuals looking for jobs and many companies wrapped up with year activities, hiring trends aren’t as consistent and might not be a high as they typically are after January.

That makes now an excellent time to get an early jump on your New Year’s Resolution to learn a new skill, by honing some of the top skills to get hired when 2017 rolls around. These skills, as identified by LinkedIn, are the ones employers most need in candidates at the moment.

job-skills-in-demand-2016-and-2017

  • Cloud and distributed computing, for the second year in the row, has topped the list of most desired skills, with the demand increasing around the world. With so many technological advances and the expansion of many data centers moving their hosting to cloud-based platforms, companies are looking to hire experts in the field. Also important in 2017 will be skills in understanding and managing storage systems.
  • Finding, analyzing, and presenting data and statistics are crucial skills as companies look to grow and stay relevant and competitive in their markets. Due to this, statistical analysis and data mining skills are being sought after. Globally, data presentation was eighth on the list which shows that companies want to make information usable.
  • Technology development showed up on the list in a variety of countries, indicating that companies are still looking for employees with expertise in this area. Mobile development showed up seventh on the list of most important skills, and it will continue to be important as the number of mobile phone users is expected to reach 7 billion in 2019.
  • User interface design is the fifth on the list, while web architecture and development framework is third.
  • Middleware and Integration Software experience also made the global list.

Some of these skills, like the demand for employees with user interface skills, have increased through the years as companies make sure that their users are able to properly interact with them.

If you have some of these skills, start working on deepening your knowledge and experience. If you’ve been waiting to learn something new, picking one of these off the list could help you land your next job.

There Is A Shortage Of Jobs In Singapore

shortage of jobs in singapore

For the first time in four years, Singapore is seeing a dismaying trend for job-seekers.

There aren’t enough open positions for all of the people seeking employment.

Over the past five years, the Monetary Authority of Singapore reported that the job vacancy rate typically held at about 2.8 percent. However, in H2 2015, they saw a 2.6 percent vacancy rate and it dropped again to 2.4 percent in H1 2016.

At the same time, the unemployment rate rose by 2% and layoffs by 2.4%. The vast majority of these positions were in the service industry, with PMETs making up more than 66 percent of layoffs in the first half of the year. PMETS, or professionals, managers, executives, and technicians, also had a more difficult time finding employment after being laid off.

The report, developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, is published twice a year to give an assessment and analysis of Singapore’s economy, which helps make decisions about monetary policy. The most recent report, published in October 2016, spoke to the challenges faced by these PMETs.

The report noted that more than half of the job openings in the first half of the year were pitched to and focused on PMETs as the target employee. However, of the PMETs who were laid-off, only 39.6 percent were able to get back in the workforce within six months of becoming unemployed.

Singapore’s manufacturing industry also felt the brunt of unemployment. Much of this is due the restructuring of operations among multinational corporations. The marine and offshore engineering industry also took a hit, with positions being eliminated because of the low prices of oil.

Some Insight Into Startup Salaries In Singapore

startup salaries in singapore

The startup scene in Singapore continues to grow, as more ventures are trying to make it big in today’s highly competitive market.

One obstacle tech startups in Singapore face revolves around how much to compensate their employees. On the one hand, they want to attract top talent from top schools. On the other hand, tech startups need to be careful about their money, especially till the products or services become profitable.

However, at the moment, information on startup salaries in Singapore is scarce.

To get some guidance about the pay levels, Monk’s Hill Ventures sent a four-question survey to several tech startups in Singapore. Of the surveys sent, 13 tech startup founders responded. The questions were:

  • What is the monthly base income for your management team?
  • What is the amount of any annual bonuses?
  • How much equity (stock) in the company do these people receive?
  • What is the total amount of venture capital your firm has received to date?

Focus

The survey focused on Vice President-level positions and higher.

The survey also dealt with companies that had most of their staff in Singapore as opposed to nearby countries.

It went out to companies in various stages of funding. Some companies were brand new, while others had a few years of progress under their belts.

