MORE Malaysian professionals are now willing to consider contract work in view of the challenging economic scenario, according to recruitment consultancy Robert Walters. In its online poll, more than half (51%) of the Malaysian respondents said they would consider contract work if there were no permanent options, while 30% said they would happily take on contract work. Only 19% flatly turned down the option.
While there is no comparative local data of attitudes towards contract work in good times, Robert Walters said that based on observation, the poll results showed an increased openness. The poll surveyed 4,288 respondents from 17 countries at the beginning of this year. Results were released in mid-April. Conversely, more than half (55%) of all respondents worldwide said they would be happy to take on contracting, while one-third (33%) would do so only in the absence of permanent roles.
Twelve percent of respondents globally would not consider contract work at all.Compared with Malaysia, a higher percentage of professionals in Thailand (53%), Hong Kong (42%), China (42%) and Japan (37%) were happy to take on contract work, suggesting more openness towards this practice.
Professionals in Western countries were even keener, with two-thirds (68%) of British respondents happy to take on a contract role, followed closely by New Zealand (63%) and the US (61%).“Contracting has been part of the working culture in the West for a long time, whereas contracting is only beginning to take off in Asia,” explained Robert Walters Malaysia country manager Ross Mckenzie in a phone interview.He added that some companies in the Western markets offer contract work as an extended way of managing head count, “like an extended internship”.
Many in Western countries enjoy the flexibility that contract work provides, said Mckenzie, as the ability to move among companies allowed them to acquire new skills.While rates were higher in mature contracting markets like the US and the UK, the lower rates in Asia were offset by annual employee benefits.“In the West, you’re paid for the work you do.
When you don’t work, you’re not paid and you don’t get employee benefits,” he explained.Mckenzie said that in a tough economic scenario, temporary recruitment was a way for employers to control head count without forgoing productivity.Established in 1985, Robert Walters places permanent, contract and temporary positions at all management levels. It has 38 offices across 17 countries