The recruitment scene in Singapore has seen a rapid growth in the number of contract opportunities over the past year. Contracting or temporary hire is now an option many organisations consider while looking at hiring plans.

The reasons for these requirements vary across businesses, with the most common being maternity leave, project hires or expansion.

Companies have even recognised the need to retain temporary staff and some offer a completion bonus at the end of the contract. This is similar to professionals in a permanent role being rewarded for a job well done.

Despite this increased demand, why do so many candidates remain cautious about contract roles while planning their next career move?

A common misconception of contracting is that it is not as fruitful as a permanent role; some even consider it the poor cousin. Candidates also fear that temporary roles may do more harm than good on their CV, preventing them from securing a permanent role in the future.

However, this cannot be further from the truth. Contract roles hold many advantages to those willing to explore a new career opportunity and are immediately available. Here are a few reasons to choose a contracting role:

Upskill yourself quickly

Due to the nature of most contract roles, these positions often need to be filled urgently, as a cover for staff on maternity leave, long-term sick leave or sudden resignation. Companies need to plug the gap while conducting the long-drawn-out process of finding their perfect match on a permanent basis.

Therefore, contract roles are offered to ease the burden on existing employees. If a candidate has the key skills required, plus a positive attitude and strong work ethic, other missing qualifications can be overlooked.

This enables candidates to learn new skills on the job, maybe even pick up a new system such as SAP or a more effective work process. By taking up this challenge, candidates can quickly add value to their skills sets and, ultimately, their resumés.

Expand your networks

In the search for the ideal job, sometimes, it is not what you know but who you know. By taking up contract roles in various industries, you are expanding your network of contacts for future positions.

This temporary position could be an opportunity to rub shoulders with senior bosses who can influence the hiring process. There may not be an available headcount right away, but you are likely to be remembered if you impressed your employers during your time with them.

There is always the possibility of a role opening up in another team or department. The fact that you have already worked in the position and demonstrated your capabilities will put you ahead of other job applicants.

Foot in the door

Some multinationals entering Singapore only offer contract roles in the interim while they set up their office here. By accepting a contract position, you have time to familiarise yourself with a global company you might otherwise never have had the chance to work with.

Organisations new to Singapore often hire contractors with knowledge of the local market and business culture. This is a win-win situation for both parties, as such companies need your Singaporean cultural expertise as much as you would like to expand your portfolio.

Time to shine

Your new employer will not know your capabilities unless you highlight them and this is the perfect opportunity for you to shine.

For example, if you have been brought in as a marketing executive, use the limited time to show off your accounting skills or ability to speak a third language. Extra skills sets that make you stand out from other jobseekers ensure you a better chance at a future permanent role.

Freedom to choose

Nobody wants to be stuck in a career rut and in the same company for decades, going through the daily routine. By accepting contract opportunities, you get a taste of a variety of industries and job functions to make an informed decision on which works best for you.

Even if you decide that the position is not a good fit, just make your graceful exit when the contract ends and no one will question your commitment or loyalty. It was, after all, a temporary role.


Article by Mellissa Mayne, Senior Consultant – Shared Services Specialist Contracting Division of Robert Walters Singapore. For more information, please visit