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What is an MSP?

MSP is the name most commonly used to describe a program to manage an organisation’s contingent workforce; a managed service program.

Sometimes, MSP is also used to refer to the provider of the program itself; the managed service provider.

In either case, MSP is ultimately the outsourcing of the many complex functions of the contingent workforce lifecycle, such as:

  • Requisition approvals
  • Rate benchmarking
  • Requirements definition
  • Vendor management
  • Candidate sourcing, assessment and selection
  • Vetting and onboarding
  • Timesheet management
  • Invoicing and payments
  • Reporting and analysis

If left unmanaged, many of these critical steps are often either skipped at worst or carried out inconsistently at best. This disparate nature of contingent workforce management is often called a “decentralised” model across the industry.

An MSP improves business processes and business outcomes by centralising them.

What are the benefits of an MSP?

The benefits of an MSP are vast and include: reduced cost, increased efficiency, improved quality, reduced risk and enhanced visibility and control.

These benefits are delivered through three core components of an MSP:

  1. People - An MSP will usually be managed by a specialist team of contingent workforce management experts. The best MSPs are those which are viewed as an extension of the client and where there is no discernible gap between the outsourced partner team and their client counterparts. 
  2. Process - An MSP will implement consistent, repeatable and efficient processes across all stages of the contingent workforce lifecycle. The MSP provides centralised points of contact and accountability for processes which remove burden from internal teams.
  3. Technology - An MSP goes hand-in-hand with specialised technology that provides the automation, integration and data needed to deliver at speed. 

Wait, what’s a “contingent workforce” 

“Contingent workforce” is a catch-all term describing the individuals who perform work for an organisation but who are not permanent employees. Aside from contingent workers, other terms to describe these individuals include: 

  • Contractors
  • Consultants
  • Temporary workers
  • External workers
  • Off-payroll workers
  • Agency workers
  • Freelancers
  • Gig workers
  • Contingent labour

Some organisations may choose to define these separately - such as professional workers being considered “contractors”, creative workers as “freelancers”, whilst light industrial workers may be referred to as “temporary workers”.

For this reason, “contingent workforce” remains the industry default when referring to this part of the workforce in its entirety. 

Speak to our Talent Solutions team today to learn more about the benefits an MSP solution could bring to your organisation.

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