How an MSP can increase the efficiency of your contingent workforce

An MSP can strengthen your staffing vendor relationships and increase the efficiency of your contingent workforce.

Companies with contingent staffing needs depend on various suppliers to provide talent when it is required. Having a long list of vendors can make it difficult to get a transparent look at the company's spend. For this reason, many businesses implement a vendor management system with the help of a managed services provider to increase transparency and meet contingent staffing needs more efficiently.

Hiring managers at mid-sized companies may believe that such services aren't for them. However, the truth is that an MSP strategy is scalable. To help improve the understanding of how MSPs help businesses, we spoke with staffing solutions experts Kathleen Keliher, Managing Director of Beacon Hill's Solutions Division, and John Williams, Executive Director of Beacon Hill Solutions, and asked them the most pressing questions about how an MSP works and what it can do to improve business.

What happens to our existing supplier community once a decision has been made to move to an MSP?

John: "It is so important that your MSP works with you to ensure that key suppliers remain engaged and active in your new program. An MSP should look at these suppliers as true partners to ensure they are engaged and dedicated. Your suppliers will continue to work in your program and will keep all talent on assignment so there is zero disruption of business."

What are the disadvantages of allowing a traditional MSP to transition all active talent?

Kathleen: "If an MSP transitions talent from your suppliers it causes a strain in the relationship. This strain could cause a permanent separation from the MSP as well as the supplier, who could be critical to your business. It is extremely important that your new MSP values your supplier relationships and works hard to keep them engaged and performing for your business. Transitioning talent sends the wrong message to suppliers, talent and hiring managers."

Vendor relations directly affect the ROI of a contingent workforce.

Can you think of any examples/anecdotes of problems emerging from this legacy approach?

Kathleen: "Yes, in fact, I could speak to several. You run the risk of the suppliers walking away from the relationship. Another would be that the supplier pulls critical talent prior to assignment completion, leaving the business and the hiring manager in a very hard situation. If the transition to an MSP causes business disruption or bad feelings, your change management will be very difficult.

Who benefits the most from this talent transition approach?

John: "Well, that is easy, the MSP does! They are able to gain immediate revenue at the cost of the supplier and the client company."

Why is a supplier strategy important for meeting a company's unique talent requirements?

Kathleen: "Supplier strategy is one of the most important things to consider when selecting an MSP. The answer is quality over quantity. You will find many MSPs continue to add suppliers to meet the talent demand. This inherently does not work. The more suppliers, the less engagement. Think about it this way: If the MSP sends out your job to 15 different suppliers, it becomes solely a race against time. Many suppliers will either not waste their time working on it or may throw a few resumes to see if something sticks. Instead, MSPs should be focused on working with a select few suppliers by skill category."

John: "These suppliers should be made clearly aware of the partnership so they feel strongly they can be successful and grow their business. These suppliers should feel like they have 'skin in the game' so they work hard on every requisition that crosses their desks. These suppliers should also have a clear understanding of their performance within a program so they can work closely with the MSP to continually improve their outcomes."

Does this vary depending on company size or industry?

John: "The answer is no. It does not matter if you are a small company, mid-market or a large one. The strategy should remain consistent: The right suppliers working on the right requisitions and giving each requisition their full attention."

An MSP can shorten the time it takes to get critical workers.

What trends do you expect to emerge or accelerate in this area in 2017?

Kathleen: "I clearly see a shift away from vendor neutrality. In today's tight talent market, companies are starting to realize the benefit of working with experts in their market that know how to compete and drive the best talent to your organization. This does not happen by sending out a requisition to 20 vendors at the same time."

John: "This formulates through the close working relationship across all business areas with a select few recruitment experts and partners."

What does a successful supplier strategy bring to an organization in terms of efficiency, cost management, and effectiveness?

Kathleen: "It helps you fight in the war for talent. You get the best of the best focused on your business. They are engaged and committed to understanding your unique needs and going to market to meet those needs. This ultimately will reduce time to fill as well as save you time, money and effort on unnecessary turnover."

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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