When you acquire the services of a Managed Services Provider (MSP) you expect that the MSP will ensure that positions are quickly filled with highly qualified candidates offered at market-based rates. To make this happen, the MSP relies on staffing agencies who can find talent with the needed skills, in the desired locations. Without an efficient supply base, the MSP can offer little value.
Most companies have been using contingent workers sourced by staffing agencies for some time. Are the suppliers getting the job done? Has there been a change in the level of responsiveness or quality of candidates that are being provided by a supplier? Does the supplier charge market-based rates? For a supply base to remain productive, it must continue to evolve. Companies often fear that the introduction of a new MSP could disrupt the supply base, resulting in lowered performance. Is it equally possible that the near-symbiotic relationship between supplier and MSP that develops over a multi-year program could end up in stagnation and stunt the growth and success of the program? A dependable partner could lose steam and perform below par, while a new star may have emerged on the horizon, but not be recognized by the MSP.
Companies differ in their approaches to building a supply base. Many companies, fearing that the MSP will not be objective in their selections, prefer to issue a staff augmentation RFP without involving the MSP. This approach works when the company’s internal team has the skills needed to evaluate suppliers against a full range of criteria, not merely selecting based on cost. Other companies – particularly those who employ an MSP who is truly vendor-neutral (i.e., isn’t affiliated in any way with a staffing agency) – look to the MSP as experts in staffing vendor selection. Regardless of the approach taken, it pays to focus on program goals deliverables without becoming complacent about the capabilities of the existing base. Most importantly, avoid becoming closed to the capabilities of other highly competent suppliers in the market.
Here are 10 tests to determine if your MSP is actively managing the quality of your staffing supply base:
The MSP must continually weed out poor performers and identify coverage gaps. By keeping the supplier playing field open to new entrants, an MSP will save on the overall costs of the program by fostering genuine competition.
Use this ten point guide to assess your MSP’s success in delivering a top notch supply base, and use the results as a basis for enhancing your contingent workforce management program.
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