Welcome to MSP 3.0. I am going to focus on the benefits an MSP brings to the ecosystem, including tracing its evolution.
The pandemic shined a light on a number of things that needed to be managed more tightly than they were.
SOWs. When the lockdowns started, many companies with projects under statement-of-work (SOW) contracts had no idea who was working for them on such engagements, not to mention where they were located, which became a problem when it came time for everyone to work from home.
Furloughs. Then there were furloughs; once those workers were let go, the companies didn’t have a process to bring them back as restrictions were lifted. In each of these scenarios and many others, the MSP stepped up, developing processes to guide the CW program through the chaos.
Sourcing. And when the pandemic proved that people don’t have to work on site to be productive and get work done, it opened up a whole new sourcing channel — online staffing platforms became more desirable and less of a “risky” way to engage contractors to get work done. The MSP expanded beyond managing the contingent hiring process; they have had to become experts in managing communication and tracking and engaging multiple worker populations. They have learned more about their client company’s business to help make sourcing decisions based on the best way to get work done.
Hi-tech. The MSP has also become well-versed in the technologies used by the suppliers and platforms to track the work, the candidate engagement and productivity. Gone are the days when the only technology was the VMS; new tech like the HR Tech explosion has definitely reached the contingent space.
Diversity, equity and inclusion. While technology has made its mark on the MSP this year, the heightened calls for social justice around the world have helped diversity candidate sourcing and tracking find its way into the contingent space and further impacted the role of the MSP, making them a more integral part of a company’s workforce planning and management solution. Supplier classification was no longer enough when it came to satisfying DE&I objectives.
The MSP is no stranger to adapting to the times (see sidebar) It has matured to work with emerging technologies and trends and adapted to suit the needs of the contingent workforce program it serves and by extension, the industry at large. Whether the program is managed internally or by an outside provider is also irrelevant — MSPs will continue to change to meet the needs of the ecosystem.