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How to Choose an MSP That Meets Your Contingent Staffing Needs

Talent Management
CXC Global5 min read
CXC GlobalApril 29, 2024
CXC Global

Managing an extensive contingent workforce programme in-house is a lot of work. 

Without the right processes in place, you can easily end up with a decentralised system where no one has full visibility over your workforce. Ultimately, this can lead to problems with regulatory compliance and security — not to mention spiralling costs. 

That’s why, for many businesses, there comes a time when partnering with a managed service provider becomes a necessity. 

But there are many different MSPs on the market — and they are not all created equal. In this article, we’ll share six key factors to consider when you’re on the hunt for an MSP partner, so you can make the best choice for your business.

What is a managed service provider?

A managed service provider (MSP) is an organisation that provides outsourced services to another organisation. In the context of the contingent workforce, MSPs handle the sourcing, engaging, onboarding and management of non-permanent workers. 

Typically, MSPs work to negotiate better rates with your existing vendors and introduce you to new ones. They develop multi-channel sourcing strategies and build private talent pools to give you access to on-demand talent. 

And a good MSP provider will also be able to advise you on the latest labour market trends and provide real-time analytics and insights about your workforce. 

Working with an MSP can bring many benefits to an organisation, including: 

  • Significant cost-savings 
  • Reduced admin 
  • Improved governance and compliance 
  • Access to tools and technology 
  • Increased process efficiency 
  • Fast access to talent 
  • Enhanced candidate experience

Ultimately, working with an MSP is a way to build an efficient, sustainable contingent worker programme — without overwhelming your internal team.

How to choose a managed service provider: 6 key factors to consider

So, you’ve identified the need for an MSP to help manage your contingent workforce. What now? After all, there are a lot of suppliers out there — and you need to make sure the one you choose aligns with your organisation’s needs. 

Read on for six key things to consider when you’re on the hunt for an MSP partner

  1. Expertise in your industry 

It’s a good idea to choose an MSP that has experience working with other clients in your industry. A provider that’s familiar with the nuances and challenges of your specific sector will be much better placed to understand your unique staffing needs and provide tailored solutions. 

For example, an MSP that knows your industry will have a good understanding of the requirements for specific roles, and the skill sets that those jobs require. They’ll also be able to identify the best ways of sourcing candidates for those roles and accurately assess their qualifications and technical skills. 

So, how can you find out if an MSP has the right level of experience in your industry? A good place to start is by looking for client reviews or case studies on the MSP’s website. 

  1. Shared values and clear communication

When you work with an MSP, they effectively become a core part of your HR and/or procurement team. And, if you want your relationship with them to be productive, it’s important that their business values and ethos are aligned with yours. 

It’s also a good idea to establish clear communication guidelines from the beginning of your relationship with an MSP. For example, as a client, you might expect a certain level of responsiveness — and you need to be sure the provider you choose can provide this if you don’t want to cause friction down the line. 

Again, reading reviews on the MSP’s website (or on other online review sites) is a good starting point. You should also ask the MSP how they communicate with their clients in your initial conversations with them. 

  1. Flexibility and customisation 

Every company has distinct staffing needs, which evolve over time. It’s important to choose an MSP that will be able to adapt to your changing requirements. For example, you may need to scale your workforce up and down at certain times of the year — and you need to be sure that your MSP can accommodate this. 

A good MSP should also be agile in the way it responds to changes in the labour market. An MSP that’s too rigid in its approach or too slow to react to changes may result in missed opportunities and wasted time and money.

In your initial discussions with any MSP, you should ask them questions about how they monitor the market, and how quickly they’re able to react to changes.  

  1. Backed up by the right tech 

Technology plays a significant role in modern workforce management. And an MSP whose systems are backed up by the right tools can deliver a more efficient, streamlined and cost-effective service. 

For example, many MSPs give their clients access to a vendor management system (VMS), which allows you to maintain full visibility over your contingent workforce by breaking down things like recruitment metrics, pay rates and worker locations so they’re easy to understand. 

These tools allow you to adapt and improve your processes so they’re as efficient as possible — ultimately saving you money. 

  1. Coverage where you need it

Globalisation has changed the way we work, and many companies now hire across multiple jurisdictions. Choosing an MSP with global coverage and a network of partners around the world ensures you’ll always have coverage where you need it. 

Of course, it’s important to look to the future as well as focusing on your current needs. If you have plans to expand to another country or location later on, ensuring the MSP you choose has a presence there can help to save you time and money down the line. 

  1. Comprehensive compliance knowledge 

Hiring contingent workers always comes with a certain level of risk, especially if you’re hiring across borders. That’s why it’s important to partner with an MSP provider with a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations that apply to your business. 

Also, tax legislation, labour laws and other compliance requirements change frequently. That means you need to ensure that any MSP partner you work with keeps a close eye on regulatory changes, so you don’t have to. 

This can not only protect your company from the financial consequences of non-compliance (like fines, penalties and legal fees), but it can also avoid damaging your reputation as an employer. 

Introducing CXC: Your flexible MSP partner 

There’s a lot that goes into choosing an MSP partner. Ultimately, there’s no one right answer — it’s about choosing the right partner for your organisation. 

At CXC, we understand the challenges that companies face when sourcing and engaging contingent workers. We’ve been in this game for more than three decades, after all. We also understand that every business is different — and that your needs probably won’t look the same a year from now as they do today. 

That’s why we developed our flexible, modular MSP programme, which allows you to choose the services you need, without wasting money on those you don’t. 

Our global footprint spans more than 100 countries, which means you don’t need to worry about not having the coverage you need. And our team’s extensive knowledge of labour and tax laws means you can stop losing sleep over compliance worries. 

Want to learn more about how we could help you to drive efficiency and enable strategic growth? 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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