what is MSP? your questions answered.

In these uncertain times, talent agility is critical to organizational success. Flexible talent helps you get the skills you need now to get work done and build a talent pipeline to support future growth, all while staying agile. Learn how managed services programs (MSP) support contingent workforce management with this at-a-glance guide.

what is a managed services provider in the staffing industry

what is MSP staffing?

A managed services program is a highly effective way for employers to manage their contingent workforces. An MSP provider can deliver a host of benefits, including:

  • market expertise
  • process efficiencies
  • technology expertise
  • program scalability
  • compliant practices
  • spend visibility and cost savings

The MSP can act as an integral part of your company’s procurement, HR or other human capital function. It will manage the entire contingent talent life cycle from requisition through invoicing and payment. Using a vendor management system (VMS), the managed service program gives you complete visibility into the status of each contingent worker at your organization.

With a rigorously designed and consistent process, an MSP can also help you stay compliant with all labor regulations and governance requirements. Through talent analytics, your program can also drive improved decision-making around your contingent workforce.

Randstad Sourceright MSP definition

is an MSP right for my organization?

An MSP often requires that employers have a minimum amount of contingent talent spend. A volume threshold is typically necessary for the program to be self-sufficient.

Here are some other pivotal questions you should ask:

  • Does our internal contingent workforce program adequately control costs and mitigate risks?
  • Do we have a rigorous process in place for vetting and reviewing talent suppliers?
  • How are we — or aren’t we — ensuring compliance with spend policies?
  • Has our organization deployed a robust VMS to gain reporting capabilities and achieve spend visibility?

Internal contingent workforce programs that lack any of these are likely to benefit from adopting an MSP. Determining your need will depend on your organization’s goals and whether your current internal program can achieve those objectives on budget and on time.

Randstad Sourceright benefits of MSP

what are the benefits of MSPs?

Companies with significant flexible talent spend often find they don’t have full visibility of and compliance within their contingent workforce practices. Hiring managers may source and acquire resources on their own, leaving procurement or HR unaware of who and how many workers are coming and going. 

If this describes your company, you may be at risk in a number of ways. You need to keep an eye on regulatory adherence, physical and cyber security, high labor costs, fraud and other problems that can occur without the right controls. 

An MSP delivers processes that help you:

  • enhance access to talent
  • reduce process complexity
  • get greater visibility of spend
  • lower talent costs
  • improve regulatory compliance
what does MSP stand for

how does an MSP work?

An MSP is typically administered as part of an organization’s contingent workforce program. It may encompass most (if not all) flexible work arrangements, including temporary staffing, independent contractors, freelance and gig workers, payrolled talent and statement of work (SOW) suppliers. The solution is managed by a PMO overseen by the service provider. The PMO works in conjunction with the client’s contingent workforce team. 

The MSP is responsible for day-to-day management of the program. It will facilitate tasks such as requisition processing, supply chain management, transactional reporting, analytics and market insights, and more. In conjunction with clients and using teams of talent advisors, providers are increasingly working on resource planning to optimize deployment.

what does MSP stand for

what does an MSP cost?

Two prevailing models currently dominate the market: supplier-funded and client-funded. Under a supplier-funded model, a percentage of invoices billed by a supplier is held back to cover program costs. As a result, there are no direct costs to the client. In markets where mark-up is low, however, some suppliers may be unwilling to participate in such a program or hold back their best talent for other clients. 

In a client-funded program, the client pays a fee to their MSP partner. Depending on the agreement, the charge can be fixed or variable. While it may appear more costly, a client-funded model may ultimately be more beneficial because it ensures suppliers deliver a higher quality of talent more quickly.

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Randstad Sourceright MSP business continuity case study
case study:

engage contractors for business continuity.

A leading food manufacturer needed to add contract medical screeners quickly to ensure safe workplace conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how direct sourcing, delivered through MSP, helped the company engage and deploy 298 contingent workers in five weeks to ensure business continuity.

read the success story

build your contingent workforce strategy.

Are you using more contingent talent to create an agile workforce? This MSP guide answers some of the biggest questions around contingent workforce management.

get your copy

watch: drive contingent workforce engagement.

Take a closer look at how MSPs are evolving to meet contingent talent demand for critical business needs. Learn why more talent acquisition and procurement leaders are considering their workforces more holistically. See how an MSP partner can help best determine how to get the work done.

> watch the video

creating an effective supplier management strategy.

get greater value: a talent-first approach.

While traditional MSP models typically focus on cost optimization, supply chain management and speed of fulfillment, integrated MSP adopts a talent-first approach that transforms procurement processes as well as the quality of talent delivered. Learn more about integrated MSP in this Q&A.

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