What is an MSP?
4 November 2021

What is a Managed Services Provider (MSP) Staffing Solution?

4 min read

Are you looking for a way to better manage your contingent workforce and the staffing agencies you use to source external workers? If so, you might be considering outsourcing this process to a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

An MSP is an outsourced contingent workforce management solution that’s implemented by an external organization. Through industry expertise, process and technology, an MSP will design, build and implement a program that manages the entire talent life cycle (or any specific aspect you choose) of contingent workers - from acquisition to payment.

Operating as an external arm of your organization, an MSP manages all contingent workers - including gig, temporary/contract workers, freelancers, temp-to-hire and independent contractors - as well as taking on the role of vendor management of staffing agencies.

Why do companies use MSP staffing solutions?

The contingent workforce is growing exponentially in recent years, and there’s a few reasons why. Companies today need to be more agile than ever before, they need to be quicker and they need a new way to get around the staffing shortages affecting so many industries.

The contingent workforce gives businesses the agility they need to make quick changes that drive business growth, as well as acquire top talent in short notice

Yet while the contingent workforce offers businesses these benefits, it must be managed properly. A poorly managed contingent workforce will only lead to a complete lack of visibility into vendor performance, rogue spend and program inefficiencies. 

That’s where a managed services provider comes in. An MSP alleviates the burden of contingent workforce management away from the actual business itself, implementing a strategic process that provides companies with complete visibility and control over their contingent workforce. 

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What services does a staffing MSP offer?

A managed services provider helps a business streamline and gain visibility and control over its contingent workforce by gaining insight into costs, improving program efficiencies and process, enhancing the staffing agency management process and ensuring compliance. MSPs also improve a company’s ability to hire top talent, quickly.

An MSP does this successfully through the combination of contingent workforce program expertise and technologies such as a Vendor Management System (VMS).

MSP program services typically include, vendor management, the process management of externally-sourced employees, building pools of high-quality contingent candidates, analysis on the performance of the program, and process creation. 

Is a managed services provider right for your organization?

It can be difficult to know whether a managed services provider is right for your business. That’s because the vast majority of contingent spend is unaccounted for in the average business, and most companies don’t even know how many contingent workers are in their organization. 

In fact, this is the reason you should be using a MSP. If you don’t have a solid contingent workforce program in place, it’s likely that your business is suffering from rogue costs and fragmented vendor practices that are impacting your bottom line. 

Reasons to engage an MSP provider

  • You want to work with a highly-skilled, experienced and knowledgeable contingent workforce expert. 
  • You want to access high-quality talent, faster.
  • You want to better control costs across hiring managers and staffing agencies.
  • You want to better document your contingent workers to ensure compliance.
  • You want access to insightful reporting that helps you improve the future performance of your contingent workforce program. 
  • You want to centralize your entire contingent workforce program with standardized processes and rates.

Reasons not to engage an MSP provider

  • You do not want to outsource your contingent workforce management program to a third-party.
  • You haven’t sold the benefits of an MSP program to all of your stakeholders.
  • Your contingent workforce spend isn’t high enough to justify outsourcing. 

Key considerations when choosing a managed service provider

Selecting the right managed service provider is crucial for the success of your contingent workforce program. This section will outline key considerations to keep in mind when choosing an MSP, such as:

Expertise and industry knowledge: Evaluate the MSP's experience and understanding of your industry to ensure they can effectively meet your unique requirements.

Technology capabilities: Assess the MSP's technology solutions, including what vendor management system they recommend, to ensure it aligns with your needs and supports efficient program management.

Scalability and flexibility: Consider the MSP's ability to scale their services as your business grows and adapt to changing workforce needs.

Service level agreements: Review the MSP's service level agreements (SLAs) to ensure they guarantee performance, responsiveness, and accountability.

Compliance and risk management: Verify that the managed service provider has robust compliance protocols in place to mitigate legal and regulatory risks associated with contingent workforce management.

Client references and testimonials: Seek feedback from existing clients or ask for testimonials to gauge the MSP's reputation and satisfaction levels.

Best practices for maximizing the value of managed service provider staffing

To help readers maximize the value they derive from their partnership with an MSP, provide actionable best practices and tips. Some suggestions may include:

Establish strong communication channels: Foster open and frequent communication with your MSP to ensure alignment, address concerns, and share feedback.

Collaborate on program strategy: Work closely with your MSP to develop and refine a strategic contingent workforce program that aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Regularly review and optimize processes: Continuously assess and improve processes in collaboration with your MSP to drive efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance outcomes.

Leverage data and analytics: Utilize the reporting and analytics capabilities offered by your MSP to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.

Foster a strong partnership: Treat your MSP as a strategic partner, fostering a relationship built on trust, collaboration, and shared goals for long-term success.

Why work with Contrax

Most MSPs require organizations to have a minimum amount of contingent worker spend. We have built a flexible vendor-neutral approach that allows our clients to choose the specific pieces of their externally-sourced workforce program that they want to be managed. 

By providing as much flexibility as possible, we are able to offer managed service staffing solutions to organizations which are typically priced out of other MSP options. 

Want to find out how we can improve your management of contingent workers and drive business growth? Request a free consultation today

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