Welcome to January, when new change initiatives are rolling into effect or being launched to secure the year’s targeted organizational goals. For the CW program, those changes may include implementing enhanced program technologies and complying with changes in statutory expenses and/or service pricing changes; or engaging new staffing partners in the program’s supply chain. Other changes are less pleasant but necessary, such as ending a staffing partner’s participation in the program and then having to transition their service engagements to a different staffing partner.

Actually, supplier portfolio transitions will be a more common, continuous improvement occurrence as today’s program management practices continue to mature and ultimately demand greater excellence in the solutions, capabilities and services provided. At a minimum, greater capability and maturity is emerging in the marketplace in terms of measuring staffing partner service performance, and as a result, taking action on expanding and upgrading the capability and quality of one’s staffing partner portfolio is becoming a competitive necessity.

So how best to manage a staffing partner transition? An initial suggested step is leveraging an alignment of all your engaged staffing partners with the American Staffing Association’s Code of Ethics and Good Practices. This code of ethics covers multiple items from confidentiality issues to best practice management of engaged talent. One item listed in the code addresses the natural transitions of staffing partners in the marketplace. (The specific language and proffered transition best practice can be found below.) The spirit of this best practice is for the parties to execute an orderly staffing partner change that takes into account all the parties involved, and most importantly, the engaged CW talent. It is one approach that most reputable staffing providers will accept as a public guideline to transitions. One can build off of this to create your own staffing partner transition practice and process.

ASA Code of Ethics and Good Practices excerpt (specific subset of the ethics code)

To observe the following guidelines to ensure an orderly transition when taking over an account being serviced by another staffing firm:

—The outgoing firm and its employees should, whenever feasible, be given reasonable prior notice that the account is being transferred.

—Assigned employees of the outgoing firm should, whenever feasible, be allowed to continue working on the payroll of the outgoing firm for some reasonable transition period; thereafter, they should be given the choice of accepting an assignment with another client of the outgoing firm if one is available, or applying to stay on their current assignment with the new staffing firm.

An enhanced approach is contractually codifying roles and responsibilities of all the parties participating in a CW program transition and related CW engagements. These staffing partner transitions will include multiple elements that can range from capturing required basic data concerning related past and present CW engagements/talent to changes in pricing (bill and pay) and contractual terms and conditions. One should look at this as installing a NEW staffing partner to the program, and of course, removing one. A lot of key steps need to be addressed in both of these actions and a complete, formal implementation/on-/offboarding plan should be thought through and executed. The level of preparedness would be the “Adaptation Phase” level of the SIA Optimization Roadmap methodology, as covered by SIA’s CCWP Program. It does not have to be complicated but the contract transition language should at least commit the required parties to specific roles, resources, responsibilities and outcomes during a transition event.

For more information about SIA’s CCWP program and/or the Optimization Roadmap, go here. The next in-person class is Feb. 22-23 in Phoenix. Online classes are also available.