Supporting our contractors amidst COVID-19
In light of adapting to a new normal, many contractors have shared with us their challenges during this period of time. To get a better sense of how all of them are coping with their current circumstances in order to support them better, we surveyed all of our contractors and hosted a virtual webinar to cover the results in an anonymised manner, but also to share some key industry insights and tips to support them through these challenging times.
If you’ve missed the session, we have it recorded below, and summarised key highlights in this article.
Here are some key results and analysis
- Contractors are adapting well to working remotely and staying engaged
92% of those surveyed are working from home due to current circumstances but 100% of those working from home feel equipped to work from home despite 64% working from home for the first time. This highlights that our respondents are adapting swiftly to the new remote ways of work despite the majority of them experiencing this for the first time. The remaining 8% who are still working on site are also coping very well and maintain extremely high engagement and motivation in their company.
- Digital tools and flexible schedules have improved productivity
Another 92% of respondents have shared that productivity levels have been great manageable working from home. Virtual meetings with Webex, Zoom and even working on VPNs have been noted to be very effective. Respondents also shared that support from teammates, time saved from commuting to work, and flexibility to work from home have increased productivity levels.
- New challenges have emerged
However, 33% of our respondents have voiced out that there are new challenges since COVID-19. The result of being unable to meet colleagues, unable to interact in activities with colleagues or even exercise together like some of them used to, and having pending work on site have inevitably delayed various aspects of existing projects.
Aside from work-related limitations, what they have also seen is an increasing household expenditure and personal expenses on utilities. A minority have voiced that there is blurring of lines between personal and work life which would have contributed to lack of productivity, especially because of young children. This same group also witnessed a drop in engagement and motivation.
As such, we addressed some key questions and common concerns during the session below.
- How would the job market look like in the next few months?
In the banking and finance space, demand is seen in change management and business transformation, project solutions in technical (IT) and business (Risk Assessment) sectors.
Unlike banks who are cutting on their budgets, fintech companies who might have received funding support from the Government have continued hiring as per normal. Demand is also seen amongst industrial giants who can afford to hire risk specialists amidst the pandemic.
Within life sciences, we expect hiring to increase within the tech, pharma and manufacturing positions. There are still hiring within the manufacturing and logistics sector during the circuit breaker period in Singapore, and it will likely to still be in demand after. We will also see more investments in healthcare businesses. Regulators will also work more closely than ever with companies to regulate new drugs and expedite processes.
Nonetheless, across all industries, companies will be cautious in terms of hiring due to spending and costs involved. But on the flipside, the economy is slowly picking up. In the interim period, candidates are advised to upskill themselves to be better suited in the “new” market when the time comes, with increased focus of functions and skillsets within IT, digital transformation, risk assessment and project solutions.
- How can we stay connected with our teams and colleagues?
Having a two-way communication is key. Set expectations for yourself, be accountable and most importantly, contactable. Communication plays a big part in our lives as it is a human need and a fundamental social necessity. We connect with one another to share knowledge, to work together, build relationships, and generate new and innovative ideas. The start of every relationship is trust so it is important to cultivate that within your team. We will also be hosting an upcoming virtual quiz to help connect you with your team, so stay tuned for this or check in with your respective consultants for more information.
- Do I really require soft skills to stand out?
Soft skills such as Social Intelligence & Communication, Time Management, Digital Literacy, Collaboration and Agility as well as Negotiation are now more in demand than ever before. We expanded on this in our article on 'Soft skills that are in demand with new ways of working’’, which you can read in full here. These soft skills are more important than ever as we have seen with the transition to remote working, and are highly desirable within the jobs market right now. People who have engaged in remote working previously are also seen to have a competitive edge, and this is set to continue as long as remote working is seen as Business As Usual (BAU).
How can we support you?
From on-boarding, contract extensions to off-boarding, our contracts team will be here to support you. We want to continue to maintain the symbiotic relationships with all our contractors so do reach out to us if you have any concerns or queries during this unprecedented time.
As we navigate through the course of this pandemic, the jobs market is set to evolve. We aim to keep you as informed and up to date as possible. Your respective consultants will offer you a list of options if your contract is coming to an end, and will try our best to ensure we are able to extend you where possible.