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COVID-19: Contracting as a contingency plan

The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm, and everyone’s on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what happens next.

As specialized recruitment consultants, we work within our area of expertise and recruit for specific industries under our jurisdiction. For instance, I recruit all contract roles in the Banking & Financial Services industry. This ranges from back, middle to front-office roles, as well as other office support roles. We work very closely with many firms and professionals from the Banking & Financial Services industry and are always kept up to date of what’s happening in the industry.

With COVID-19, we already see changes across the Banking & Financial Services industry. Contingency plans such as Working from Home (WFH) have been rolled out, and the number of face-to-face meetings has dropped. Even with interviews, both interviewers and interviewees are more cautious about physical interviews and may resort to alternative solutions.

On a scale of 1-10, how severe are the effects of COVID-19 on your space?

(1: not severe at all; 10: extremely severe)

In my professional opinion, I would rate it a 4. Even though we are experiencing a slower rate of response from some, companies are still hiring especially for replacement roles (end of contract, termination, etc.) or urgent hires. In addition to this, due to cost-cutting measures, some companies are hiring contractors instead of their initial plan of recruiting permanent hires.

With these measures in place, we see the market is gradually adapting to the change. Generally during this time of year, the economy picks up due to the new financial year and budget. However, with the current uncertainties the market is now facing, companies are being more cautious and undergoing cost-cutting measures instead. Many are choosing the safe option for now so that they can bounce back when the time is right.

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been more companies who are now considering Contracting even though they were previously not open to the idea. What may be a temporary solution could be permanent if companies find Contracting suitable. Contracting offers flexible manpower resources and budgets together with faster turnaround time. Right now, it is a choice for some, but not all.

Will this change the way we work? Only time will tell.

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