58 percent of the surveyed 531 of locally-based employees between 26 June 2020 and 5 July 2020, intend to look for a new job, 24 percent said that they are looking to change their career or industry that they work in; 13 percent said that their skills and experience no longer meet their current job requirements, and 15 percent mentioned that they have been retrenched.
Others have cited reasons related to salary for their intention to switch employers. 26 percent of respondents have reported taking a pay cut or a pay freeze either indefinitely or for a temporary period; 24 percent mentioned dissatisfaction with their current salary.
Jaya Dass, Managing Director, Malaysia and Singapore at Randstad said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has seen companies investing in building their digital infrastructure and network, leading to a great number of jobs being digitised or displaced as a result. Employees whose job responsibilities have been drastically altered to meet new demands may be motivated to join other companies where their skills and experience are still relevant.”
“Some may even switch industries and careers altogether, and will look for job opportunities that are perceived to be more recession-proof or can provide a greater sense of job security, such as in healthcare and technology. We can expect to see more movements in the job market once the economy picks up and new job opportunities arise,” she added.
Given the current economic situation and the increasing uncertainty regarding the future, job seekers are even ready to accept contractual and project based offers. 72 percent of all respondents are willing to take on professional contract or project-based jobs. However, the remaining 28 percent who are not inclined towards taking on contracting roles, cited the lack of job security and stability as reasons why they would rather wait for a permanent offer instead.
Project-based roles: Will they be part of the new reality of work?
Traditionally, the workforce has most often opted for job offers that guarantee more job security and stability, but now many are starting to explore the benefits of project-based work in these trying times. Already the gig working model was emerging and now given the current economic situation it may further gain more importance.
“As compared to being jobless, contracting jobs may actually provide more job security,” said Dass.
She recommends job seekers to exercise greater levels of flexibility and openness when looking for a job, as this will give us a chance to help improve the perception of the contracting landscape.
“We’ve also observed more companies offering term-based or project-based roles to fulfill urgent skills and talent needs, to ensure business continuity while managing headcount costs,” added Dass. This highlights that there might be more such opportunities emerging in the country and the job seekers must not let them go to waste. Besides given some sense of job security in current challenging times, project-based work has more benefits to career growth and development.
Contract roles can also offer mid-career switchers a chance to get their foot in the door to gain relevant skills and experience, especially if it’s in an industry or with a company they would like to build their career in. Given the current employment situation, people who have been retrenched may want to consider a contracting role as an opportunity to gain experience and acquire new skills that can help them stay employable. Dass feels that these candidates are also more likely to be able to renegotiate their salary once the market recovers, as opposed to those who halted their career development during the pandemic.