Over the last two years, we have learned how to achieve results under completely new circumstances that require a reliance on employees and contingent workers working remotely to keep the world turning. Contingent workforce program managers had numerous challenges to prioritize and overcome in order to learn where you had workers, what they had access to, what security protocols you had in place and more. Staffing became a critical resource. Buyers needed to collaborate with internal IT and security departments and your MSP needed to do the same with your staffing and service suppliers — and it wasn’t easy.

New technology that seemed to be a “nice to have” suddenly became a necessity — not just at the program level, but downstream to the staffing firms — to stay connected with their contractors and candidates and manage them in a remote work environment. Service providers quickly learned how to make processes more efficient and to rely on their partners for added support.

The MSP and staffing supplier relationship, which used to be a bit adversarial, over time evolved to be more collaborative and supportive of one another. The pandemic pushed those relationships so much farther. One supplier told me that the success of their account performance was due to the fact that relationships were based on trust.

Trust is something that doesn’t always come easy; it requires a certain amount of transparency, vulnerability and faith in each other to do what they say and course-correct when things don’t turn out as planned. We have seen a whole new level of trust between service providers and between program owners and their providers, allowing new solutions to evolve and support the changing work models.

Now more than ever, the level of collaboration and trust has enabled technology and service providers to predict how the next phase of change will impact your ability to meet your contingent hiring needs. These groups are working closely together to solve workforce management issues around talent acquisition, assessment and retention. The pandemic changed the course for many organizations and increased the need for remote work strategies, but it did not take away the growing concerns and issues around diversity and inclusion, nor growing talent shortages that were expected as the baby boomers retired. Rather, the pandemic made those issues more visible to the general public, fueling the need for better strategies to manage the workforce.

MSPs, technology providers and staffing firms are actively planning strategies and solutions to help tap and manage the talent better together. They continue to collaborate on solutions to solve business challenges. Gone are the days when each provider developed a solution in a vacuum and forced it on the others. As we watch the future unfold and address new issues such as those around vaccination and testing mandates, we will have an even greater need for trust and collaboration from our technology and service providers.

As we deal with unprecedented times and move into uncharted territory, the role of the program owner inside your organization has never been more important to the success of the business. This has resulted in a greater need to partner with your technology and service providers to tackle the future together. Learn from insights they have seen with other clients and collaborate to find solutions that offer winning outcomes for all.