When program managers are in the process of vetting new staffing suppliers to serve a contingent workforce program, there are several critical components they must pay careful attention to. Today, every supplier seems to offer a “we can do anything” support model, but it’s critical to dig a little deeper and ask the right questions to gain the foundation for a successful partnership. Here are some tips based on decades of experience in vetting staffing companies for our client MSP programs.
- Start with understanding the organizational needs. As you begin to evaluate a staffing supplier and the types of positions they can support, you have to keep the needs of the organization top of mind to ensure the supplier will thrive. Consider the whole picture including skill sets, speed to delivery, corporate culture and geographic footprint. This is especially true for a manufacturing companies that need industrial workers. In light industrial staffing, one size definitely does not fit all.
- Be specific about geographic needs. Some companies require their staffing suppliers to have local offices in order to satisfy the needs of the business model. Be very clear regarding the exact needs in these cases. There may be differences between how the customer and the supplier define a “local office,” so be prepared to provide the exact parameters leaving nothing to subjectivity or interpretation. “Local” for one client could be up to 30 miles, but for another, it could be 15.
- Do a site visit. When sourcing a new supplier with a local office as a requirement, perform all due diligence to ensure that such a location actually exists. The best way to ensure compliance with the needs of the organization, is to see it with your own eyes. (Seeing is believing!) Frequently, a supplier will claim to have a local office, when in reality they’re utilizing remote support. Some claim to have a local office, but upon closer inspection it is revealed to be a residential location where one of their colleagues works remotely.
- Confirm the supplier’s physical presence. The scenario has been known to happen in which a supplier provides an address that appears to be a commercial office, but doesn’t actually have a lease at the facility. We recently uncovered this deception when a potential new supplier listed an address at a Regus location which allows businesses to rent office space. A visit to the location revealed that although a business office existed, there was no record of the supplier having leased any space. Eventually, the supplier confessed that the address they had given was to a location they were considering using to support the local office requirement, however, they had not yet committed to a lease. Research, along with unannounced site visits helps to filter out those supplier organizations that don’t meet the requirements.
It’s worth noting that most suppliers are truthful, will disclose factual information, and want to grow into the roles of trusted partners who drive value for your programs. As with any relationship, a successful partnership cannot be built on a shaky foundation. We have the obligation to our clients to secure compliant support and have to hold ourselves accountable, ensuring we have done everything possible to validate the information provided. For more information, vetting staffing suppliers or building a robust supply base, contact our team at nextSource.
This blog post was written by Karen Bruns, director of service excellence.