Contingent Staffing 2019

July 23 - 25, 2019

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, MN

The Relationship Between Brands and Managed Service Providers Is Evolving

Brought to you by WBR Insights

There's no doubt that there's presently a war being fought over the very best talent.

As the aging workforce edges towards retirement and the younger generations start to dominate industry, there's huge pressure on brands to make sure they have the very best people on board - whether those people are permanent or contingent staff.

This has, in turn, led to the rise of the managed service provider (MSP). By outsourcing contingent staff procurement to outside agencies, companies can save time and resources, while simultaneously accessing a far larger pool of candidates than they'd be able to otherwise. Brands can also streamline their contingent recruitment as they avoid being sent duplicate candidates from multiple agencies - further saving time and money.

However, now that MSPs have been around for several years, brands are finding themselves questioning their value and whether their roles can be brought in-house instead. How, then, can MSPs remain relevant in the changing world of contingent staff procurement?

Managed Service Providers

The biggest problems facing the MSP industry right now is the rapid expansion in the number of contingent staff available, as well as the plethora of digital technology platforms being used to filter, recruit, communicate, and interact with them.

"By far, the biggest changes have been both the staggering growth in the number of contingent workers and the spread of technology used to engage and manage them," said HR and Talent Executive for Contingent Workforce Strategy at EverHive, Brandon Moreno. "On the upside, technology solutions have enabled organizations to efficiently scale their contingent workforce and enjoy the economic benefits that come with it. On the downside, from a service standpoint, the erosion of true, strategic partnerships between third-party and client companies has been mind-blowing. It's one of my major concerns for companies working to make their contingent workforce programs more agile."

The benefits of technology are being felt throughout every industry around the globe. In contingent staffing, it's providing ways to gather and filter candidates faster and more effectively than ever before, while also providing new methods of communicating with and engaging them at all stages of the recruitment process.

However, these platforms do come with a certain amount of detachment, which can boil professional relationships down to the bare bones of functionality. It's this which has led to the mindset that contingent staff procurement can easily be brought in house. After all, if an app or another piece of software is handling most of the heavy lifting, then what's the point of outsourcing your recruitment? Just get hold of the software yourself and have your own staff put it to work.

"It's quite different today," continues Moreno. "Many organizations today are questioning the value of traditional MSPs and rightfully so. Over the years, traditional MSPs seem to have forgotten their role as a strategic partner, a partner that enables and coaches an organization to adapt to changing labor markets, technology and sourcing channels. As a result, I see more and more companies who are considering managing their programs internally, so they can own the process, proactively partner with the business and keep up with or get out ahead of changes in the labor markets and technology and integrate the emergence of new sourcing and engagement models"

In order to remain relevant, it's important for contingent staffing MSPs to balance the use of technology with more traditional relationship-building and personal methods. By getting this balance right, MSPs can continue to provide value to the brands which employ them and reduce the chances of their services being taken in-house.

Final Thoughts

The role of the MSP is changing, and new ways to add value must be found if the service they offer is to remain relevant. With digital technology making it easier than ever for these types of services to be brought in-house, the best way to justify the continued existence of MSPs is for them to offer more traditional relationship-building services alongside the deployment of digital technology.

"As I look at my crystal ball," says Moreno, "I predict that over the next five years there will be significant decline in the use of MSPs that are not able to become strategic, transformational partners once again. And more organizations will have internally-managed programs that they can shape and scale to their liking."


The changing role of MSPs is set to be a hot topic at Contingent Staffing 2019, taking place in July, at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, MN.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.