Transformative, Not Transactional: Positioning Long-Term MSP Success

business salesAs global employers increasingly recognize the tangible benefits of flexible talent models – including the use of free agents and contingent workers – managed services providers (MSPs) are being tapped to transform talent strategies. A critical component of a total talent management strategy, MSPs can deliver access to the most competitive sources of variable talent. Through these engagements, employers improve talent consistency, quality and cost control, and mitigate compliance risk. A comprehensive program should also support future planning and bring continual innovation.

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Despite this, and in contrast with other talent products and solutions, the MSP model is sometimes undervalued and viewed as transactional and tactical versus strategic and relationship-driven. This perception has grown from market pressures, misaligned objectives and poorly constructed pricing models. Ideally, an MSP program is the point of intersection between advisory services, supply chain and client stakeholders. It’s best positioned for long-term success when considered for its sophisticated consultative approach and elegant management of the complex talent supply chain.

MSPs transform talent models by assessing market conditions, talent availability and costs, and determining the right management architectures for their clients. For example, supply chain consolidation is a tactical part of talent strategy for any MSP client. Suppliers become experts on the type of talent that succeeds within an organization, and businesses can take advantage of volume pricing discounts. But managing the supply chain for highly skilled, niche and hard-to-fill roles often requires a broader approach. A skilled MSP can create the right strategy and a fluid architecture that supports talent needs and business goals over time on both the transactional and strategic levels.

Transformational MSP includes a full range of services such as business process improvement, change management planning and execution, risk management considerations, workforce scoping, human capital analytics and reporting, and effective supply chain architecture. That’s why most of the industry’s most successful MSPs are offered through staffing companies. It’s a natural extension of a focus on total talent strategies; and employers benefit significantly from working with a provider that possesses exceptional subject matter expertise and resources.

The MSP model continues to evolve as a solution that includes forward-thinking advice on industry trends, talent landscapes, risk mitigation, regulatory management and creative variable workforce approaches. By moving businesses beyond function to inspiration, an MSP can facilitate a next generation model that provides better integration and alignment between suppliers and resources. It is important that the industry positions MSP properly, as a significant means of supporting strategic relationships between businesses and their partners that fosters sustainable talent success.

MORE: Getting the Most Value from Your MSP

Teresa Creech
Teresa Creech is president of MSP and CW Solutions, Randstad Sourceright.

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1 comments
Matt Rivera
Matt Rivera

Teresa - Great points on the value an MSP brings. Transactional and tactical is part of the gig, but a strategic partner should be bringing value. I totally agree with you - When we let MSP services become simply tactical exercises, it's unsustainable. Companies with long-term or mature programs have figured this out and have made contingent labor an engaged, efficient and valued part of the workforce.

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