The right managed service provider (MSP) can help you achieve an efficient, effective contingent workforce program, but making the choice can be tricky.

An effective contingent workforce program is crucial for any business that wants to be agile and responsive to the ever changing needs of the marketplace. But choosing the right managed service provider (MSP) to partner with can be a tricky proposition. So before you begin your search for a new or replacement solution provider, we recommend you examine their core functionality to truly understand whether they deliver on their claims.



Here are some important questions to ask your managed service provider for a contingent workforce program:

  1. How can a managed service provider help you find the perfect candidate for your needs?

To source the right talent, you need the right suppliers. But, many managed service providers prefer vendor optimization, which often means limiting the number of suppliers you work with. While it may seem easier to build and manage relationships with a limited number of suppliers, it limits your access to the right talent pools. You may miss out on things like specific skill sets, making it more difficult in sourcing the best candidates.

When it comes to finding managed service providers (MSPs), it’s important to look for those that have partnerships with a large number of reputable staffing suppliers. These suppliers should have access to diverse talent, which will give you the best chance of sourcing the right employees for your needs. This ensures you can quickly fill open jobs and plan for future hiring needs while significantly reducing your time to hire. Also, with access to wider talent pools, you’re more likely to find higher quality candidates, ultimately improving your contingent workforce quality.

A great example of solutions that operate using this idea are networked vendor management systems with a built-in hiring marketplace. These platforms give you access to a wide range of suppliers that cover various skill sets, geographies, niche job categories, and more. This way, you can be sure you’re not restricting your ability to tap into the best talent.

  1. How important is candidate experience? We asked the experts.

In today’s business world, online reviews can make or break a company. And when it comes to managed service providers (MSPs) and contingent workforce firms, one bad review can have a ripple effect on the entire organization. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that your candidates have a positive experience from the initial contact through the entire application process. Unfortunately, many companies are falling short in this area.

As a managed service provider or contingent workforce firm, you need to be aware of the potential damage that negative candidate experiences can do to your business. Not only will dissatisfied applicants be more likely to leave negative reviews, but they’ll also be less likely to recommend your company to others. So, it is crucial to tend to the hiring experience for all your talent, whether full-time or contingent.

Your managed service provider should have a streamlined hiring process that is candidate focused and includes direct interview scheduling and feedback sharing capabilities. By having frequent and meaningful touchpoints with your candidates, you foster a positive candidate experience which equates to better overall candidate experiences.

  1. VMS implementation time: how quick is it?

Faster time-to-value is an important consideration in any VMS implementation process. But, no two businesses have the same set of staffing problems to solve. A managed service provider (MSP) can help you create a custom vendor management system (VMS) solution that fits your specific needs and results in a faster ROI.

A managed service provider will work with you to understand your business goals and identify the challenges you face in meeting those goals. They will then develop a vendor management system (VMS) solution that is tailored to your business, resulting in a faster time-to-value. Look for solution providers willing to collaborate with your internal stakeholders to identify areas needing special attention and refinement in the vendor management system (VMS) configuration process. They should also facilitate the data migration of your incumbent supplier base into the new vendor management system.  

While evaluating the implementation process, consider examining the associated costs and recurring charges, as many staffing solutions on the market come with a minimum spend required to gain access to their comprehensive solution. And if they require you to use their IT teams to make all platform changes and subscribe for customer service, that can slow your processes and costs substantially more.

  1. What sets the VMS of a managed service provider apart from the rest?

Digital transformation is disrupting every area of business, and for a highly efficient and agile contingent workforce program, it makes sense to explore the latest technological advancements.

Cloud based solutions tend to offer more innovation when compared to on-premise software solutions. And they come with an array of benefits: reduced implementation time, easier onboarding, lowered costs, robust upgrades and updates, and streamlined maintenance. Because these solutions are cloud-based, multiple clients can benefit from the solution’s functionalities while keeping each client’s data separate and secure.

Another advancement in the staffing arena is the use of AI to automate and boost hiring processes in your contingent workforce firm. For example, AI-based dynamic job distribution technology matches job requisitions at both the supplier and candidate levels, optimizing supplier performance and guaranteeing you the fastest access to the best candidates.

Modern solutions also help integrate candidate onboarding, meaning all candidate related processes are executed on a single platform. They enable hiring managers to monitor candidates at every stage of the hiring pipeline, driving candidate visibility, increasing engagement, and equipping you with data based insights on your suppliers’ activity.

  1. Undercutting the managed services competition: How one company’s pricing strategy could change the market.

A traditional managed service provider (MSP) does not charge businesses for their services. Instead, they monetize their supply base. The suppliers, in turn, must pay MSPs to access their clients. This arrangement is known as a Vendor Management System (VMS).

The issue with these supplier funded managed service providers is that they deter high quality suppliers that don’t need access to a managed service provider or contingent workforce firm’s client base. This means the top players with excellent customer service and quality outcomes normally don’t join MSP programs. Additionally, these models also discourage emerging industry players, often the pioneers of innovation.

To support the innovation you deserve for your long term program success, look beyond the traditional pricing model.

What’s Next for Vendor Management in Hiring and Staffing?

SoftHQ checks all the boxes of an enterprise grade cloud based staffing solution and helps your business boost efficiency, compliance, and cost savings by enhancing your spend visibility. 

By choosing us, you get flexible, cost-effective workforce management solutions, risk management experience, and the agility to respond at your company’s pace, which provides immediate access to vetted talent suppliers that can fill your talent needs with the market’s best talent. We provide workforce solutions for the future, and we are eager to go the extra mile for you.

Curious to know more about how SoftHQ’s solution can revolutionize your contingent workforce program?


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