What should a Client seek from a Vendor? | DCR Workforce Blog

What should a Client seek from a Vendor?

If you wanted to purchase any electronics or consumer item, you have a general idea of what to expect from the product. There are a set of specifications associated with each product and an innovative feature hardly manages to last long enough in these highly competitive times. Some of this uniformity occurs as a direct result of the information age too. The facts remains that the same cannot be said when it comes to services offered by vendors. While all vendors may claim to provide the same solutions and services, the human element makes it vastly different when it comes to the final output. If this were not true, we would never see the cost overruns, legal actions, frustrations with project deliveries and other issues that we see around us all the time.  How can a client intuitively figure out that the vendor would deliver the 100% results for 100% of the time? I am aware that anyone who can provide a correct response to this question shall be hailed with as much fervor by management professionals like us as the next messiah – and may reap rich rewards in the process. Without arrogating such abilities to myself, I shall endeavor to provide some insights into the matter and leave you, my reader, to be the best judge of what works for you.

Clients choose a vendor by their established reputation and by word-of-mouth recommendation. The fact remains that what is good for the goose may not be what is good for the gander. The comparison may or may not have any validity if the needs of the recommending entity are different from the needs of the person seeking the recommendation. The ideal way for some is to initiate a market survey and start filling out the various decision matrices to see which of the solutions offered is most important to us across the different requirements. Better than all this is to verify their policies to see if they are well considered and aim at success. While some staffing best practices are industry-specific, some are universal and even a perfunctory look at them provides insight into the vendor’s abilities and successful approach and assure the client that the vendor can walk the powerful sales talk.

Some best practices:

  • Just because they are filling a role with a temporary hire, vendors need not ignore the need for a job description and a role requirement. The same goes for eligibility criteria, candidate description, experience required and performance goals and standards expected on the job.
  • Your vendor’s staffing service representative must be willing to learn about the clients’ total organizational culture and hiring requirements, which in turn helps with hiring the right candidates who fit the profile.
  • The lines of communication between the client and the vendor should be open and the client needs to have complete knowledge of the vendor’s screening methods with a willingness on the part of the vendor to modify the process and benchmarking methods to suit the requirements of the client. This involvement of the client needs to be expertly managed in such a way as to avoid any exposure to co-employment issues.
  • Ascertain through open dialogue the other staffing strategies adopted by the vendor to verify if they employ a similar if not same approach to the important aspects of hiring.
  • All vendors offer flexible services, but true flexibility is difficult to come by and is qualified by a readiness to meet the client’s objectives. A smart client looks for this elusive quality and makes sure that the services stay customizable so that any contingent requirements are met effectively.
  • The vendor’s back office support has to be strong and reliable to ensure that scope for any errors occurring during the timecard processing, invoicing, onboarding and offboarding are minimal, if not non-existent.
  • The vendor’s issue management capabilities must be assessed, keeping in mind the fact that effective issue management requires constant communication, continuous monitoring and reliable escalation processes.

The attitude and aptitude to face problems and struggle with issues while providing a high level of support is a common trait of the successful vendor and a client will find it a smart move to accept the ups and lows without too much rancor and an effort at providing any possible support.

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Lalita is a people/project manager with extensive experience in operations, HCM and training and development across industries like banking, education, business consulting, BPO and information technology. She believes in a dynamic approach to life and learning as change is the only constant.