Working effectively with an MSP demands several best practices to ensure every party involved is benefiting from the success of the program. This includes the staffing company, the MSP themselves, the clients, and the candidates. For over 12 years now, TPI has been working with MSP programs to deliver suitable, successful talent placements within various industries and positions. However, it didn’t start out this way. In our experience with MSP accounts, we have learned all the dos and don’ts involved with building successful MSP relations and programs.
This is the first, and most simple rule to follow when it comes to successfully working with MSPs. Be compliant. The rules are laid out and the boundaries are discussed and understood before the program kicks off. Be sure that throughout your relationship, you are completely compliant with these rules and restrictions. If you have been told not to reach out to the manager directly, simply do not do that in any situation. If you have been advised not to accept direct resumes, you guessed it – do not accept any direct resumes. This ensures that your team and the MSP are always on the same page. Trust will be built through compliance and transparency. This trust will take you further than any breach in compliance ever will. Play within the set-out boundaries to build, maintain, and grow the trust between your company, the MSP and the client.
You must have clear and consistent communication with the MSP to ensure that expectations are being met. To find out what the specific needs of the MSP are, you must uphold a strong flow of communication. At TPI, we have dedicated account managers that will be in touch with their assigned MSP from the start of the program through to its completion. This ensures that there is minimal opportunity for miscommunication. Communicate what your goals are and be sure they align with what the MSP’s expectations are from the beginning to start off on the right foot. However, consistency is key because expectations can change quickly and you must be ready to deliver the results they need when they need them. You will only know what these results are through communicating with the MSP.
Starting off with our first MSP program over 12 years ago, we were Tech Providers – delivering IT and technical professional placements. After meeting with the Program Manager, we were given the opportunity to recruit IT staffing for our first MSP account. We ranked great on our first scorecard in the information and technology arena, however, the Programs Manager was disappointed we did not make submittals in other areas like accounting, admin, finance, or engineering. We were left confused, as we were primarily an IT staffing company. This was the most significant lesson we learned in working with MSPs and it created a trajectory for our company that was instrumental in who TPI is as a company today.
Expand outwards. Do not limit yourself to one industry. Our MSP Program Manager wanted recruitment for other industries, so we grew our team to provide expert staffing services in those other industries. Through this opportunity, we were able to expand from Tech Providers – staffing IT and Technical professionals, to TPI – expert staffing in IT, Accounting, Finance, Engineering and Administration. Recruit for the jobs that the MSP wants you to recruit for. Do not limit yourself or your services.
Be sure to deliver the results that the MSP is looking for. This does not mean simply provide qualified candidates for open positions. The corporate landscape has moved away from relying on professional qualifications only. Culture, values, goals, and overall suitability is essential in making a successful placement. If a candidate has all the credentials a position requires, but their values and culture expectations are not suited for the specific company you are recruiting for, you must re-evaluate the placement. This is another area communication comes in.
Speak with the MSP to find out what appeals to each manager in a candidate’s overall profile – not just their professional qualifications. In regards to the candidate, vet them on what their expectations and values are in order to understand where they would fit in with a company’s culture and atmosphere. The delivery expectations for candidates have moved far beyond base qualifications. Deliver well-rounded, precisely suited talent in all areas of required proficiency to maintain and successful relationship with an MSP.
In our 12 plus years of working with MSP programs, we have learned many lessons and strategies that have propelled us into the recruitment company we are today. The opportunities that come with working with MSP are always evolving and exciting. If you are just starting off, or are currently working with an MSP, apply the best practices above to ensure you maintain a successful and prosperous partnership for all.
If you want to reach out in regards to MSP programs or to discuss recruitment for MSP programs further, please don’t hesitate to contact Matt Jordan of TPI any time.
Matt Jordan, President