Results

The average salary of a C-Suite executive among the 13 respondents was $9,000 per month. Among VPs, this amount dipped to between $6,000 and $7,000 every month as a base salary. This figure doesn’t include other forms of compensation.

The highest-paid employee among this group was the VP of engineering. This person’s median salary was $9,000 per month. There are several reasons for this.

The VP of engineering is, often, the most difficult role to fill in a tech startup. This person needs to know things like computer coding, mechanical aspects of assembling any products, and how to run a team of engineers vital to making products or services work properly.

Therefore, tech startups need to find the best talent in this position the soonest, to make money faster.

Founders and executives often pay themselves less because they have greater equity in the firm. Higher-level executives make more on profits than lower-level employees, so they usually take smaller salaries at the beginning.

salary for tech startups in singapore

Compensation Increases

The survey notes that there is a venture capital funding threshold of US$10 million as to when companies start to pay their employees more money.

Tech startups that receive more than $10 million tend to have a few years of experience behind them, and they can afford to pay people a bit more to retain them.

The Chief Technical Officer (CTO) usually makes the most of C-Suite executives, once higher levels of venture capital come into play.

Bonuses and Equity

C-Suite execs usually get the highest equity in company stock simply because they are the founders and they invested the most to start the business.

equity stake for tech startups in singapore

Performance bonuses normally don’t happen in tech startups, with the exception of the VP of Sales. Sales are vitally important to any startup, and performance-based pay is expected from sales executives.

 bonus for tech startups in singapore

Although not all-inclusive, this survey gives founders and potential employees an idea as to what to expect for compensation in tech startups in Singapore.

This is important because the market for startups is very competitive, and firms need to know how to optimize their hiring practices. Candidates need to know what to expect in terms of fair pay as well.

Keppel Corporation Lays Off 8,000 Employees

singapore keppel job cuts

Keppel Corporation is based in Singapore and is one of the biggest builders of oil rigs in the world.

Due to recent economic conditions, Keppel has been cutting back on staff this year. In the first 9 months of 2016, the company has cut approximately 25% of its marine and offshore workforce. This amount to over 8,000 jobs.

According to the CEO, Loh Chin Hua:

Much of the reduction has so far been through natural attrition. However, we will increasingly also look into early termination of contracts and selective retrenchment in Singapore, in line with the drop in workload. Oversupply remains a key concern in the offshore market

In 2015, Keppel let go of 2015 employees and it looks like the bad times are expected to continue in 2016 and 2017 as well.

Research Carefully Before Attending A Private University

private universities in singapore

While private schools are immensely popular in Singapore, a recently released study from the Council for Private Education shows that students enrolled in these schools fared much poorer than their publicly educated peers.

The CPE interviewed more than 4,200 individuals of the 12,600 who graduated in 2014 from different private schools. Here are some key findings:

  • 58 percent found full-time jobs within six months of graduating.
  • The full-time employees started at a median salary of $2,700 each month.

On their own, these statistics are low. However, they are much lower results when compared to graduates of the Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore, and Singapore Management University.

While neither the privately educated nor publicly educated students surveyed had prior work experience, statistics show greater employment opportunities from the public universities.

  • 83 percent of students found a full-time job within six months of finishing their coursework.
  • These graduates had a median full-time starting salary of $3,200 per month.

A Closer Look At The Differences Gives Rise To Two Questions.

  • Are all of the private schools providing the same quality of education? Which are the better ones?
  • Who are the students attending the private schools, and are they making the best decisions for their future education?

There are about 70,000 Singaporeans enrolled in private universities, as well as 30,000 students from other countries.

Digging Deeper on Private School Data

An issue that most likely influenced the results of this study was the fact that the private universities don’t have the most specific, detailed data available to help students make informed choices.

There are more than 300 private schools, some with outstanding programs, but many that lack the ability to provide the necessary educational levels.

