An Alternative, IR35-Friendly Talent Solution for the Telecoms Industry

 In Evolution of Talent

The telecoms sector is currently faced with a wide range of opportunities and challenges that could make (or break) organisations. Many of these transformations are being driven by the emergence of new technology and require employers to consider new ways of obtaining the talent to get the work done.

We’re seeing our clients in the industry vie to drive innovation in 5G technology and compete to deliver the best service for their customers. Against a backdrop of hacks and data breaches, cyber and network security remains a top priority too, as increasing investment is made in business-wide encryption. What’s more, increased demand for video streaming and alternative ways of consuming media is driving growth in demand for over-the-top services, placing additional pressure on existing infrastructures.

To remain competitive in this market, many organisations need access to similar talent – people who can augment and optimise infrastructures, processes and service offerings. But attracting these people is becoming increasingly difficult. What’s more, to achieve their aims, you might assume that organisations plan on growing their headcount – but that isn’t necessarily the case.

Alternative Options

In our survey of 2,100+ UK employers, we found that telecoms employers plan to neither increase nor decrease the size of their workforce in the next three months. This is in stark contrast to Q2 2019, when hiring plans were cautiously optimistic. Instead, over the next quarter they plan on maintaining the status quo and making no changes at all to their overall headcount.

But the industry isn’t standing still. It remains the case that there is plenty of additional work that needs to be completed to drive future growth. Companies however are having to look at different ways of resourcing projects and identifying new ways to engage with people and skills.

Contractors are one option. They’re quickly available and deliver immediate results. Though with the upcoming changes to IR35 legislation just around the corner, engaging with contractors has become even more complex.

Instead, we’re seeing increased uptake in employers outsourcing smaller pieces of work via an End User Service model to a workforce solutions provider like Proservia, the End User Service delivery arm of ManpowerGroup Solutions. Through this model, distinct projects or business areas can be outsourced, such as field engineering, break-fix, IT helpdesks, service desks, and much more.

Many telecoms organisations outsource large complex projects to a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider. However, outsourcing to a workforce solutions provider who can also manage the project is a different beast and can react far more quickly. As we’re not a BPO, we don’t just draw on a bank of permanent staff that we’re already engaged with, who may (or may not) be the right fit for your needs. We know exactly how to attract and engage talent for project work, we’re experts in the art of recruitment so will recruit the best skills for your job requirements and manage the talent accordingly.

With this type of model, there’s no IR35 compliance risks to be concerned with and it’s aligned to a set of clear SLAs, so the organisation can be sure that they get the results they expect.

In summary, emerging technologies are continuing to cause significant disruption to the telecoms sector, and this shows no sign of abating. Organisations may not be able to recruit additional workers to gain the skills they need. But they can look at alternative ways of resourcing projects, and an End User Service model is one option to consider. As the world of work continues to transform, organisations that think holistically about the way in which they can get work done will be best poised to succeed.

For more information about the hiring trends we can expect to see in the telecoms sector in the months ahead, please download the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.