Most companies are adept at rating the suppliers who supply them with merchandize and materials. The evaluation could be based on any of the tangible metrics like compliance levels, margins, product development capabilities, packaging, delivery schedules, chargebacks or the number of defective products supplied. But contingent workforce suppliers do not supply one with merchandize or materials. They give you people! These people are then assigned to various departments where the manager or the work culture could equally impact their performance or lack thereof. Even should they quit work within a week of joining, the fault may not entirely lie with the staffing agency who supplied the resource. Surely, the supplier may have set the wrong expectations about the company, its culture, role requirements and even mismatched the capabilities. Or, it could all have been the fault of the company itself. Who is to be the judge of these matters? How many companies put in any efforts to engage contingent workers or even suppliers, since we are on the topic? All these are intangible parameters which are very difficult to either identify or quantify.
Conducting periodical evaluations and rewarding and recognizing the top performers are definitely essential elements of the culture at many organizations. However, the factors being measured and the recognition programs must focus on things that matter to contingent workers and the agencies that supply them. After all, in a market starved for real talent, retention may be a more crucial metric than time-to-fill or cost-to-fill.
Some questions to ask would be:
The easiest and most effective way to capture this information, and to drive best practices, is through the use of a good Vendor Management System (VMS). While everyone knows that a VMS helps to manage spend, eliminate maverick expenditures, schedule workers, track and analyze results, manage SOW projects, process timecard submissions, and mitigate employment risks; only a few know the role it plays in helping to recruit candidates of high quality. The VMS achieves this by enabling an evaluation of each supplier’s performance over time, making it possible to effectively manage your staffing suppliers, through these times of talent shortages. The VMS should also be an effective tool for the staffing suppliers, supporting them when finding and submitting candidates, completing onboarding and offboarding responsibilities, tracking contingent worker performance, communicating with the client and MSP, and assessing their own performance.
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