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How to Win the Business of MSPs

In a low margin business, optimizing volume is critical. And the fastest way to optimize is by working with MSPs and becoming their go-to supplier. In this session, panelists discussed successful strategies staffing firms can use to win the business of MSPs.

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Presenters: Manu Saighal (Director of General Staffing, Adecco); Swett Bhatt (CEO, ETeam); Karuna Vempala (Head of Talent Acquisition, Cigniti Technologies Limited)
Moderator: How COVID-19 Established MSPs as Leaders 

MSPs have been around as long as staffing firms. Playing the intermediate role between staffing firm and end-client, these MSPs brand themselves as delivering talent tailored to the overall needs of their client. 

MSPs take care of talent acquisition and management (including compliance regulations) while providing greater visibility into their end-client’s total talent spend. As a result, many clients prefer working with MSPs: it streamlines their process, reduces complexities, and guarantees a job well done. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has only solidified MSPs’ position as a leading partner for clients. At the pandemic’s onset, many companies needed large volumes of workers quickly, whether for temperature screening, disinfecting, or general healthcare services. MSPs were able to provide this talent efficiently, with all regulatory measures met, proving their worth to end clients. 

How Can Staffing Firms Benefit? 

The good news is that success for MSPs can mean success for staffing firms—if firms take time to succeed in the MSP program. According to our panelists, there are a few key ways to help your firm stand out to an MSP: 

  • Take a consultative approach. Remember: an MSP is offering more to their end client than just talent. They’re offering a project partner—someone who will understand the long-term needs of that client, their project, and their business goals. That means that an MSP is looking for suppliers who also understand these long-term priorities. When submitting candidates to an MSP, then, it’s important to find candidates who meet all the criteria in addition to providing valuable skill sets that could help the end-client on their next project. 
  • Establish an internal process. As with all clients, filling an MSP’s job requirement quickly is key to success. As a staffing firm, the best way to do this is to establish an internal process dedicated to meeting an MSPs’ needs. This means singling out a few recruiters who are experts at the MSP’s VMS technology, who are familiar with the MSP industry, and who have a proven track record of creating high-quality talent pipelines and finding candidates in tight deadlines. 
  • Go beyond your usual sourcing. The final tip for succeeding within MSP programs is simple: go above and beyond. Don’t just grab the first candidate from LinkedIn or Dice who checks all the boxes. Try more innovative approaches to sourcing, such as Passive Candidate Sourcing, or AI-Driven Candidate Matching & Ranking, to ensure that your candidate submissions stand out from the competition. Remember: MSPs want to deliver the best to their clients. As a supplier, it’s your job to help them to do so.

Advice for Staffing Firms 

As the world continues to adjust to the post-COVID-19 workforce, the demand for contingent workers and MSPs will only increase. This means that staffing firms who want to remain successful and drive placements will establish partnerships with MSPs now. At the beginning of the partnership, you may see limited returns on investment. That’s okay: your team is learning the MSP workflow. But long-term, it’s worth it to pursue MSP business. Ultimately, this will result in more placements in less time.

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