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Benefits and Challenges of a Multi-Country MSP Programme

CXC Global6 min read
CXC GlobalOctober 05, 2023
CXC Global

Sourcing, engaging and managing workers across different countries is a challenge, to say the least. You need to make sure you’re engaging every worker compliantly, according to the rules and regulations in their country. 

You need to cut rogue spending and ensure the rates and margins you’re paying are consistent and fair. Plus, just knowing where to look for skilled contingent workers isn’t easy — especially when you’re entering a new market. 

A multi-country MSP could help you meet all of these challenges and more, by uniting your global contingent workforce under one programme. That means you’ll have just one point of contact for your entire supply chain — and you’ll get access to top contingent talent around the world. Plus, a multi-country MSP solution could help you avoid compliance woes and even reduce your spending. 

Sound good? Read on for our full guide to the benefits and challenges of a multi-country MSP.

What is an MSP? 

A managed service provider (MSP) is an organisation that provides outsourced services to another organisation.  In the world of contingent staffing, an MSP is an organisation that sources and engages temporary workers and manages suppliers for its clients. 

Generally speaking, there are three types of MSP: 

  1. Vendor-neutral MSP: Under the vendor-neutral MSP model, the MSP does not favour any particular supplier when sourcing workers for its clients. They may negotiate better deals with the company’s existing suppliers and introduce them to new ones. 
  2. Master-vendor MSP: Under this model, the MSP prioritises a single supplier (usually the MSP itself or an affiliated staffing agency) when sourcing workers. They will only turn to other vendors when their primary supplier is not able to provide the required workers. 
  3. Hybrid MSP: A hybrid MSP uses elements of both the vendor-neutral and master-vendor models. For example, they may source workers for one business function through their primary vendor but use other suppliers for different types of workers. 

What about multi-country MSPs? 

Many medium and large businesses engage contingent workers in several different countries…  but they don’t always have the proper systems in place to ensure their engagement practices are consistent across the board. 

With no one person or team overseeing their contingent worker engagements, these companies often see inflated, inconsistent costs in different regions. And if the people involved don’t fully understand the rules and regulations in the countries they’re hiring in, they could run into compliance issues. 

When you work with a multi-country MSP provider, you can manage your entire contingent workforce under one programme. This both helps you to save time and ensures consistency across your global operations. 

Plus, multi-country MSP providers are experts in sourcing talent in multiple markets. That means they can often spot opportunities for cost-saving that you might not have identified on your own. 

Benefits of a multi-country MSP

Here are some of the benefits of implementing a multi-country MSP to handle your contingent staffing needs.

Increased visibility over your workforce

If you’re hiring temporary workers across multiple countries, you may not have a clear picture of what your workforce looks like. And without effective systems for sourcing and engaging workers, you’re likely facing inconsistent margins, hidden costs and supply chain confusion. Even if you do have a system on paper, hiring managers often go outside of it to hire contractors they’ve worked with before or approach known suppliers on an ad hoc basis.

When you work with a multi-company MSP provider, they’ll be responsible for your entire contingent worker programme. They’ll be able to provide you with advanced analytics and reporting, so you can spot trends related to supplier performance, workforce utilisation and cost — and ultimately get more out of your workforce. 

Cost-savings compared to in-house strategies 

An MSP can save your organisation money in a number of ways. First, they’re often able to introduce you to new vendors that can provide the workers you need at a lower cost. They’re also skilled at renegotiating agreements with your existing suppliers to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. 

An MSP will also usually handle supplier payments on your behalf and issue you with one global invoice — eliminating hours in admin time. 

Of course, this is particularly valuable for global companies that need to pay workers in multiple currencies. An experienced multi-country MSP provider will be able to invoice you in the currency of your choice, and ensure all workers are paid correctly, on time and in their own currency. 

Built-in flexibility and scalability

Maybe the nature of your business means that you need more workers at certain times of year, and fewer workers during quieter periods. Maybe you need to quickly onboard a large number of workers to help deliver a short-term project. 

The point is, most organisations’ workforce needs change over time. But it’s not always easy to add a large number of additional workers at short notice, because sourcing, engaging and onboarding those workers takes time. 

A multi-country MSP can help you to scale up and pull back your workforce as needed. They’re typically able to source and engage new workers much more quickly than internal teams can manage, thanks to their extensive networks of skilled contractors. 

Plus, some MSP providers will also help you to redeploy workers as they approach the end of their contracts, helping you to make better use of your contingent workforce. 

Put simply, working with an MSP means you’ll never be left short-staffed in your moments of need — and you won’t need to waste money paying for year-round workers when you only need them during busy periods. 

Improved governance and compliance

Employing workers across multiple jurisdictions is complicated. Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to engaging contingent workers — and they change frequently. If you’re not paying attention, risks like employee misclassification could easily land your company in hot water. 

A good multi-country MSP provider will have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and legislation in every country they operate in. That means that they can protect your company from risk by ensuring that every worker is engaged in accordance with those laws. 

Multi-country MSP: implementation challenges

Implementing a multi-country MSP programme might represent a big change to the way your organisation has always done things. That means you may see some resistance from internal stakeholders like hiring managers and team leaders. 

It’s important to set up your MSP programme in such a way that hiring managers can’t circumvent it. In other words, you need to ensure that hiring managers can’t hire contingent workers without going through the programme. Otherwise, you’ll see rogue spending, inconsistent processes and a loss of control over your contingent workforce. 

Above all, it’s important to communicate clearly with all stakeholders to ensure that hiring managers understand what they need to do to procure a worker. You should also make the benefits of the MSP programme (like reduced costs, increased visibility and consistent engagement practices) clear to everyone. That way, they won’t try to circumvent the system and hire workers outside of it. 

CXC’s multi-country MSP services 

At CXC, we understand that every organisation is different. We also know that most organisations’ needs change over time — whether that’s due to seasonal fluctuations in demand or changes to the company’s overall direction. 

We provide our MSP services on a flexible, à la carte basis, which means you can pick and choose the specific services you need (and add new ones if your situation changes). 

We also operate in more than 100 countries worldwide, and we’re proud to be a global organisation. That means we’re well-equipped to handle your multi-country MSP needs — whatever they are. Want to learn more? Read our full guide to our MSP services, or speak to our team today

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About CXC

At CXC, we want to help you grow your business with flexible, contingent talent. But we also understand that managing a contingent workforce can be complicated, costly and time-consuming. Through our MSP solution, we can help you to fulfil all of your contingent hiring needs, including temp employees, independent contractors and SOW workers. And if your needs change? No problem. Our flexible solution is designed to scale up and down to match our clients’ requirements.

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