Umbrella contractors are the new ‘cloud’

(3 minutes to read)

We were amused this week to see a new REC Working Paper has found that umbrella contractors working in the IT arena do seem to have their heads ‘in the cloud’ – but I guess we always knew that! According to the findings of the study, which is called ‘Talent Acquisition in Turbulent Times’, employers are changing the way they ‘acquire talent’ and are switching from having a full bank of permanent staff members, to a model where they mix it up with a core of these augmented by a ‘cloud’ of contractors, each of whom brings additional unique skills to the party. The REC calls this an ‘open model’ and states that employers will be able to ‘align their need for specific types of talent with their increasingly flexible business aims’.

The report was written by Roger Tweedy, the REC’s Director of Research, and was based on data from the REC’s monthly JobsOutlook surveys, along with additional research supplied by the Human Capital Institute in the US – both of which indicated a noticeable move from what might be referred to as more traditional ‘talent procurement’ models. Commenting on the findings Roger Tweedy said that the new model would “Combine permanent workforce flexibility with the next generation recruitment skills of leading staffing agencies to challenge existing internal recruitment solutions that have become gridlocked by time and cost pressures.” He went on to say that many companies are finding that traditional internal recruitment procedures have become ‘gridlocked’, meaning that employers that are desperate to bridge skills gaps, turning instead to skilled temporary workers, such as umbrella contractors. And we’re very glad to hear it!

The report also predicted that, in order to appoint the very best staff over the coming years, employers will need to manage ‘rapidly changing technology, lack of internal resource, continued pressures on costs, new ways of working and a new breed of candidate – against the backdrop of continuing economic uncertainty and fluid business priorities’. Sounds complex, but it certainly ensures that umbrella contractors are well placed to provide that much-needed skills ‘cloud’ around the permanent staff which those employers also have.

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