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5 Ways Leading-Edge MSPs Are Playing a More Strategic Role in Talent Acquisition and Management

Amy Bogan | July 6 2023 |

Kees Stroomer

According to a recent research report from Brandon Hall Group, organizations that use more contingent labor have shown improvement in employee engagement, turnover, productivity and revenue. In short, the contingent workforce drives long-term value by creating instant adaptability to fill critical skills when the labor market is tight, the economy is volatile, or your organization is transforming.

As the report notes, leading-edge Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are increasingly playing a more strategic role in optimizing the sourcing and management of this workforce. I’ve noticed a similar trend in my interactions with clients, with many Fortune 1000 organizations realizing success by continuously evolving their programs, taking a more holistic view of their contingent workers, and partnering with an MSP to drive program innovation and operational excellence.

Here are five keys ways that leading-edge MSPs are playing a more strategic role in talent acquisition and management:

1) Extending contingent sourcing beyond traditional staffing suppliers

Given recent economic volatility, many organizations are focused on cost savings, but savvy companies are looking for smart ways to achieve this without sacrificing talent quality. Partnering with an MSP to open more channels to access talent can accelerate this effort, and expanding direct sourcing efforts is a crucial component of this approach.

In short, the right mix of leading-edge technology, real-time data and experienced curation services enables organizations to use their brand to attract talent that’s interested in contingent opportunities at their company. Done correctly, direct sourcing is one of the most powerful strategies organizations can employ to drive cost savings. Beyond savings, organizations also maintain high talent levels since they’re sourcing from known candidates while also accelerating time to fill because identifying candidates and onboarding are typically reduced or eliminated.

2) Leveraging state-of-the-art tech and analytics to drive better decisions 

Utilizing leading-edge, client-optimized technology and analytics, including AI and pay intelligence, can help accelerate program success and impart organizational change. To this end, having the technology and MSP experiences tightly woven together from the operational lens is critical.

For example, given the rapidly shifting labor market, rate intelligence should be leveraged in real time, and an MSP can help organizations utilize pay intel at the moment of sourcing to understand what they should be paying in a specific time and location. We’re seeing clients drive significant cost savings by using pay intelligence tools in real-time scenarios. (Try our interactive Pay Intel tool.)

Understanding how to tap into data and technology is also critical to taking a skills-based approach to finding and engaging contingent talent. We’re seeing new skills emerge in today’s marketplace, and with that a need to source for these skills. A good MSP partner can help an organization assess its skills inventory and whether its current suppliers can deliver the new skills they need.

3) Providing expertise in geographic expansion   

With the post-pandemic increase in remote work opening new geographic options for sourcing talent, an organization’s ability to replicate and localize contingent workforce programs to additional global regions and talent markets is more critical than ever. An experienced MSP can provide crucial guidance in areas such as:

  1. Program Expansion: Organizations should seek a partner that can help design a program that’s flexible enough to meet the local, in-country needs of separate operating units, yet rigorous enough to meet the higher-level oversight and visibility needs of the company.
  2. Compliance: New locales mean new rules and regulations, and an MSP can help provide expertise on compliance risks, implications and necessary action.
  3. Talent Acquisition: As companies expand to new geographies, existing suppliers that have been fantastic supporting them in their current markets may not be ideal for these new markets. A quality MSP will constantly engage with and evaluate those suppliers to make sure a client’s evolving talent needs are met.

4) Creating a talent-centric focus   

Candidate and worker experience is increasingly top of mind for business leaders, but many organizations have historically focused their efforts solely on full-time talent. An MSP partner can help nurture a more talent-centric focus in areas where human intervention is crucial to better attracting, engaging and managing contingent talent, including worker learning and development, direct sourcing, skills-based hiring, talent pool management, and worker redeployment.

Many of these areas require a mix of technology, data and human expertise, and this is where an MSP with deep experience in the space can help you continue to innovate and improve to ensure you’re meeting your organization’s unique objectives and putting the right people to work in the right positions – and then retaining this top talent.

5) Managing contingent worker DE&I  

Today, many organizations are expanding DE&I initiatives, but again, these efforts often overlook contingent talent. To better address this gap, top-tier MSPs are helping organizations address questions such as:

  • How might we reduce bias during the hiring process?
  • How can we access talent in different markets that were previously underrepresented?
  • How do we create an open, inclusive environment where all talent can succeed?

An MSP can be an invaluable partner in not only helping organizations build processes that deliver a more inclusive experience, but also continuing to provide an atmosphere where everyone feels they can contribute and thrive while on the job.  

Driving Transformation Through Your MSP    

Even leading organizations typically have areas of their programs that are less advanced than others. A strategic MSP can help identify those areas, create a plan for transformation tied to your organization’s unique long-term goals and vision, build cross-functional stakeholder engagement, and then help you implement the plan to ensure program success.

For more on how you can team with an MSP to gain a competitive advantage in your talent acquisition and management strategies, check out the Brandon Hall white paper, “The New Role for the MSP in Human Capital Management.”


Disclaimer: The content in this blog post is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. The blog post reflects the opinion of Magnit and is not to be construed as legal solutions and positions. Contact an attorney for specific advice and guidance for specific issues or questions.

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