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Creating an agile workforce by engaging an MSP

Creating an agile workforce by engaging an MSP

You don’t necessarily need to be a large organisation to benefit from engaging a managed service provider (MSP) to ensure you are gaining maximum value and efficiency from the flexible component of your workforce.

In fact, over the last two years the inquiries received at Hays Talent Solutions for managed services were fairly evenly split between large firms and small to medium-sized companies. I put this down to MSP solutions – or parts of them – being more easily accessible, improvements in technology and the growing ability of MSPs to operate with the necessary agility to suit today’s fast changing business environment, regardless of the size of an organisation.

When delivered and run effectively, the contingent workforce program delivers all the same features and benefits to an SME as to a large organisation.

Under an MSP arrangement, an employer enters into a single contract relationship with an outsourced service provider to manage its temporary and contractor workforce. The MSP team is positioned between internal procurement or hiring managers and recruitment firms supplying contractors and temporary staffing solutions. The MSP is neutral and considers all stakeholders, technology and systems to create a level playing field for competing suppliers so their client receives the best service at the most competitive price.

Becoming increasingly popular over the last decade, MSP arrangements were put in place to save companies time and money. An MSP should also monitor key talent trends including changing skill sets and rate fluctuations so employers can reap the benefits while focusing their time on what they do best.

What to look for in your MSPAny MSP provider you consider should have a proven track record, highly engaged staff and the right technology and processes to deliver maximum value to your company.

The right provider has all these qualities plus:

  • An effective network of downstream supplier relationships as well as an efficient supply management system
  • A user-friendly technology platform (Vendor Management System) to control your entire contingent workforce
  • The ability to create and drive market intelligence and cost saving initiatives
  • A well-defined authorisation process that captures all relevant costs and not just headcount

What your MSP should deliverAn MSP ensures you are getting the greatest value and performance from your panel of suppliers as well as access to the best available contingent talent.

Some of the best talent prefer contract arrangements over a permanent role, so an MSP ensures you don’t miss out on seeding your existing talent pool with experts able to really add value to the work you do.

However, there are two other major benefits of having an MSP – reducing costs and ensuring your use of contingent talent is aligned with your overall people strategy.

How an MSP reduces costsYour MSP are experts in negotiating the best possible rates with suppliers but that is only part of the story.

The MSP team will also ensure the consistent application of statutory on costs; perform pay rate bench marking to keep rates competitive and use data analytics to track and understand salary and payment trends such as overtime as well as use data trends to accurately interpret modern awards.

Using an MSP also means the removal of contractor administration fees. The team can also reclassify Statement of Work (SOW) spend into lower cost channels.

Making contingent talent part of your people strategyAn MSP should support your overall people strategy. Companies going it alone rarely have the time or data tools to include their contingent workforce in any strategic plans for the future.

Making an MSP part of operations provides real time visibility of your contingent workforce and also quality business intelligence to help inform the business decisions you make.

Data should provide a blue print for actionIn the MSP programs we run for our clients, we put data analytics at the centre of our strategy. Our focus on client service and our expertise in capturing and translating data into action is where we believe we offer superior value.

We configure the Vendor Management System (VMS) to provide a real time picture of your contingent workforce and its costs - both current and projected. We customise intelligent dashboards to provide a summary of your program on a monthly and quarterly basis, and we interpret medium to long-term data to identify trends and opportunities for strategic decisions and improvements.

Companies need to remain agile. An MSP draws on robust data and well-developed expertise to help clients make quick decisions.


Shane Little
Shane Little
Managing Director ANZ and APAC, Hays Talent Solutions

Having worked in the recruitment and staffing industry for 15 years, Shane has a track record of running successful staffing businesses across a variety of different sectors. Shane takes pride in his ability to identify and develop talent whilst at the same time creating lasting partnerships with his clients.

As Operations Director for ANZ and APAC at Hays Talent Solutions, Shane is responsible for the delivery of market leading Talent Solutions to a range of clients across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This involves the leadership and development of talented sales, delivery and operational teams whilst maintaining senior client relationships. He has a unique insight into contingent workforce models having been involved in early stage PSL arrangements, first generation programmes and mature solutions looking to take the step into SOW management.

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