Partnering with MSPs

When managed service providers (MSP) came onto the scene in the 1990s, most staffing companies let out a collective groan, and held their breath hoping they would disappear quickly. Fast forward a couple of decades, and MSPs have gained a stronghold while becoming the gold standard for companies to manage their contingent labor program. As staffing professionals how can we embrace MSPs and partner with them better to increase revenue in our business? Let’s admit there is room for improvement in how we interact and team with MSPs.

How Does an MSP Benefit Me?

As staffing professionals, we’re fully aware that the pandemic continues its assault on hiring in corporate America. Have you found yourself asking how can I gain new clients? If you think you’ve looked everywhere for business, consider clients with MSPs in place. In the midst of the pandemic, more companies have implemented MSPs for bill rate stabilization and visibility into contingent labor spend. MSPs have also provided their clients with improved security and asset management along with regulatory compliance. Overall, they have streamlined the workflow process and optimized staffing programs. With so many companies using this model, you just increased your target list by including these types of clients.

Another benefit of working with MSPs is that requisitions are distributed via a VMS web tool. This makes prospecting easier and increases overall exposure to opportunities. Not to mention manager/department names are often included on requisitions making it simple to understand the organizational structure. Further, the VMS tool exposes volume opportunities. Why endure the churn of placing people on assignment one by one when you can place multiple people on a project? Grow your headcount quicker by working bulk orders and staffing an entire team!

An additional advantage of the VMS tool is that it ensures a smooth work flow and helps us with compliance for contracts, work orders, invoicing etc. How often have we wasted time and resources attempting to manually keep up with onboarding, timekeeping, and POs? We are all guilty as charged! Embracing the VMS tool provided by the MSP can organize our action items and back office processes for the entire placement life cycle.

PREMIUM CONTENT: MSP Global Landscape Summary 2020

How do I Team with MSPs?

Any relationship has to be mutually beneficial to both parties. How do we become the trusted advisor of a MSP? First, contact and meet with the MSP leadership team. Understand how the program is organized and the basics — pricing, process, contract terms, and rules of engagement. Is this business we can deliver upon, and can we be successful based on the program dynamics? Honesty is the best policy, and it is better to forego the business if we know we cannot deliver candidates successfully. Assuming we can deliver, understand the steps and process to be added into the program. Additionally, look for the MSP/client’s challenges and pain points while constructing a solution to help. Not only does it show you are listening to their business issues, it differentiates you from the competition by being a problem solver. Articulate and show them the value you can provide! What benefits can you deliver over their other suppliers?

The Case for Embracing MSPs

MSPs will gain even more traction in the next decade as companies seek to manage contingent labor costs and hiring processes. The MSP has to fill jobs, and they need staffing suppliers to do it. They cannot exist without solid partners to deliver resources. Show them the advantages of teaming with you and reap more opportunity immediately in your business. Consistently perform, and the MSP will open doors for you at their other clients ensuring future work. It’s an investment that gives a great return!

Kim Henderson

Kim Henderson
Kim Henderson is managing director of Cobalt Compass Solutions, which provides consulting and training services for the staffing and professional services industry. She can be reached at kh (at) cobaltcompasssolutions (dot) com.

Kim Henderson

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