Richard Jones asks whether someone employed by McKinsey but working at a U.S. bank is "outsourced."
As one answer makes clear, outsourcing is subcontracting to a person or a firm to do some part of the work of the main enterprise that the enterprise doesn't want to do itself. It's possible, for example, to outsource payroll management or the printing of procedural manuals or writing code for a particular purpose.
That's not the case here. As @Ronald Sole comments, this is called (at least sometimes) on attachment--it may also be called on assignment or on loan. I understand that it's a frequent practice for a law firm to assign (for periods of, perhaps, six months) one of its lawyers to work at an important client's firm. This is likely the case in the OP's question: a McKinsey consultant is working at a client's offices (the client being the U.S. bank). (McKinsey is a large world-wide consulting firm.)
Who, then, pays the salary of the McKinsey consultant? Or the lawyer working in the offices of a client? In the instances about which I know, the salary continues to be paid through the original employer (McKinsey, or the law firm), but the U.S. bank (or the client of the law firm) reimburses the original employer.
Thus, the proper term is not outsourced or subcontracted but assigned or on assignment or attached or seconded. In "seconded" used in this sense the accent is on the second syllable. "Seconded" is usually tagged as British but is becoming more common in the United States.
Secondment refers to the separation of a person from their regular
organization for temporary assignment elsewhere; a temporary transfer
to another job or post within the same organization.
The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Law Firms
By John O. Cunningham
- Living With Your Clients. Many leading-edge firms don't just make greater efforts to "understand" their clients; they actually find ways
to live with them. Kramer Levin often sends lawyers to reside in
client quarters, and McGuire Woods holds team meetings that include
clients as speakers and as sounding boards. Reed Smith does both, and
has even "acquired" the in-house legal department of a major client in
a unique deal that yields greater expertise for the firm and
beneficial cost management for the client. The firm also incorporates
the knowledge of its clients into the Reed Smith University program
for business training skills — a program developed in conjunction with
Wharton Business School that benefits lawyers and staffers in the
But perhaps the most unique approach was adopted by Alston Bird,
which has even taken the step of learning a major client's business by
working there. Firm employees have worked at UPS, riding on trucks
along their delivery routes or sorting through materials at
warehouse-distribution centers. (my italics)
We help clients with standing up IoT/Digital Factories by providing a
starting team by seconding experienced McKinsey partners and
consultants. Then we help with further scaling up by recruiting
talent, training and developing the organization.
How does a secondment work?
The term 'secondment' describes where an employee or a group of
employees is assigned on a temporary basis to work for another, 'host'
organisation, or a different part of their employer's organisation. On
expiry of the secondment term, the employee (the 'secondee') will
'return' to their original employer.