Every good relationship, whether it be a marriage, a friendship, a business partnership or even a garage band, has at its core, several key factors that ensure success. The keys to lasting, mutually beneficial relationships of any variety include trust first and foremost; followed closely by dedication to transparent interactions and the commitment to overcoming inevitable problems quickly when they arise. The same ingredients are critical to a healthy, strong relationship between a hiring organization and the MSP they’ve partnered with to deliver talent. Here’s some tips on how to develop these three key, relationship building blocks.
There’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions in any relationship. There is no better way to build rapport and in meeting in person almost always affords both parties the kind of intuitive, “gut level” reaction regarding a potential partner’s motives that phone calls and email simply cannot deliver. When seeking a new recruiting partner, plan for initial in person meetings. Meet a number of MSP providers before making your selection. Then, establish a schedule of periodic, but regularly occurring in-person meetings to keep trust levels high. This enables each side in the relationship to gain critical perspective on one another’s motivations, boundaries and expectations.
It is hard to trust someone who you can tell isn’t being completely forthcoming with you. Whether they’re telling you flat out falsehoods or simply obscuring the truth by omission, even the perception of deception is enough to undermine the relationship. With your MSP provider, it is essential to be transparent regarding what your expectations are for their delivery and to listen to what they need from you as the hiring organization to be effective. Set clear expectations regarding such things as where/how talent is to be sourced or how candidates should be contacted and evaluated. For example, develop strategies for collaborative candidate interviews so that both principals have exposure to the process and understand implicitly what the other partner is doing.
Problems are a reality in any relationship no matter how strong or how well-intentioned the parties may be at the beginning before the bloom has fallen off the rose. The secret to effective longevity in your relationship with an MSP is to plan for problems in advance and to be prepared with creative problem-solving techniques. At its core, this strategy depends on strong, well-established channels for frank communication between hiring managers and the MSP. Communicate in detailed terms about everything, leaving nothing to assumptions. This is the reason experts consistently recommend establishing strong SLAs for service standards and conflict resolution. Flesh out these SLAs at the inception of the program, and resolve to revisit them periodically.
Support the goals put forth in the SLA by implementing regular reporting processes for early warning of growth, shrinkage or other changes to volume/workforce composition. This helps ensure the MSP can accommodate the evolution of your business and workforce needs.
Like any other, this relationship can be very rewarding for both parties. But only if you put the hard work in to make it so. We can help! Let your nextSource representative know if you want a fresh perspective on how to improve the relationship with your MSP provider.