Dealing with problems can take up a lot of an MSP program manager’s time. So it makes sense to partner with a staffing supplier who recognizes potential issues and engages with program and line managers to come up with a solution.
Studies show that companies that collaborate across the supply chain to solve problems enjoy reductions in costs and improvements in service and customer satisfaction. At eTeam, we practice collaborative problem solving with our MSP partners for just these reasons.
I believe that successful problem-solving requires four components:
How can you identify a staffing partner who practices proactive problem identification? Look for these traits.
Collaborative staffing suppliers have committed leaders, IT systems that facilitate real-time analysis and problem identification, and a win-win mindset. Staff members are willing to share information and work toward a mutually-beneficial solution. Most importantly, collaborative suppliers have leaders who create an environment that encourages employees to take the initiative in surfacing problems. By allowing employees to play an active role in problem identification, staffing leaders encourage and support proactive behaviors.
Ad hoc problem identification produces inconsistent results and haphazard solutions. Suppliers need business rules and defined processes that serve as a step-by-step guide to identify potential problems. Structured methods explain which analytical tools to use and when and they keep problem solvers on track as they explore complex issues. Although systematic problem identification is important, nothing beats a healthy dose of intuition.
Recruiters and account managers need an extensive body of knowledge, situational awareness, curiosity, listening skills and an open mind to spot a looming issue with a requisition or contractor placement. They also need the ability to focus on a single client so they can pick-up on the subtleties during conversations with line managers and the time to follow their suspicions. Fortunately, intuition is a skill that can be improved with training and practice so select a staffing partner that teaches creative thinking techniques.
Identifying problems before they occur is the mark of a truly great staffing supplier and the foundation for collaborative solutions. Next week, I’ll share my thoughts on cooperative diagnostics.