Apartment builders shifting towards a contingent workforce?

In the last few years, we’ve seen Australia’s construction industry go from strength-to-strength especially with the apartment boom. In Melbourne and Sydney particularly, there has been a record number of cranes across the skyline, with many builders working around the clock on countless residential apartment builds. 

The boom times have led to a very candidate short market with Contract Administrators, Project Managers, and Site Managers who have knowledge in apartments and structures in high demand.

Whilst it is still busy out there, the market has started to cool. Factors such as the banking royal commission, the oversupply of apartments in the CBD, and the upcoming election have all contributed to apartment builders now facing different conditions compared to the boom.

One thing that has been evident since the market started to cool has been an increase in demand for contractors. Apartment builders have been keen to make the switch from taking on permanent staff, and instead, take on contractors for a project-to-project basis allowing for a contingent workforce.

Why choose contracting/contractors?

In construction, contracting can benefit both employers and candidates.

If you are a candidate who is happy to be a contractor, these types of roles will offer a lot of freedom and flexibility that a permanent job sometimes can’t. This includes:

  • Choosing the type of project you want to work on
  • Being able to choose who you want to work with
  • Being able to set your own rate, which can be significantly higher than that in a permanent role.

If you are a builder then there are also many benefits to engaging a contractor including:

  • Being able to manage your workforce based on how many projects you have on, how many projects are coming to an end
  • Being able to engage a contractor with a special skill set for a particular project
  • Being able to see how the contractor performs before taking them on permanently.


The market will continue to dictate how apartment builders manage their workforce, however there is very evidently a greater move towards taking on contractors for a project-by-project basis.

Want to learn about contractor roles or opportunities? Get in touch at matt@jvrecruitment.com.au today.

Matt Johns

Residential/Commercial Team Leader


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Industry News

Matt Johns

Matt Johns

Matt is the Team Leader for JV’s permanent recruitment division, specializing in Residential and Commercial Construction. He has 6 years of experience in permanent recruitment, prior to this, utilised his HR degree in State Government.

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