The Growing Contingent Workforce

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🕒 Reading Time: 4 minutes

In today’s human capital landscape, the term ‘contingent workforce’ has become a popular option for businesses.

Unlike the full-time mode of employment, the contingent workforce is a labour pool typically hired on an on-demand basis and maybe engaged under a contract or temporarily.

This workforce consists of freelancers, small-business owners and independent contractors.   

The Singapore Business Review reported an increase in contingent workers from 8% in 2017 to 38% in 2019.

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is steadily driving up the contingent workforce growth.

Singaporeans experiencing a setback are now turning towards gig economy work to keep afloat. 

With COVID-19 disrupting normal productivity levels, it would likely accelerate the growth of the contingent workforce. As such, companies are likely to recruit contingent workforce engagements. 

According to the Ministry of Manpower’s Comprehensive Labour Force Survey 2020, the number of regular own account workers, such as freelancers, increased in 2020, up from 211,000 in 2019.

While self-employment (including own-account workers and those who hire employees) also rose to 14.7%, from 13.5% in 2019. 

Now let’s delve into the benefits of a contingent workforce to understand the feasibility and why it could be an attractive option for staffing needs. 


With a contingent workforce, businesses can weigh their options to meet the flow of demand and scale their operations accordingly.

Businesses recognise the value of flexibility especially in unsettling times to fill up a niche or specialised roles on a temporary or contract basis. 

As the contingent workforce consists of experienced candidates that require little training, they are highly sought after for their skillset by organisations to meet their business needs. 

Cost savings

Hiring and maintaining full-time employees is definitely one of the biggest expenditures when running a business.

This includes spending precious time and money on sorting out qualified candidates for a job through an internal or external HR team. 

However, engaging contingent workers would help to save on costs associated with hiring full-time employees like employee benefits, to focus more on where it really counts. 


This brings us to the third point: managing the contingent labour. 

When the business is inexperienced in managing this workforce, the uncertainty and lack of know-how could be risky which hinders the effective use of the contingent workforce. 

Having a sound contingent workforce plan could help tap into the full potential of their contingent workforce, mitigate risks and ensure a compliant workforce while bridging capability gaps.

Because when it is not well managed, it will only affect the total productivity and output of the businesses.  

Thus by utilising technologies in HR as a contingent staffing solution, it could help achieve the intended outcome of a contingent workforce plan for an efficient form of management.

Through outsourcing platforms such as Outside, it would be easy to source, manage and process payments on one single platform while having a comprehensive picture.

The hiring trend is moving towards prioritising agility, skills and expertise.

So the rise of contingent workers is expected to grow even bigger especially as the pandemic prolongs, making this labour pool a significant part of human capital in the future.  

Businesses are forced to take on flexible workforce arrangements to cope with changing times.

So with the reliance, comes challenges to manage them and the best method to overcome this hurdle could be through a reliable and standardised digital platform. 

Outside is Singapore’s leading community micro-job platform that creates micro (l)earning opportunities for students, homemakers and seniors. 

As a two-sided platform, Outside provides an all-in-one outsourcing management platform for businesses, assisting in breaking down jobs into smaller simpler pieces and improving operations efficiency. For job seekers, Outside provides flexible job opportunities that users can easily pick up and complete within the Outside app, allowing them to work conveniently and earn reliably.

Visit or download our app on Apple Store and Google Play to find out more!




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