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So popular has IT recruitment become and so great the current demand for people with top information technology skills that...

So popular has IT recruitment become and so great the current demand for people with top information technology skills that "Hollywood-style talent agents" are predicted for the IT industry, according to the chief executive of the American National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses (NACCB).

Speaking at ATSCo 2000 recently, the first annual conference of the Association of Technology Staffing Companies, Don McLaurin said that the top five per cent of IT workers in the United States were becoming "superstars" and that their careers were being managed by companies acting as "agents".

According to ATSCo's report on the event, McLaurin told delegates he believed this trend could affect the UK's recruitment industry, as might other American movements such as 'talent auctions' on the internet, and the use by staffing firms of full-time employees rather than independent contractors.

This latter practice was becoming popular in the US, said McLaurin, because it resulted in reduced staff turnover, better margins and fewer regulatory headaches. He estimated that outside California and New England, "where the contractor stills rules", 60 - 70 per cent of the people on staffing companies' databases were employees.

McLaurin also told delegates that the IT and Comms staffing industry was going to have to develop mechanisms for the "international sharing of the talent pool". "We are re-inventing the way work gets done," he commented.

This was first published in October 2000

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