Global Employment Survey Reveals Nearly One in Three Workers Globally is a Free Agent

    • In APAC, free agents form 34% of workforce, higher than global average of 31%
    • Singapore companies to look beyond traditional positions and shift their talent supply chain mix
    Singapore, October 7, 2015 – Kelly Services’ 2015 Free Agent Survey, the first-ever global survey by the Company, finds that nearly one in three workers globally is a free agent. The survey reveals in Asia-Pacific (APAC), 34% of the region’s working population is considered a free agent. This is slightly ahead of the global average of 31%. Free agents are defined as individuals who consult; perform temporary, freelance or independent contract work; or have their own business.
    “The findings of the 2015 Free Agent Survey provide some interesting insights into the talent’s mindset of wanting a workstyle which provides greater freedom, flexibility and entrepreneurial benefits,” said Natalia Shuman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Kelly Services for EMEA and APAC. “Employers should capitalise on this trend and look to free agents as a solution to managing their talent supply chain in the face of continual pressure to attract and retain skilled talent,” she added.
    According to the survey, the following represents the percentage of workers in each generation that are free agents: Gen Y (34%) Gen X (30%) and baby boomers make up 39%. Free agents are also generally well-educated and highly-skilled, as they are more likely to hold higher degrees and possess a professional or technical skill set than those in traditional employment. The survey shows that seven in 10 (70%) free agents in APAC possess a professional or technical skill set.
    Based on the survey, many free agents are well-educated with highly specialised skillsets and enjoy the opportunities free agency offers them. Given the tight talent crunch and slowing economy Singapore is facing, it is important for companies to focus on skillsets and increase flexibility in hiring, in order to maintain a steady talent pool for their long-term needs.” said Foo See Yang, Acting General Manager of Kelly Services, Singapore.
    Employers adapt to changing workforce trends
    As free agents make their mark in the workforce, both traditional workers and employers are taking note.
    For example, 84% of traditional workers believe free agency would open up more opportunities and choices of work, while 75% believe it would grant opportunities to exercise or use the skills they most enjoy in their field of work.
    “As traditional, long-term commitments to employers wane, careers built on flexibility continue to gain ground. The companies that succeed will be those that prioritise their talent supply chain management strategy, adapt to changing workforce trends and consider a wide array of workers populations to meet their ever-changing needs,” concluded Natalia Shuman.
    Kelly Services has researched the free agent workforce for more than a decade. The 2015 study is its first global survey and includes the views of more than 5,200 working adults across three regions – APAC, the United States, and Europe.
    The full Kelly Services 2015 Free Agent Survey can be found online

    As a global leader in providing workforce solutions, Kelly Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: KELYA, KELYB) and its subsidiaries, offer a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire, and direct-hire basis.  Kelly® has a role in managing employment opportunities for more than one million workers around the globe by employing 550,000 of these individuals directly with the remaining workers engaged through its talent supply chain network of supplier partners.  Revenue in 2014 was $5.6 billion.  Visit and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

    Annie Han
    Ogilvy Public Relations, Singapore
    (O): +65 6213 7722
    (M): +65 9757 3118