Students who are interested in furthering their education are strongly encouraged to research their options carefully, and assess if the course will help them acquire relevant skills for future employment, the CPE wrote in a press release. Beyond immediate employment outcomes, it may be useful for students to adopt a more long-term view of their career and education pathways, to ensure that the skills and knowledge obtained will provide a strong foundation for them to build on.

It Is A Candidate's Market For Compliance Jobs In Singapore

finance compliance jobs in singapore

Are you struggling to keep up with current regulations and trying to find qualified financial services professionals trained in compliance?

You’re not alone, because the constantly changing business/regulatory environment can be hard to monitor. With recent developments, it’s becoming clear that the demand for compliance professionals in Singapore is on the upswing.

In a recent survey by specialist recruiter Rovert Half that included 100 CFO’s in Singapore, three conclusions were discovered:

  • 46 percent of the CFO’s stated they will be hiring additional permanent compliance employees.
  • 95 percent are having a hard time locating qualified individuals to fill these positions.
  • 76 percent say that the compliance costs in their business are higher than they were three years ago.

So what happened to cause this difficult situation?

Due to a stricter regulatory environment around the world,  the government in Singapore continues to add and modify regulations for businesses. As a result the costs of complying with these regulations are rising.

The natural solution is to hire more employees skilled in regulatory compliance. However, the cost and demands of compliance rose so fast that the need for financial compliance professionals quickly pulled far ahead of the supply of these individuals in the labor pool.

Now, there is a great need for employees with this specialized skill set and not as many qualified candidates available for hire.


As per Robert Half, it is important that companies find a solution to this problem.

In the short-term, companies will be forced to pay a premium to relocate qualified employees and bring them to Singapore. If these employees choose to stay long-term, that’s great.

However, Singapore businesses need to plan for the long haul. They need to assess their current workforce and identify which individuals could benefit from additional training to fill compliance positions. Developing a strong pipeline of in-house and local employees is important.

As the demand for compliance professionals goes down and positions are filled, compliance costs for most businesses will follow. However, in the near future the demand for compliance professionals in Singapore will remain high.

Condition Of The Job Market In Asia (2016)

asian job market salaries 2016

The Hays Global Skills Index is a report that aims to evaluate the labour market in various countries, based on the following criteria.

  • Education flexibility and quality.
  • Resident participation in the labor market.
  • Flexibility and openness of the labor market.
  • Mismatch in the talent that employers need and what is available in the market.
  • Wage pressures (overall).
  • Wage pressures (highly skilled industries).
  • Wage pressures (highly skilled occupations).

Each indicator is ranked individually out of 10 possible points and the scores are compiled to create the overall score. A lower score means that an indicator is putting less pressure on the labour market (which is good) and a higher score means that it is exerting more pressure.

Here’s how countries in Asia fared.


Singapore

The recruitment market is still active for a variety of different industries, including banking and finances, life sciences and information technology.

Standout Stats:

  • While economic growth has slowed over the past few years, the real GDP continues to grow.
  • Employment continues to grow, even though it’s at a slower rate than it has been previously.
  • Overall wage pressure has experienced a slight decrease, but there is greater upward wage pressure than in the past, for high skilled industries.

Overall, Singapore scored a 4.7, the same score it received in 2015, with good education flexibility/levels and labor market participation as the primary causes for the low number..

Companies are using more contract or temporary employees in Singapore.

singapore-labour-job-market-2016


Malaysia

While the economy in the rest of the world took a significant hit, Malaysia faced the difficulties well, coming out better off than analysts would have expected.

Standout Stats:

  • The economy continues to grow, even though it’s at a slower rate that past reports have found.
  • Analysts are predicting that Malaysia’s GDP will grow to between four and five percent, in 2016 and 2017.
  • The Ringgit depreciation will open the doors for more exporters.

Malaysia came in with a score of 5.1 for 2016, the first time the country has been included in the index.

