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Ensure a Positive Candidate Experience When Hiring Contingent Talent Remotely

As digitization, coupled with the global pandemic, propels contingent hiring online and with more individuals relying on employer reviewer sites to evaluate businesses, delivering a positive[...]

March 10, 2021

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MSPs and Staffing Suppliers Make the Hiring Process Human in an Automated World

The contingent workforce no longer steps in for temp assignments, seasonal needs, or one-off projects — skilled contingent workers are being courted to fulfill imperative enterprise functions. Yet we must also remember that qualified, in-demand talent have choices. And although they aren’t permanent members of the team, creating a rich employee experience is just as important in attracting and retaining them. MSPs — who’ve broadened their responsibilities in managing the blended workforce — understand this and can help clients create a rewarding experience for workers of all types.

MSPs Create Lasting First Impressions

Even in a contingent labor program, where talent know they are performing on a fixed assignment and will move on to others, people want to belong. They want to feel needed and championed. Too often, workers say they receive impersonal emails or automatically generated notices informing them that they’ve been hired. Hearing an enthusiastic voice congratulating you on a new job can make a profound impact. It’s a simple and meaningful overture. No emails, status updates, tweets or text messages can adequately convey the excitement and support a worker hears in the voice of the person who sought them out, learned about them, helped them through the application process and showcased them to the hiring manager.

Humanize the Employee Experience at the First Point of Contact

MSPs spend a great deal of time and effort interviewing clients, uncovering every aspect of the program during discovery, and preparing suppliers to recruit based on that information. Suppliers take away a keen sense of the business culture, along with the desired skills, abilities and program objectives to brand that client effectively to the best-matched talent.

Armed with this knowledge, suppliers can approach candidates with confidence and warmth. They have the insight to engage talent with a positive and authentic discussion of the opportunity. They’re also perfectly poised to make the right inquiries about a candidate’s interests, career goals, strengths, unique abilities, and ideal employment culture. By opening a spirited discussion, suppliers can vet the talent most likely to shine in the MSP program, while imparting a sense of understanding, empathy and encouragement to those professionals. The interest generated during this initial contact sets the stage for a great employee experience.

In the past, hire confirmation notices were less congratulatory and more transactional. The opening line may have included “congrats on the new job” or “welcome to the program,” however the remainder of the message turned logistical quickly: start dates, locations, directions, dress codes, schedules and so forth. While those details are crucial, it takes only a few moments to personalize the approach. Direct phone calls and personal messages demonstrate commitment and stress the kind of interpersonal and organizational values of the program. Personalized communications tell talent they are respected. And if it’s possible to have that call come from the MSP’s program manager, or the actual person who will be overseeing the work, it’s even more inspiring.

Build a Brand That Entices Talent

Orchestrating thoughtful employer branding programs is a win-win scenario for your talent and your clients. They drive productivity, profitability and a company’s ongoing commitment to invest in its workforce. Organizations at the forefront of employer branding efforts have created internal positions devoted to cultivating, promoting and maintaining that brand. For MSPs and staffing suppliers, the job becomes twofold: they must successfully foster their own employer brands while also marketing the brands of the clients their talent will support. Here are some tips we believe will help build employment brand and attract talent.

  • Work closely with your clients, particularly during the initial discovery stages of implementation, to develop a deep understanding of their history, consumer brand and social media campaigns.
  • Make sure your talent understands your organization’s history, consumer brand and social media campaigns.
  • Create internal and external brand ambassadors. Internally, engage your own talent to share their workplace stories. Externally, develop a community of talent who have served the client before, or even client employees, to talk about their career experiences.
  • Clearly articulate goals and objectives for the assignment from the perspective of your organization and the client’s.
  • Collaborate with clients on social media efforts as a joint outreach program to talent.
  • Finalize program strategy and core goals before engagement, addressing challenges to solve and target outcomes.
  • Establish the appropriate communication channels.
  • Form strong alliances with internal stakeholders and influencers.
  • Develop a realistic and phased roadmap for accomplishing objectives, clearly delineating milestones and steps toward achieving them.
  • Host regularly recurring forums with talent to keep them informed and inspired. Listen to what they have to say, take their input to heart and above all, be genuine.

Lend Talent Your Ear and Your Wisdom

Not only do today’s talent want their achievements acknowledged and publicly recognized, they seek constructive feedback and transparency. Staffing curators can prove instrumental in facilitating communication and keeping their talent in the loop. They receive direct and frequent input from the MSP team, and their role in the process allows them to meet with their talent regularly to impart new visions, upcoming changes, real-time performance appraisals, guidance, consistent direction and critical feedback for continuous improvement. Not only does this benefit workers, it paves the way for preventative maintenance to strengthen the program — identifying and resolving problems before they come to a head.

High-caliber talent also want to be regarded as highly valued contributors. Unhappy workers say that hectic managers don’t often have the bandwidth or willingness to include their ideas in strategy discussions. In cases such as these, workers feel as though their attempts to spur innovation, fuel growth and shape the organization’s practices are dismissed. The very nature of the MSP solution accommodates their inclusion. The presence of an MSP frees corporate leaders and department managers to tend to their tasks with precision — workforce issues, supplier management, fulfillment and hiring duties all fall on the MSP.

  • To keep the program thriving, MSPs turn to their suppliers for input and updates.
  • Top suppliers, in turn, maintain active relationships with their talent, hearing their concerns and opinions, documenting their needs, helping them formulate their ideas, and promoting those concepts to the MSP.
  • Hiring managers rely on MSPs to report all aspects of the program — including thoughts on how to drive it forward and uncover greater gains — as their central communications channel. Corporate leaders set time aside to meet with their MSPs. They are more willing to listen. And in this way, the partnership between MSPs and staffing suppliers gives talent a voice that will be heard, without distraction.

Use Feedback and Develop Succession Plans

To keep engagement high, MSPs and staffing suppliers regularly interact with talent, solicit feedback during performance reviews and issue end-of-assignment satisfaction surveys. These steps are paramount to ensuring that the employee experience is productive, fruitful and engaging. However, savvy MSPs can also use this data to forecast needs and improve processes for future assignments. MSPs that focus on succession planning are more adept at preparing incoming talent for the challenge of a new role while maintaining stability during the transitional phases of assignment start and end periods. The information gleaned from talent interaction helps set the course.

Relationship Building Inspires Strong Employee Experiences and Performance

Complementary talent echo the same concerns as their full-time counterparts. We see a heightened emphasis being placed on employment brands, business acculturation, interpersonal connectivity, socialization and renewing the message that “employees are our greatest assets.” Yet, by treating them merely as assets, we nearly contradict this statement. In well-oiled MSPs programs, with engaged supplier partners, today’s talent have a system that acknowledges them, listens to them and appreciates all that they do.


Casey Enstrom
Casey Enstrom
Casey is one of the staffing industry’s household names, specializing in sales and operations leadership. He brings extensive knowledge of business development and sales strategies, predictive analytics, leadership, and human capital solutions. Prior to Crowdstaffing, Casey served as the Vice President of Technical Sales, North America, for a Fortune 1000 staffing firm.
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