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4 Tips to Winning within a Vendor Neutral Program


If you’re in the business of staffing, the term Managed Service Provider (MSP) is not a foreign concept. In today’s fluid marketplace, it makes sense why companies are turning to MSPs to manage compliance issues, supply chain, and labor programs, but it changes the playing ground for staffing providers. Many companies are even switching to vendor neutral programs, which can pose an even larger hurdle.


What does vendor neutral mean for staffing firms?Rather than negotiating with multiple suppliers, a vendor neutral program uses technology to standardize the process and work with an established network of firms, without a preferred relationship of one over the other.


This doesn’t always play to a staffing firm’s advantage, in fact, it can be quite a challenge to give up client control and gross profit for the promise of larger billing volume. It’s created a divide in the staffing world: those who embrace the inevitable MSP programs, and those that loathe the thought of working with one. It’s time to get on board or miss out on the incremental revenue and reach.


Here are 4tips to help you succeed in the vendor neutral space:


1. Bring value to the MSP.

MSPs thrive on providing clients with the best experience possible by supplying top performing staffing firms. Without relying on strong relationships or differing price points, how do you stand out? By bringing value to the MSP. This can come in the form of market intel, consistent top talent, specializing in a niche, or delivering unique selling tools that increase efficiency. MSPs rely heavily on their vendor’s ability to constantly explore upcoming market needs and new opportunities.


2. Get to know your client’s culture.

The technology behind MSPs certainly serves its purpose, but there is a missing human factor. Companies are still looking for their staffing firms to have a strong understanding of their business, their culture, and their values. Conduct regular status meetings with your clients, visit them on-site, get to know the people they’re working with. [TV1] This will unveil those hidden skillsets they’re looking for but not listing on the job description. Candidates that reflect their core values will rise to the top.


3. Revamp your recruitment strategy.

The best candidates are going to be what lands you the wins. To experience long-term success, your recruitment strategy needs to focus on 3 things:


· Delivering only top performing and qualified candidates

· Submitting candidates in a timely manner

· Developing a pipeline of skilled and available candidates in the key areas your clients are seeking


4. Provide world-class customer service.

If a staffing firm is difficult to work with, the MSP will not want to bring them customers. Every MSP comes with its own policy and set of procedures that must be followed. They are looking for providers who can act as a virtual extension of their own. This requires extreme flexibility and willingness to go the extra mile to be as non-invasive as possible. Start by building a strong relationship with your MSP’s point-of-contact and direct all logistical questions regarding requisitions, interviews, or on-boarding to them.

The goal of working within a vendor neutral MSP is to be viewed as the go-to supplier. Follow these tips to increase the probability of a successful business relationship that can result in mutual benefits for both you and the MSP.

[TV1]Reference notes in email on this sentence.

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mary@greywoodconsultingllc.com

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