Labour market flexibility and openness is the biggest concern for Malaysia.

malaysia-labour-job-market-2016


Hong Kong

The open economy in Hong Kong means that it can be easily influenced by outside factors, such as the slowing growth of China’s GDP.

Despite that, Hong Kong continues to be a regional hub and financial center, with an active labour market.

Standout Stats:

  • Thanks to the effects of the Chinese market, Hong Kong’s economic growth is much slower than previous years. The slow down is also caused by drops in consumer spending and private investment in capital.
  • Hong Kong’s labour market is strong and active, with increased support from the fiscal policy.

Hong Kong scored a 4.5 this year, the same score it received in 2015.

There has been a decrease in labour market participation rates and increased talent shortages, which are leading to wage pressure overall.

hong-kong-labour-job-market-2016


China

China’s market, which impacted Hong Kong’s overall scores, also saw a noticeable drop in its own scores.

Standout Stats

  • Experts predict that the Chinese economy will grow by about six percent in 2017. A welcome growth pattern after the sharp and severe downturn that China experienced. New reports show that the exports and investments in infrastructure are balancing the lack of corporate investments.
  • A slowdown in some industries, like steel, coal and financial services, when combined with fast growth in credit, could still put this growth in jeopardy.

China scored 4.3 this year, lower than in 2015, when the country scored 4.7.

A 1.2 score in the flexibility of education and a 1.9 in the participation of the labor market, are offset by an 8.1 in the flexibility of the labor market.

china labour job market 2016


India

India is another country whose scores have been, and will continue to be, affected by the global economy.

Standout Stats

  • In the next few years, the population of individuals who are able to work is expected to experience a very positive growth.
  • Current data shows that India’s GDP is in a positive spot of growth.
  • Unfortunately, investments aren’t growing at the same speed.

India saw lower pressure in the labour market, down to 4.8 this year, from 5.0 in 2015.

Upward pressure is coming from labour market flexibility and overall wage pressure.

india-labour-job-market-2016


Australia

Australia has experienced a big shift being made from mining to service-related industries such as education, health, retail and tourism. This change has led to greater business activity.

This is offset, though, by employers being slow to catch up to salary pressures indicative of the growth. They may soon feel the increased pressure because of the growing turnover and lack of qualified and highly skilled candidates.

Standout Stats

  • Consumer confidence and the wage growth seem to be improving.
  • A huge growth in exports led to GDP growth, which is expected to continue.
  • Business investments, however, have decreased, mainly due to the changes in the mining industry.

There is a higher pressure on the labour market in 2016, as Australia scored a 5.1. In 2015, the country scored a 5.0.

The labor market tightened, due in great part to the country’s talent mismatch. The shift in the economy’s overall focus from mining to service means that employees don’t have the skills necessary for new and emerging industries.

australia-labour-job-market-2016

One frequently occurring theme throughout the 2016 Hays Global Skills Index is that all over the world, reports are showing that the gap between available and needed skills is widening. Many of the countries in Asia are no exception to that.

Lower Salary Increases Expected in 2017, For Most Of Asia Pacific

average salary increase asia 2017

As per a report by Willis Towers Watson, salaries in Asia Pacific are expected to increase by 5.9% in 2017.

For 2016 they had predicted an increase of 6.4%. However, the actual salary increase in Asia Pacific was 5.8%.

If the same pattern plays out in 2017, then Willis Towers Watson expects an actual increment that is a fair bit lower than 5.9%. That will make it the third consecutive year of declining budgets for salary increments.

bonus-salary-increment-asia-2017

If these numbers are adjusted for inflation, then the real salary increase in 2017 is projected to be 2.9% in Asia-Pacific, as compared to an actual increase of 3.5% in 2016.

Here is a breakdown of the numbers for several countries across Asia Pacific.

