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The Building Blocks of Supporting your Staffing Partners

Consistently there is news of the current employment conditions being a “Candidate’s Market.” A Candidate Market exists when candidates have multiple job offers, unemployment is at historic lows, and more workers are seeking alternate work arrangements such as freelancing. This market naturally causes employers to seek increasing levels of contingent labor. However, buyers need to ensure they have fundamental strategies in place so that partners can effectively support ongoing program needs. Here are some simple strategies to ensure a high level of ongoing support to your staffing partners:

  • Provide ongoing updates on the status of open job orders: While just a status doesn’t provide full detailed feedback, it can give them basic updates and focus their attention where coverage is most needed. Years ago, I implemented a simple weekly report on job orders to include either a red, yellow, or green status with basic statistics such as the number of candidates submitted and interviewing. I have deployed this type of update countless times in numerous programs. One will typically see this basic reporting provided in your VMS standard reporting package. With just a few minutes of color coding, you can send it to your supplier partners as a valuable tool.

  • Obtain useful feedback on candidates: While obtaining detailed feedback on every candidate submitted is likely unrealistic, the hiring manager should be able to provide you with some generalized feedback. Why they selected these candidates to interview? What were the other candidates lacking? Then distributing that information to all suppliers can provide insight for suppliers to either continue to recruit, pipeline for that opening, or move to the next. VMS systems have the communication capability to do so directly from the tool.

  • Communicate KPIs clearly: Suppliers need an understanding of the key performance indicators. Suppliers need to understand how they will be measured and how those measurements play into the program’s success. Scorecards are a powerful tool to provide feedback to the suppliers on how well they are supporting the program. But why doesn’t that type of information sharing flow both ways? I recently had a supplier tell me they were supporting a program where openings came out and were closed within 4 hours. They knew that the sourcing was taking place directly with the managers and was not being competitively bid. This supplier should have the insights into how many of the positions are competitively sourced, how they can tell the difference when being distributed, and goals for that particular MSP to increase the competitive sourcing.

  • Establish Feedback Loops: Feedback loops should be established in multiple ways. Here are two basic ways to get started:

  1. Escalation paths for both organizations should be transparent. Too often, suppliers know the program manager onsite for the MSP or an individual contributor within an internal program supporting job orders. Where do suppliers go when they are unable to get resolution with their main contacts? In the former example, they do not get information on the percentage of competitively sourced openings or how to differentiate for which positions they need to recruit actively.

  2. Surveys should be conducted regularly of both the supplier and the hiring managers. Surveys can be used to benchmark suppliers and managers satisfaction with the program. Their feedback leads to process improvement suggestions that can be implemented to ensure their ongoing satisfaction and engagement.

These are just a few fundamental strategies that your contingent workforce program manager can employ as a part of their daily support of the program. If you need assistance with any of these or suggestions on additional strategies, consider engaging Tracz Consulting to perform an assessment and maturity mapping of your program. Implementing these strategies could save you valuable time and prevent your supplier frustration.

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