2 considerations for evaluating the creative sourcing of managed staffing providers
As we saw at the 2011 CWS Summit, many organizations are, for the first time, considering placing more structured management over the non-employee segments of their workforce. The driving factors for this decision are not just related to cost-infrastructure changes, but to evaluate how temporary professionals can be better embedded into the strategic workforce plan of the organization.
This is not to suggest that cost efficiency is not a factor at all. But rather that cost justification is an expected deliverable that holds less weight today than it might have in late 2008 and early 2009.
So what are the elements that this new crop of evaluators are looking at when considering a managed staffing program?
Because cost savings is fairly equal across the marketplace, the differentiation that should be weighed most heavily is the nature of sourcing talent itself. What is the professional staffing provider’s sourcing strategy? How will that strategy serve your hiring managers? And how will the talent delivered by the managed staffing program impact the immediate and long-term strategies of the business?
One of the pitfalls of cost ubiquity across the managed staffing marketplace is that execution basically becomes a numbers game. Amassing a greater number of candidates yields more price point alternatives, and the organization can select the quality it wants at the price point it desires.
There is one problem with this approach, however. It creates source-weary candidates. They get fatigued from receiving multiple calls from multiple professional staffing providers regarding the same position. They tire of having to give up their salary desires simply to get into the interview cycle.
And lastly, they feel like a commodity themselves when there is seemingly no connectivity between the job opening, the professional staffing firm recruiting for it, and the company that has the opening itself.
Consumers of these resources know all of this to be true. As a result, there is a growing expectation that anyone who is responsible for managing the contingent workforce will dedicate at least part of the effort to creatively source in a way that eliminates these pitfalls.
They want candidates to be excited about the opportunity, see the long term value for themselves as professionals, and be eager to contribute to the organization that hired them.
Here are two considerations that are being made to evaluate the creativity of sourcing in a managed staffing environment:
- What is the level of transparency across all suppliers in the program? Obviously, there are nuances to how the managed staffing provider collaborates with identified suppliers. We’ll leave those aside for the moment. The expectation here is that a very high degree of transparency is placed over the program. This will let the execution becomes less of a numbers game, and more of a dedicated effort to master the client’s needs and transition that mastery directly into the candidate pool.
- How engaged is the talent community? Companies don’t just want a parade of low-cost, contracted labor coming in and out of their day-to-day operations. They want a workforce that is aligned with their culture and that has a desire and passion to attack the plan in place to advance the mission. A managed staffing provider must have well-defined plans in place that illustrate exactly how the program will build a community of talent that is poised to fit this description. A talent community cannot simply be resume collections. It has to be a living, breathing, and engaged body of professionals. They must consistently share and exchange ideas, interests, and aspirations. A managed staffing program must address how it will develop this talent community.