Country Projected Salary Increase %

(2017, After Inflation)

Vietnam 6.4
Bangladesh 5.0
Pakistan 5.0
China 4.9
Philippines 4.4
Thailand 4.4
India 4.3
Indonesia 4.3
Cambodia 4.0
Singapore 3.2
Malaysia 3.1
Japan 1.9
Hong Kong 1.7
Australia 0.9
Myanmar -2.2

 

“We are seeing lower salary increase budgets across much of the region,” stated Sambhav Rakyan, Business Leader, Asia Pacific, at Willis Towers Watson.

Singapore’s Top Professionals Steering The Freelance Economy

part time jobs singapore trends

In the sharing economy today, Gen Y, Gen Z, and even veteran professionals are partnering with organisations to create new professional engagement models.

34% (53 million) of the US workforce were freelancing during 2014-15 and Forbes forecasts this number to increase to 50% by 2020.

The Gig Economy has marked its arrival in Singapore and continues to grow with 85% of employers expecting to increase or maintain their use of temporary/contract staff in the next 12 months as per the 2016 Hays Asia Salary Guide.

In short, the where, how and for whom we work will be meaningfully changing in the coming years.

Freelancing as a preferred career track has increasingly been covered by the media but there is still a lack of reliable and credible data on the compensation of independent professionals. In this post we discuss the nitty-gritty about freelancing in Singapore.

  • Does it offer a real career in terms of compensation?
  • And how does it fare in comparison with other countries?
  • What are key skills in demand for the new flexible worker especially among mid to senior level professionals?

Let’s take a look:


How much do they get paid?

singapore freelance part time jobs

There has been a perception that freelancers don’t get paid as much as their counterparts in full-time jobs.

Median per day rates show that contract workers earn 715 SGD on an average per day, which amounts to a healthy 15,000 SGD per month payout (assuming 21 working days in a month), which is well above the median family income for Singapore.

That being said, there is a downside that not all months might bring as much work. But if you ask freelancers, the flexibility and ownership of your career more than makes up for the lack of consistent income.

While freelancers in US and UK command higher payouts in absolute numbers, tax adjusted figures show that contract employees in Singapore command compensation, which is at par with rest of the world.


Duration of projects

duration singapore freelance part time work

One striking difference we observe in adoption of flexible working in Singapore as compared to US and UK, is that the market for shorter duration (less than 3 months) projects is very small in Singapore, while smaller gigs form majority of short term projects in the western countries.

This isn’t very surprising as there is a higher acceptance of freelancing and a greater number of opportunities that makes moving from one gig to another relatively easy.

In any case, one of the major reasons professionals opt to become freelancers is to broaden their set of experiences. My personal bet is that we will see a similar trend in Singapore and other Asian countries in the near future, as this trend catches up more and more with companies.


Top skills in demand and top industries using freelancers

top freelance and part time skills demanded singapore

We see a good mix of business skills in demand.

This clearly demonstrates that freelancing today isn’t for a select few but for the majority, who need more flexibility and control of their careers.

That being said, the demand for management consultants is abysmally low in Singapore’s short term work market, especially when compared to the US and UK markets. This means that recruiters and business managers are yet to unlock the full potential of contingent workforce.

top industries feelancers singapore

Two out of the top 3 industries are not a surprise – the BFSI and IT industries employ the largest chunk of local talent and the same is seen even in contract hiring.

However, Healthcare industry comprising of SME equipment manufacturers as well as the new age BioTech companies also hire contract workers quite heavily.

As with skills, we see almost all major industries hiring short term managers, clearly indicating the extent of adoption of this up and coming practice of flexible hiring.

All insights are derived from FeeBee, a crowdsourced fee benchmarking tool, which helps freelancers assess optimum fee levels on a variety of parameters such as location, experience level, function and industry.

Tudor Shuts Down Its Trading Desk In Singapore

tudor singapore jobs

The $11 billion hedge fund, Tudor Investment Corporation, is shutting down its trading desk in Singapore.

The fund employed 10 people in Singapore before the trading desk closure. It still plans to keep some staff involved in quantitative research.

Tudor is one of the oldest funds and in recent times it lost money and clients. As a result, 15% of its global workforce was let go last month.