The technology talent shortage has been a problem for years and no end is in sight. Typical solutions tend to focus on variations of the same ideas: organisations should invest more in recruiting staff, retraining existing staff, outsource to third-parties, or even find low-code or no-code alternatives to what they are trying to do.
Private Talent Clouds are emerging because none of these are true solutions to an ever-growing problem.
A new way to work with global talent
Private Talent Clouds allow organisations to add expert staff to existing dev teams who are as talented and committed as employees but with the flexibility that comes with freelancers.
However, the Private Talent Cloud also comes with a layer of management that removes a burden from the customer and guarantees deadlines, quality, and cost.
In short, Private Talent Clouds are a way to access world-leading talent and scale projects without the usual pain points. They are developing because they solve problems both for businesses and for the top talent in the technology sector – a group that is changing the way it thinks about work.
Private vs Public Talent Clouds
Private talent clouds might not be the only type of talent cloud you’ve heard of.
There are also Public Talent Clouds up and running but they work in a very different way – and the difference is important to understand. Essentially, public talent clouds are, as the name suggests, open to anyone who wants to register. This is a gig economy model, where people sign up and are allocated work as it comes in.
This is direct access to large numbers of people but it is only really suited for simple tasks.
Unlike a Private Talent Cloud, which vets applicants, tests their abilities and replaces poor performers, Public Clouds offer no guarantees that the person you hire will be suitably qualified for the task. Organisations that want to use them will need to be much more hands-on in managing the talent and willing to take the time to find the right mix of people.
This makes sense as a kind of ‘Uber for software developers’, which has its place, but Uber drivers are largely interchangeable. Today’s best software developers are more like sports stars, with rare skills, dedication, and the ability to shine in the right team. A Private Talent Cloud treats them accordingly. It is about quality over quantity, bringing the best available talent for each project.
Tackling the tech talent shortage
There’s a reason Private Talent Clouds are becoming so popular – the global talent shortage is starting to hurt in the enterprise. The big technology companies have been on a hiring drive, hoovering up talent across the market, and that’s put pressure on big companies in other sectors to chase technology talent of their own. Smaller companies have now begun to follow suit, and so the cycle continues.
An alternative is to rely on freelancers or agency staff. However, freelancers have to be recruited, assessed, and managed, which costs time and money.
Agencies, meanwhile, typically have the local talent on their books but that doesn’t usually mean they have a sufficient variety of people to meet whatever needs the organisation has.
One answer is to upskill existing staff but that too is expensive and talented staff still might not stick around. But even the big technology firms are struggling to impress the top talent, who are increasingly inclined to act like freelancers, even if they are on staff. They join for a project, then look elsewhere for their next challenge, which keeps the race for talent going without end.
Why isn’t talent available in the cloud?
With so much in the cloud these days, why isn’t talent there too?
Private Talent Clouds answer this question, offering a service that satisfies companies and talent alike.
Companies get access to the talent that fits a particular role rather than whoever the agency has available or, in the case of professional services firms, an entire infrastructure of support work.
That is faster and more cost-effective than the alternatives; the best talent, anywhere in the world, can be deployed within three days and easily scaled up from there.
Private Talent Clouds can also add a layer of project management to ensure delivery standards are met and remove some of the burden from the company hiring them. And there is no compromise in quality as the project expands because trusted Private Talent Cloud vendors like Distributed are highly selective about who they hire and can be trusted to manage the process.
The technology talent, for their part, get treated well. They can enjoy the same benefits as other freelance workers such as being able to choose their projects and operate with freedom and independence.
At the same time, they have access to permanent employment benefits like a regular work schedule, predictability of income, no late payments, a management team that handles all the admin, and they remain on a clear career trajectory. More importantly, they feel part of a community that is there to support and grow with them, taking away the feeling of isolation that freelancing can easily bring with it.
It is a way of working that fits with what today’s top talent is looking for.
Indeed, Private Talent Clouds hint at the way in which the world of work is changing in general. Among office workers there is a greater demand for remote and flexible working which, in turn, raises the possibility that companies are no longer restricted to the best talent in their postcode. Businesses can find and work with the best talent from anywhere in the world.
As this trend increases there will be a greater need for talent clouds that can help these people find their ideal roles, work across constantly shifting projects, even across regions and borders. With more scale, the model will become more powerful and we are just beginning to see that potential in the technology sector.
Expect to hear more about Private Talent Clouds and the technology skills shortage in the coming months.