The results of a recent survey show that workers in the APAC countries are more than ever before, inclined to take up freelancing and contract based projects.
Gig economy and flexible contracts were already prevalent in India. A recent survey by Kelly Services, a staffing and workforce solutions company, has found further evidence that Indian workers are not very different from their global counterparts when it comes to adopting this new trend of work.
With estimates showing that over 15 million freelancers employed in the fields of IT and programming, finance, sales, marketing designing, animation, videography and content, India is the second biggest market of freelancers in the world; second only to USA. This shift demands redesigning the conventional association that workers and employers have shared thus far.
What is the survey?
An online survey of hiring managers and candidates between the ages of 20 and 70 years was commissioned by Kelly Services across a diverse range of industries from October 2017 to November 2017. 9,295 responses were collected from the countries of Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, which formed the basis of the report released.
What did the survey find?
The survey says that freelance positions are increasingly being sought after in India and other Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries, as the demand for flexible contract-based roles is more than those of the traditional permanent full-time roles. The following are some of the findings that affirm the same:
- 39% of the Indian candidates and hiring managers, who were surveyed, were open to freelance roles.
- India is not the only country where employees displayed a proclivity towards freelance and contract jobs. The same figure was found to be 55% for Hong Kong, 50% in Vietnam and 37% in Malaysia.
- The top reason for workers in the APAC region to choose a freelance role is the value of flexible working.
- In India, additional reasons were more money and skill alignment.
- Technological, demographic and market forces are driving this shift towards freelance roles across the APAC region, and this demand is only likely to accelerate in the future.
What do the results indicate?
With estimates showing that over 15 million freelancers employed in the fields of IT and programming, finance, sales, marketing designing, animation, videography and content, India is the second biggest market of freelancers in the world; second only to the USA. This shift demands redesigning the conventional association that workers and employers have shared thus far.
Employer organisations need to align to these changing times and integrate contingent workforce strategies into their hiring models. A well-planned talent strategy that has the best of different models of talent engagement will give companies the competitive advantage, says BN Thammaiah, Managing Director, Kelly Services India
Furthermore, as the survey says, a shift away from a culture of working full-time also reduces the benefits and perks that workers are entitled to. In India, this debate is even more relevant with the recent changes in the Industrial Employment Act. As we step into a future with no set rules on how an employee and employer interact and come together to work, a robust framework that protects the interests of both is needed. Furthermore, as companies realize that they can even get critical tasks done by contractual workers or even machines, the demand for high-quality talent will propel even higher.
This also paves the way for very real chance providing more opportunities to talent from categories which might not be the first place where recruiters search. Opportunities for women, retired professionals and people with disabilities for a contract based and remote work are likely to increase.
Employers need to ensure that this eventual transition to a system where skill reigns supreme is beneficial, fair and inclusive to all. They need to devise policies and strategies to attract the best talent and associate them with tools beyond conventional benefits. Big employers could learn a thing or two from smaller start-ups in this regard. One thing is clear; the future belongs to those who have invested in skilling themselves according to contemporary changes in their industry.
Workers who are good at what they do will have the ability to dictate their terms of employment and engagement and will thus, have the liberty and flexibility to define their own limits. This suggests that exciting times for the employee and employer are ahead; and together, they could rewrite the rules of how work is done.