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Goodbye 9-5, a majority of APAC Gen Zers prefer contract-based roles

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The gig economy has well and truly permeated employees’ expectations of employers, as Gen Zers (those born between 1995 and 2009) are more likely to seek temporary employment over permanent full-time positions, according to a new survey.

According to PERSOLKELLY and Insync’s APAC Workforce Insights, almost two-thirds of Gen Z respondents agreed that more job seekers are pursuing contract-based roles, 20 percentage points higher than other age groups (i.e. Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers).

The online survey was undertaken in October-November 2017 with 9,295 hiring managers and candidates across Australia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Flexible working hours was the most compelling reason for workers to join the gig economy (60%).

However, this trend comes with its own challenges, with 44% of those surveyed citing increased organisational challenges in integrating freelancers and permanent staff as the most likely impact.

ALSO READ: Effective workforce planning for business success

Jessica Ang, regional head of corporate brands management, APAC at PERSOLKELLY, commented: “Employers can take some comfort that job seekers still value permanent. However, with the work ideals of each generation changing, adjustments will need to be made in the future to accommodate employees’ desire for flexibility and ensure high levels of attraction and retention.”

While the move towards a gig economy style is not yet entrenched, it is gaining traction in certain parts of the region. Hong Kong has most embraced the free-agent trend, with 55% of workers agreeing there is a is a preference for more flexible employment. Vietnam (50%), Thailand (48%), and Singapore (47%) are close behind.

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