How a Workforce Consultancy programme can enhance your TA strategy

Written by Jessica Holt  •  Recruitment 

The respective definitions of a permanent employee and a contingent worker have become conflated in recent years. Contingent is no longer synonymous with “temporary” – 24% of the UK workforce is made up of contingent workers, and the Office for National Statistics reports that 52% of these in the UK have a tenure of two years or more. Meanwhile, 77% of business leaders believe that freelance and contingent workers will replace traditional permanent workers in their organisations over the next five years. 

For businesses wishing to maximise their investment in this non-permanent resource and create a platform ready for tomorrow’s hiring, this raises a few key questions: 

  1. What are the risks from both legal (IR35, Co-employment) and business (cost, flight risk) standpoints, and how can these be effectively eradicated? 

  2. Given the current talent shortage how can we attract, secure, and retain non-permanent resources – including diverse talent – and ensure their ongoing development, performance and wellbeing?

These considerations are inherent within a conventional contingent labour model, and often hugely challenging to tackle in practice – to the extent where they’re overlooked or de-prioritised to the detriment of talent acquisition and workforce strategies. 

However, a simple solution does exist – Workforce Consultancy – which bridges the gap between permanent and non-permanent headcount. In doing so, this solution addresses the key questions above (and more).

I have designed and delivered Workforce Consultancy solutions for clients during my 25-year career. As Resource Solutions’ Global Head of Workforce Consultancy, I have developed an active community of diverse and highly engaged tech, data and transformation consultants. I would like to share some insight into how you can protect and enhance your Talent Acquisition strategy for non-permanent resource through this model. 

Let me explain. 

Cost savings and efficiencies

Our workforce consultancy model typically realises savings for our clients of 15–25% when compared to the cost of equivalent contingent worker utilisation. A recent project with a global insurance organisation to deliver 12 Project & Programme Delivery Consultants (including Project Managers, Digital Business Analysts, Change & Transformation Managers) translated into a 24% or £618,000 saving per annum versus their contractor or consultancy route.

As resource needs are met by our permanent employees, contractor flight risk is negligible, and costs are protected from the inflation of day rates often seen under conventional contingent worker models. As well as protecting the bottom line, this provides a level of assurance and certainty regarding workforce planning and overall project costs, especially when the utilisation of non-permanent resource is required on a long-term basis.  

Risk management 

In very simple terms, because our workforce consultants are permanent employees of Resource Solutions, there are zero IR35, AWR or co-employment risk considerations when we deploy them into our client’s projects. The model eradicates the complexity and compliance risks associated with not just Contingent Workers, but also 'associate’ consultants who are usually engaged through an often opaque “Statement of Work". 

Access to talent 

For businesses with ambitions of hiring the best talent available, today’s labour market makes it necessary to utilise disruptive methods to identify, attract, and ultimately secure the talent that would otherwise be undiscoverable or working elsewhere. Almost every organisation we speak with has already considered where to advertise (or source through), what to pay and what to say (i.e. their Employee Value Proposition). Whilst this is certainly a critical evaluation, the right solution is often to take things further and deploy a model that bridges the gap between permanent hiring and contingent workforce management. 

The Workforce Consultancy model offers several routes to build, buy, and borrow talent:

  • Accelerate: Future-ready, entry-level talent or “early in tech” professionals who are immersed in a six-to-12-week accredited training course to develop core, in-demand technical skills and soft skills. This is followed by a 24-month learning journey once deployed as consultants. Often aligned to support social mobility and other diversity initiatives, this training is tailored to the needs of our clients so our consultants hit the ground running and immediately bring tangible value to projects.  

  • Augment: A cost-efficient alternative to contractors or consultancies, offering fast delivery from an active and vetted pool of experienced professionals – available for durations of six months or more. Hiring organisations have the opportunity to trial talent before transitioning them into their permanent headcount. 

  • Assemble: Connecting organisations with blended teams of resources governed by a Practice Lead to govern and deliver high performance and capability. Our tailored, packaged solutions offer a bespoke work-package to deliver core functions.

Within Workforce Consultancy, we not only cultivate diverse talent to meet rapidly changing technology demands – we also take a fresh approach to delivering cost effective, risk-free flexible resource. Ultimately, we are committed to assisting people and organisations fulfil their potential.

If you would like to learn more on how we can enhance your talent acquisition strategy, please connect with me.

Are you ready for the contingent worker takeover? Download our latest whitepaper, “Cultivating a Diverse Contingent Workforce”, to discover how the non-permanent workforce is set to grow over the next five years, plus practical tips for incorporating contingent workers into your ED&I strategies, so you can reap the rewards of a diverse and inclusive workforce.  

To learn more about our Workforce Consultancy services, please contact Jessica Holt, our Global Head of Workforce Consultancy. 


Ready to build, re-shape and optimise your workforce for better talent acquisition?

Talk to us