Managed staffing: Best practices for communication and building partnerships
Last week at the RPO Summit, HRO Today announced its 2011 Managed Services Programs (MSP) Baker’s Dozen List, on which Yoh was ranked fifth.
Managed staffing is becoming more prevalent in the workforce. In fact, in November 2010, Staffing Industry Analysts published their 2010 Contingent Buyers Survey, which found that 66 percent of companies use an MSP today, and another 15 percent indicated that working with an MSP is an option that would seriously be explored within the next two years.
This got me thinking more about the relationships that develop in the staffing supply chain, and how important relationship building is for the success of a managed staffing program. Relationships not just with the client, but with the sub-suppliers and other staffing partners as well. Communication throughout the life cycle of the supply chain is critical. With it, you have only blind hope that your clients’ staffing needs will be met effectively.
Some other points to keep in mind when beginning a new MSP relationship:
- Try to find out what your spend is, and be prepared to share this openly with your MSP. Engage managers in your talent acquisition process, and identify your needs and expectations up front. This is a quick way to ensure that your managers are engaged in the MSP process.
- Determine up front if vendor neutrality will be in play. Whether or not the relationship is vendor neutral will be up to the client ultimately, but by sharing these details with everyone involved in the supply chain up at the start of the engagement, you can help ease any bumps along the road.
- Look for a trusted partner. Sure, the early stages of the relationship are based on metrics and evaluations. But over time, this can transition into altering behaviors and promoting change management. Your MSP has the ability to become a true advocate within the company, a position that is crucial for successful talent acquisition.
Companies are still struggling with MSP because of the complex nature of the relationships between various stakeholders (including HR, procurement, hiring managers, and your executive team), suppliers, and the MSP. It might take effort to develop and maintain these relationships, but it’s worth it. A study from the Aberdeen Group found that companies with an MSP realized 40 percent greater savings than those who managed the program internally. And in today’s economic climate, that seems well worth it.