Project sourcing helps resolve staffing and expertise shortages

28 October 2022
Kristoff Temmerman Blue Chip Boutique Leader Transition & Support Connect on Linkedin
Key take-aways
  • The ‘Certified Member Project Sourcing’ label gives the guarantee of access to a reliable and ethical service provider
  • A white paper by the industry federation Federgon shows that project sourcing is a win-win-win for government, business and the individual

Labour shortages, the mismatch of skills, the war on talent and the need for specific expertise are causing businesses to rely ever more heavily on external experts. In Belgium, the deployment of external experts on projects is called ‘project sourcing’. The practice as well as the project sourcing providers are subject to strict regulation. Federgon, the industry federation for HR service providers, has issued a ‘Certified Member Project Sourcing’ quality label, which TriFinance wears with pride.

TriHD is an active member of the industry federation, and Kristoff Temmerman, Blue Chip Boutique Leader Transition & Support for East and West Flanders, chairs the Federgon Project Sourcing committee. He was one of the authors of the white paper: ‘Talent and Know-how in Response to Shortage’.

Quality label reinforces confidence

“Increasingly, and across many sectors, companies are engaging specialists for specific projects in the short or longer term”, Kristoff tells us. “Project sourcing puts them in a position to attract external experts, such as finance specialists and HR staff. Companies like TriHD, that bear the 'Certified Member Project Sourcing' (CMP) quality label, guarantee full compliance with the social security and tax regulations. It reassures clients that they have brought a reliable and ethical service provider into the project”, explains Kristoff.

The CMP is fundamental to TriHD, because it fits perfectly with our organisation's values. “In recent years the quality label has done nothing but grow in importance”, says Kristoff emphatically. “Since companies have increasingly come to rely on external specialists, and the number of providers is always rising, the label works like a beacon of confidence. The CMP is granted on the strength of an independent external audit. We note that for international clients this is sometimes a decisive factor when it comes to choosing an external party. That way, at least they can be sure of their compliance with the complex Belgian regulations and avoid running into any unpleasant surprises.”

“Project sourcing may have an important role to play in the government's ambitions to increase the level of employment.”

Kristoff Temmerman

Project sourcing as a win-win-win

Federgon's white paper explores the potential to respond to the needs of government, business and individuals simultaneously through project sourcing. To this end the industry federation conducted a survey in June 2021 of 200 project workers and 36 client companies.

Project sourcing in response to business needs

Where businesses/clients are concerned, the survey shows that even more so than relief from administrative and HR tasks, 7 in 10 project-sourcing users see legal certainty as (extremely) important.

Another major reason for businesses opting for project sourcing is the opportunity to bring in expertise without exposing the company to the costs and expenses of direct recruitment. Actual recruitment, management and administration are at the expense of the project-sourcing company that supplies the professional to carry out the client project. In that employer role, the project-sourcing company also supervises, coaches and manages the project-sourcing employee. Project sourcing satisfies many of the clients' needs, and does so in a cost-effective way, and for 97% of respondents this is seen as important.

Job security and growth opportunities for project-sourcing employees

Project sourcing helps businesses achieve flexibility and deployability in an economic context that sees new challenges arriving in rapid succession. 94% of companies indicate that the need for flexibility is an important reason for turning to project sourcing.

For the employees of project sourcing companies, that flexibility is not at the expense of job security and legal certainty. The vast majority of project professionals indicate that project sourcing offers sufficient job security while at the same time valuing task alternation, as well as opportunities to gain experience and therefore develop personally and build a professional network.

Also, most project employees see the coaching, supervision and training offered by the project sourcing companies as an added value. More than 6 in 10 project-sourcing employees do not see the work as temporary, and almost 8 in 10 strongly believe that project sourcing adds value to their career.

“Project sourcing has a major role to play in the government's ambitions to increase employment to 80% by 2030.”

Kristoff Temmerman

Project sourcing in response to labour shortages

Kristoff concludes: “Obviously, project sourcing offers a great many benefits for businesses and project sourcing employees. But it also serves a real purpose in the employment landscape. The talent shortage won't be disappearing any time soon, at least not in the financial sector. Labour market shortages are nothing new, but rather the outcome of demographic developments and political choices. Project sourcing is a solution that improves employee deployability and adaptability. Project workers get the opportunity to train or retrain, and that increases their deployability. Having control over their own career also improves their chances of staying in work and making a success of it. For that reason, project sourcing has an important role to play in government ambitions to raise employment to 80% by 2030. We need to make that transition in our labour market if we want our businesses to remain competitive and, in general, to secure our economic welfare."

Go to the unabridged white paper in Dutch or French.