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03 January 2017

2017 will be the year of Total Talent Acquisition

Articles about recruitment, insourcing, flex and staffing often contain a lot of abbreviations and terminology. Such language is used by insiders, but not everyone is able to understand it. For instance, what does MSP, RPO, VMS, ATS, DBA and TTA stand for? This also applies to commonly used terms like broker, insourcing desk, Dynamic Procurement system and payrolling. Do you know what they mean?

However, the way in which these terms are distinguished is also changing in definitions we use for business processes and marketing strategies. How long can we continue to clearly and effectively make a distinction between all these categories, so “buyers” know exactly what is involved and so “sellers” know the categories into which their products or services must be placed? It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between these terms. Or expressed positively: various areas of the market, which were previously strictly separated, are slowly interacting with each other.


  1. In practice, it is difficult to explain the difference between the job of a broker and an MSP. Companies that referred to themselves as brokers a few years ago, are now calling themselves MSP’s.
  2. The distinction between suppliers of payrolling and temping is no longer clear. The Supreme Court, our highest legal authority, recently ruled that payrolling is a form of temping and is subject to the same rules. If we look at the suppliers, we see that all temping suppliers also offer payrolling. But there are also dozens of companies that only offer payrolling, and are not involved in temping. Are there still actual differences?
  3. Due to the new DBA Act, we now see more and more independent contractors, who previously worked under a VAR, now being insourced via payroll constructions (where they actually become employees and are no longer self-employed). Labels on categories of workers are thus variable or are becoming ‘hybrid’.
  4. As a result, some innovative organisations have decided to combine their insourcing desks, whereby Procurement departments work very closely with recruiters in HR departments. These joint insourcing desks then look for appropriate permanent and flex workers.
  5. In the past, service providers mainly focused on recruiting either permanent employees or recruiting temporary workers. But these two areas are also moving ever closer, in the Netherlands and elsewhere. Having originated in the US and UK, we currently refer to this phenomenon as TTA, which stands for Total Talent Acquisition. Organisations are thus increasingly interested in finding and retaining the talent they require, and the type of contract that is offered (permanent or temporary contract) is not so important any more.

Finally, an example of these developments, which we also regularly encounter at Carerix. The Carerix application is based on an ATS (Applicant Tracking System), but we notice that a lot of our customers now also use Carerix as, for example, CRM, to register and monitor insourcing activities or to arrange RPO processes with their customers. They also use it to arrange payrolling for permanent and flex workers, so further processing can take place digitally. This means a lot of functionality has been developed – sometimes together with partners – to support the above-mentioned activities. Permanent and flex are thus also often combined in our Carerix platform.

A lot of change is currently taking place, but we are closely monitoring all developments at suppliers and companies in the sector. We believe these developments in TTA will play a very important role in 2017, and will have an impact on everyone working in our sector. 2017 will be the year of Total Talent Acquisition.