If you’re an MSP program manager, the performance of your staffing partners is too important to be left to chance. I believe that understanding an MSP’s needs and converting that knowledge into a customized, detailed service plan is critical to delivering consistent, compliant service and highly compatible contingent workers in a timely, cost-effective manner.
A customized client-specific service plan provides a standards-driven framework that governs all staffing and back-office activities. Whether they’re submitting a resume through a VMS or onboarding an IT contractor, staffing agency personnel around the globe can refer to the plan for specific guidelines, processes and program rules.
Moreover, it serves as a repository for the subtle nuances that often mean the difference between meeting and exceeding your expectations. Valuable knowledge about a company’s culture and staffing preferences can be lost unless there’s a place to capture it.
So what are the elements of an effective service plan from a staffing provider? It should outline the processes, timelines and responsibilities to support the measurement and achievement of staffing and service outcomes. In other words, it should spell out the how-tos, incremental steps and secondary KPIs that contribute to the successful attainment of your managed program’s key benchmarks and goals.
For instance, if your client has multiple projects pending, and wants requisitions for contract software developers filled within 48 hours, a staffing partner’s plan might mandate the collaborative development of a quarterly talent forecast, specific deadlines for resume submittals, interviews and offers some sort of process for flagging and expediting priority orders.
Here are some other ways to judge the effectiveness of a staffing firm’s service plan.
• It’s specific
The devil’s in the details when it comes to consistent service delivery. A best-of-breed plan quantifies every task, duty or step and names the responsible party. Your staffing partner should also ensure that program and line managers understand their roles and responsibilities, since success in a competitive labor market often requires team effort and speed-to-market.
• It blends data, technology and human interaction
Technology is a tool that enables great service, but it’s not a substitute for proactive communication or human interaction. A staffing firm’s plan should specify when recruiters should put down the mouse and pick up the phone as well as when and how account managers communicate with the MSP program office.
• It broadcast updates in real-time
Updates need to be documented and communicated in real-time. Staffing partners must ensure they are continually re-modelling and updating the design and delivery of their services and plan to ensure compliance as program needs and policies change.
In summary, we depend on the client-specific service plans created by our teams. Those plans however are living and breathing guidelines which require constant maintenance. Get away from reliance on email. Whether the MSP is “hi-touch” or “no-contact,” consistently capturing client requirements and building relations are critical to your plan and your success in providing support every MSP desires.