Sevenstep Blog

Direct Sourcing Needs More than a Great MSP Provider

By Anamarie DeVito, Vice President, MSP Client Services, Sevenstep



Direct sourcing is not new, but there is a catch: delivering great results does not come naturally to all managed service providers (MSPs). Why? Because direct sourcing is more like recruiting than contingent workforce management.

Through direct sourcing, the client relies on the MSP to recruit contingent workers for select assignments rather than relying on the supplier network. All the advantages of a traditional MSP — supplier management, administration, cost control and compliance — mean nothing if the MSP does not excel at bringing talent to the table.

If you are considering direct sourcing needs, raise your expectations of the MSP provider. Look for a provider that can create talent pools for hard-to-fill roles, swiftly scale to meet business needs and create and execute an effective recruiting strategy. What follows are some key considerations to drive those outcomes.

Bring a Recruiting Perspective

The qualities that make good recruiting matter most in direct sourcing. It begins with sourcing, proactively building candidate pipelines, utilizing your employer brand to attract talent and focusing on specific skills, locations, diversity goals, or other needs. Our clients have found that our recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) background changes the nature of the direct sourcing discussion because we know the questions to ask. How do you market your brand to attract flexible workers? Do you have a pool of talent available for jobs that are not open yet but will be needed in the future? Does the assignment align with available skills, and is the rate competitive?

These are just a few questions your MSP provider must step up to address, and a recruiting background gives us the knowledge and resources to deliver.

Do Not Overlook Talent Technology

Competitive recruiting pressures the provider to apply market data and analytics, utilizing the right technology to support your sourcing effort. Our clients have benefitted from our proprietary data integration and predictive analytics platform, Sevayo® Insights, to bring focused intelligence into their recruiting decisions and strategies.

A VMS can only see part of the talent supply and activity, and the reach across market data and internal employee and contingent worker data is not always fully aggregated. Look for a provider that integrates across sources, analyzes information and provides specific intelligence and answers.

Look for a provider with the technology to see across both permanent hires and contingent talent. The total talent approach brings the entire supply of talent into our view, and it can be a game-changer for organizations navigating challenging markets by identifying the best quality, best-cost option to fill a need.

Look for Talent Acquisition Experience and Flexibility

Consider why you want an MSP to be a direct sourcing partner. Perhaps rates may be higher than expected, delivery is slow, or quality is not ideal. The direct sourcing effort must bring the flexibility and experience to deliver a superior result.

Our recruiting experience has proven essential as we work with both MSP and RPO clients to navigate challenging talent demands. We can identify when new tactics are required. Perhaps it involves a mix of virtual and grassroots outreach, aligning with diverse groups in the market, adjusting job requirements, or deploying specialty recruiters. A deep bench of tools, tactics and recruiter resources has made the difference in navigating the most difficult challenges in both permanent hire and contingent workforce recruiting — experience matters.

Seek the Largest Recruiting Impact

Bringing a recruiting-focused provider into your direct sourcing strategy makes sense, but watch for a pitfall that sometimes arises in talent solutions today—the large solutions organization that thinks small.

RPO and MSP business lines within a large provider may have little interaction with each other — or even treat each other as competitors. Assess whether your provider has a history of working across business lines, using technology that reaches all talent types, and supporting happy clients in recruiting and contingent workforce management.

A successful track record in recruiting and contingent workforce management indicates a strong culture of collaboration and innovation. The right resource for the job will be the solution that delivers across lines of business and talent, regardless of market conditions and client demands.

Recent Posts
A Contingent Workforce Checklist: Priorities for Unlocking New Potential

The following checklist explores practical answers through statements that speak to the fundamentals for a successful contingent workforce.

Read More
Total Talent: Unlocking the Full Potential of the Workforce

Sevenstep VP of MSP Client Services Anamarie DeVito speaks with Elliot Clark, CEO of SharedXpertise and publisher of HRO Today about why total talent solutions are coming of age.

Read More
Thriving in an Extreme Workforce Landscape

Trends Reshaping the Art and Science of Talent Acquisition

Read More