Insight Global prides itself on evolving toward customer needs. As more and more clients began asking for services that extended beyond talent acquisition, Insight Global responded, creating its managed services division. With this division’s capabilities, Insight Global equips talent with tools, access and training; creates a strong culture across teams; and holds talent accountable to project deliverables.
Today, the division has a reputation among its clients for its transparency, its reliability and the character of its people. Ryan McGinn, president of Evergreen, Insight Global’s managed services division, talks about how the pandemic and the Great Resignation affected clients’ needs, what buyers should look for in a provider and how renaming itself Evergreen underscores its commitment to the growth of its clients, consultants and its own internal team.
When did Insight Global add managed services to its capabilities? What were the reasons behind the decision to lean into managed services?
While our longest-running managed services project just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, Insight Global has been making intentional investments in managed services — including delivery centers, technology and, most importantly, people — over the last seven years. We’ve assembled an incredible team of industry experts, and we have created development programs for our internal talent to help them deliver creative solutions for our clients’ problems and provide opportunities for growth.
As to why the shift, it was customer-driven, which has always been the case with Insight Global’s decisions around new markets, new divisions and new service offerings. Our customers were telling us that they wanted more than just talent from us. And don’t get me wrong — I came from the staffing side of Insight Global and know that finding and matching talent is hard. It becomes a significant responsibility when you layer on managing and developing that talent to hit project deliverables. We wanted to lean into that challenge and provide our customers value beyond talent when they need it.
What are the differences between managed services and staffing?
For me, the simple answer is accountability to the performance of talent and the service. With staffing, the customer is accountable for the training, technology, project governance, performance management, output of the team and ultimately the success of the project. However, with managed services, the vendor takes over all or most of those responsibilities and must meet agreed-upon outcomes and deliverables.
How do staffing and managed services complement each other, and why is this important to the client?
You can’t provide a great service without great talent, a great team and really strong culture. And yes, technology advancements and automations can enable more work to be done with fewer people — that is, if they are configured correctly — but having fewer people means the ones you do have need to be qualified, trained and committed to the success of the project, which is the ultimate priority for clients.
Interestingly, over the years, we’ve seen projects start as staffing and then develop into a fully outsourced managed service as the needs of the client changed. But we’ve also seen the opposite, and we believe that our flexibility is a major differentiator.
What are Insight Global’s other differentiators in this competitive arena that resonate with the buyer?
Well, I just discussed our flexibility. With the speed of change in technology and the labor market specifically over the last couple of years, you have to stay nimble and constantly reevaluate the service to ensure its continuous improvement and innovation. While our division has standardized service offerings that we’re frequently iterating and improving, all of our solutions are customized to the unique needs of the client because every client environment and challenge is different.
Another significant differentiator for us is access to talent. Powered by Insight Global, we have access to one of the largest networks of talent in the staffing industry. This enables us to provide on-demand and custom-built teams for our clients based on skill set needs, experience, location and cost containment. Combining these custom-built teams with our full-time industry experts provides a lot of flexibility, but with strong roots.
Meanwhile, the most prevailing differentiator customers have said about us is our values — specifically, our people-first culture and the commitment to our consultants assigned to our projects. Customers have referenced the character of our people, noting our transparency, our reliability and that we take ownership. We are proud of that reputation and focus on building our business around it.
What should a buyer look for in a potential managed services provider?
It has to be a partnership mindset rooted in trust. Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship. A buyer should feel that in the first interaction with a services provider and from everyone that they interact with at that provider.
It’s also important that a buyer seeks out a vendor that has a growth mindset. The ability to evolve and grow the services brings with it best practices, new technology, upskilling of teams and constant innovation.
Finally, you want providers that have experience and proven results. Buyers are making a really big decision on entrusting their products, platforms, customers and business processes to another company. A provider without customer success stories or references should be a red flag to any buyer.
How did the pandemic and the Great Resignation affect enterprise buyers’ needs for managed services?
The pandemic was a defining moment for us. Companies needed to get their people connected virtually with the right tools, technology, access and information security to be productive remotely. Managed services companies specialize in that, so it was a great opportunity for us to step in and help out.
On the other hand, some companies unfortunately had to furlough or downsize teams and put some really important projects on hold. Those headwinds resulted in companies needing services that they’ve probably never procured before. Later, companies needed to be able to ramp projects back up quickly to make up for lost time or to address new challenges that hadn’t been there a few months prior.
The resulting change in the labor market due to the pandemic and remote work has been really fascinating. It’s allowed companies to tap into new areas for talent. Remote work opened up the talent pool, and not just within geographic boundaries. We saw a lot of opportunity for upskilling or reskilling people in industries that were heavily impacted by the pandemic, which created a lot of new careers for people.
And then the Great Resignation is challenging in its own right — and we’re still living in it. Strong, purposeful culture has never been more important to keep employees from leaving. Buyers should make sure that their partners invest in their people and reinforce the values of their company.
How can providers and clients help each other to be better partners?
Defining success before the project or work starts is critical. After success is defined, you have to build out service level objectives, service level agreements and/or key performance indicators to keep everyone accountable. We often recommend our clients start engagements with a pilot or discovery period prior to establish those success metrics.
Next thing is establishing clear roles and responsibilities, tight project governance and clear swim lanes. It’s really tough to hold someone accountable when you don’t know who is responsible.
The third most-important thing is that great partnerships require engagement and candor. We understand that we’re responsible for the outcomes, but engaging the client with monthly status reports, quarterly business reviews, demos, etc. helps us ensure we know where we stand and where we can innovate from. Feedback strengthens us.
Given the scenario that you’ve outlined, what do you think is the industry’s future in the short-term and also in the long-term? What are Insight Global’s plans for the future?
If I’ve learned anything in the last two and a half years, it’s that you can’t predict the future, but you can be prepared. I’m a firm believer that when you’re heading into a time of uncertainty, you need to rely on partners that have the experience and care to help navigate those uncharted waters. I think we’re all buckling up for a wild ride, but we see opportunities in times of uncertainty. It’s an opportunity for us to lean in, help and grow forward together.
Long-term, the digital transformation has resulted in pretty much every single company being reliant upon technology and systems, and those systems constantly need to be updated, upgraded, secured and improved; companies just can’t afford to stop. Our industry will be called upon to help innovate and guide customers on their journey.
For Insight Global, and specifically our division, we’re going to continue to invest in our people, our clients and our consultants. We firmly believe that together, anything is possible, regardless of what happens.
Your division recently rebranded to Evergreen. What is the purpose behind the rebrand?
One of the most critical reasons we rebranded is that we wanted to redefine our purpose to the world. We want to be more known for our managed services capabilities, and we firmly believe that rebranding is the way to do that. Evergreen gives us the identity and voice we need in order to truly help our people, our clients and our consultants grow forward.
To learn how Evergreen can provide opportunities for your organization to grow forward, visit igevergreen.com.