Managed Services Dilemma: What to Do When Yours Isn’t Working

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(DGIwire) – Most companies could benefit from outside assistance when it comes to managing their temporary workforce; similar to hiring a specialty attorney for immigration advice, engaging a third party to manage your firm’s temporary workforce can be a powerful strategy to most efficiently leverage these workers. A Managed Services Provider (MSP) assumes responsibility in functions such as hiring, pre-employment screening, human resources activities and payroll; independent of the many advantages that the business receives (such as relief of administrative burden, compliance and best practices), workers can receive health and other fringe benefits that make employment more attractive.

Businesses can’t thrive if they remain static in their ways; in order to succeed, they must evolve in reaction to supply and demand, as well as financial, legal and social influencers. In today’s “on demand” world, the notion of temporary workers is practically a given—the ability to hire the right worker at just the right time is the challenge. Oftentimes, compliance is a second (or even third) priority in the flurry of getting the person through the door. However, with changes to the legal landscape surrounding employee misclassifications, now more than ever, it’s important to ensure that compliance stays top of mind—and if your infrastructure can’t support it, to engage a third party who can.

So where does that leave your relationship with your MSP (if you even have one)? Your relationship with the firm that acts as your brand ambassador to temporary workers is arguably one of the most strategic vendor relationships your firm has; with that in mind, the relationship should be more than just exchanging emails and paying invoices. After all, we’re talking about people here! Your firm’s reputation is on the line and it’s up to both parties to actively participate in making a positive impression on everyone who walks through the door. Whether you’ve been working with your MSP for six months or six years (or are considering engaging a MSP), it’s good to periodically evaluate how your corporate goals intertwine with these services and refine your program strategy accordingly. A recent article on offers three important areas to consider:

  1. Think long-term: In addition to evaluating what an MSP can offer now, it’s important to look at the value it can offer in the future. Perhaps your current focus is payrolling W-2 workers, but in the future, you’d like to engage independent contractors or outsource your intern program. Even if some of these services are not necessary in the short term, it’s a good idea to understand if and how your MSP can grow with you down the line.
  1. Position for growth: Another key factor is geographic reach. While there are inherent advantages for leveraging a MSP with a local presence, providers that have geographic diversity can support customers in various locations and offer greater flexibility as the business develops over time. The ability to scale in the future can be crucial to your projected success.
  1. Prioritize privacy: Privacy is one of the biggest concerns facing vendors and MSPs today. Businesses should strongly consider an MSP’s privacy terms prior to entering into any agreement. How will a provider handle confidential data? What happens in the case of a government audit? Does the provider have clear and concise terms and conditions? Complete transparency is essential and everything should be detailed in the agreement. If the MSP is not forthcoming about their services, compliance and privacy protection, you should err on the side of caution.

“Finding the right partner for your business can make all the difference when preparing for a new program implementation or transition from an existing supplier,” says Rebecca Cenni, CEO of Atrium Staffing. “Trusting an outside firm to handle your employees’ most delicate and personal information, and making sure they have your best interests at heart, is a vital step for any company.”

Cenni and her team at Atrium are well-versed in how to engage all types of workers. Atrium is focused on providing contingent workforce management services for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry. Atrium’s expertise includes regional Temporary and Direct Hire Staffing, national Employer of Record Payrolling, national Independent Contractor Engagement and specialty Intern Recruiting Services.

“Our success has come from sticking to our core principles but also understanding how the market is changing,” Cenni says. “This includes keeping up-to-date with hiring trends and compliance updates and infusing those updates into our program management strategies to support our clients in the best way possible.”