Every aspect of business – and life in general – remains uncertain. The state and composition of the nation’s workforce is not immune from the confusion even as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates the trend toward more agile workforces. As a successful venture, your company probably already has explored the ways non-traditional talent can give you the flexibility to compete in the rapidly evolving marketplace. The question in your organization likely is not whether to use or expand a contingent worker management program, but rather how to install and implement it. As this new business model surges, your company may not be equipped with or want to invest in the infrastructure and management expertise required to capitalize on the contingent workforce.
For many companies, the answer is a partnership with a managed service provider (MSP) that maximizes the value they can accrue from employing freelancers and independent contractors. MSPs help companies develop talent-rich environments that access and deploy skilled workers when and where they are needed. Working as extensions of a firm’s Human Resources and Procurement functions, MSPs ensure the skills companies need are available, either in-house or via outside talent. They harness data that illuminates the hiring process, reduces spend, and improves productivity, compliance, and quality.
How MSPs Deliver Value
Recruiting and managing contractors and other on-demand talent requires a different approach than hiring and onboarding full-time employees. Developing those capabilities in-house may not be feasible. If you are interested in outsourcing the administration and management of your outside labor, Metasys has compiled this list of things to look for in an MSP to ensure you get the most from your partner.
- Supplier Management – Negotiating favorable rates and contracting with suppliers to give you access to workers with the appropriate skills you need is just the start. A strong MSP partner will insist on quantifiable deliverables and document hours worked, materials consumed, and milestones achieved to validate charges.
The key is to maintain a strong, diverse network while limiting the number of vendors. With a robust stable of talent sources, the MSP can assure excellent fulfillment rates, highly qualified workers, and the ability to meet demand surges. Supplier management that accommodates talent needs through a limited number of vendors facilitates the security and compliance you should demand from your MSP. Vendor consolidation will shorten the spending tail and make your workforce program more strategic through active MSP management.
Innovative, full-service MSPs also will help you analyze talent and geographical pay scales, enforce contract terms, and determine the roles best filled by contingent workers.
- Candidate Evaluation – Talent vendors vet the workers they provide to ensure they possess the technical skills to perform. But only an engaged MSP partner can understand your specific requirements and recommend candidates with the best chance of success in the precise role they will undertake for you. Evaluating contingent talent is an iterative process; it must be conducted continuously, as candidates enter and exit the pool, projects conclude, and new ones ramp up. Valuable MSPs will be constantly on the lookout for skilled workers who can meet current, anticipated, and potential gaps within your organization. Modern MSPs invest in infrastructure and data tools to evaluate your workplace tasks and the abilities needed to accomplish them. They overlay candidate skills inventories to find the closest match. Perhaps of greater value to your company, MSPs are staffed by professionals who go beyond data and metrics, leveraging their industry know-how and adding a human touch to candidate qualification. They invest the time your HR and Procurement teams may not have in order to conduct interviews and reference checks. Outsourcing this service ensures an unbiased analysis of candidate skills and amenability to your firm’s culture.
- Speedy Onboarding - Companies embrace the contingent workforce for the nimbleness they need to respond to opportunities and challenges. They want the flexibility to scale production, marketing, sales, or other business functions in response to changes in the market and competitive landscape. But in-house processes can restrict the types of contracts companies can make available to outside workers. Inertia and limited resources may slow the hiring and onboarding process; this leads to rogue hiring, gridlock, and loss of transparency. All these inefficiencies prevent companies from realizing the agility and business responsiveness the contingent workforce promises. Outsourcing candidate recruitment, hiring, and onboarding of contingent labor, on the other hand, reduces the time between need identification and fulfillment. MSPs have developed relationships with numerous high-volume and niche suppliers, giving you access to a diverse talent pool and assuring the right mix of skills and experience for virtually any opening. The time savings extends beyond time-to-fill. MSPs can engage talent vendors using a variety of contract methods, terms, and service levels that may not be otherwise available to their clients. They also maintain relationships with vendors and workers, helping to broker re-engagements with top performers and filling companies’ talent pipeline.
- Process Transparency - MSPs use vendor management software and other tools that bring visibility to your current contingent workforce status. You will understand which and how many freelancers, independent contractors, consultants, and other non-employee workers are on the job at any time. You can see the source of the engagement, how they were hired, their pay, total cost, and contract terms. MSPs use this data to benchmark and standardize your hiring procedures, quality measurement, and pay scales.Tomorrow’s workforce management champions will collect the pertinent data, analyze it correctly, and make strategic hiring decisions based on the results. Some full-time employees will always be required, but data can show companies where agile workers would save overhead costs, help projects start promptly and progress smartly, and provide rare combinations of skills needed to ensure success. MSPs should package all these advantages and present easy-to-use reports, alleviating the expense of developing new infrastructure, institutional knowledge, and industrial processes on your own.
Metasys welcomes the opportunity to forge strategic relationships with companies of all sizes. Our managed services program can tailor a contingent workforce plan and implement it for your business no matter your situation. Whether you are taking your first step on the agile workforce journey or you want to create a comprehensive workforce management workflow, Metasys is ready to help. Contact us, and let’s discuss your talent, cost-cutting, quality assurance, and service level demands.