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These Are the 3 Biggest Trends in Workforce Innovation

Keeping up with the changing world requires constant innovation — and this includes hiring. Evolving technology, the shifting generational makeup of the workforce, and a candidate-centric market[...]

February 18, 2020

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Two MSP Leaders Stand Out

Relationships determine the ultimate success of our efforts

Milton Glaser is one of the most celebrated graphic designers in U.S. history. Over the past five decades he’s had a profound influence on the nature of design, and exhibited how deep conceptual thinking can be revealed viscerally through the richness and diversity of visual language. Although he’s most famous for the I NY state logo, his work has graced the Holocaust Museum, Juilliard, American Film Institute, Fortune 500, the Metropolitan Opera, Esquire Magazine, New York Review of Books, JetBlue and others. He’s also the talent behind some of the most enduring images of pop culture: the iconic Bob Dylan poster, the bullet logo for DC Comics and, most recently, the psychedelic poster for the final season of AMC’s “Mad Men.”

Beyond that, Glaser is lauded as a sort of philosopher whose work in evoking meaning from abstract communications has led to a greater understanding of how people interact. In that regard, business leaders have long cited his wisdom, particularly: “You can only work for people that you like.” When you do, Glaser’s experience has taught him, you can accomplish anything, because you’re surrounded by colleagues who are equally committed to the project.

“I just found the distinction between work that was done professionally -- which meant that somebody gave you a job and you had to match their expectation -- and work that was done collectively, was profound...Only groups that really work together with the sense of commonality ultimately accomplish anything in civilization,” Glaser told Inc. Magazine.

At Zenith Talent, our own experience in supporting MSPs has informed the same opinion. We are beyond fortunate and grateful to have formed warm, meaningful relationships with phenomenal leaders -- two ladies in particular, whose attitudes, grace, energy and dedication to supplier-MSP collaboration has produced untold benefits for their partners and their clients. In our view, Glaser’s observations of professional friendships and unity are beyond dispute. And the enlightened view of the MSP world from these driven business women make that clearer each day. More than that, they make every interaction a pleasure.

Inspiration begets motivation

The lexicon of the everyday business world is full of words such as “drive,” “leadership” and “influence.” However, we believe the most purposeful word is “inspiration.” When our colleagues truly inspire us by example, they motivate us to succeed. They instill in us a sense of mission, belonging, relevance and respect. Higher-ups who bark orders, or delegate duties by citing their authority or rank, can achieve results for a time. No matter how illusory the title, a position of leadership still demands output. The problem comes from the absence of inspiration. At some point, employees and vendors perform their tasks only because they’re required to. Their sole motivation eventually becomes the avoidance of rebuke or termination. They aren’t inspired to contribute to the organization’s success because their leaders aren’t giving them a reason to care beyond “I told you so.”

When clients, colleagues or managers come to us filled with passion, vision, inspiration and a strong desire to listen, they motivate us to succeed -- to surpass goals, not merely meet expectations. We strive to innovate, improve and produce because we’re encouraged to contribute. These attitudes also foster a real feeling of camaraderie and a longing for the success of our clients, our peers and ourselves. In the stormy seas of the business world, we sometimes encounter lighthouses that not only illuminate a course to enrichment and success, they help us to shine as brightly. And the two supplier management leaders in the MSP programs we’ve been describing are those beacons. Learn more about how MSPs partner with staffing firms for stellar results!

They are friendly, outgoing, welcoming, helpful, supportive and as dedicated to the prosperity of their suppliers as the clients whom they serve. As our CEO put it, “People want to work with people they like and get along with; however when like meets like, it becomes exponential. That’s especially true in this case, because the feelings from both sides are very mutual.  We all want the best for each other and are willing to help in any way we can.”

Why supplier relationships matter

Orchestrating an end-to-end MSP/VMS program is a delicate balancing act. For clients, the MSP helps shoulder the responsibilities of administering a complex indirect labor program, liberating business leaders to devote their energies to mission critical objectives: running and growing their companies. And the fulcrum on which the strength of the program rests is a committed and high-performing supply base. With the ongoing shortage of critical skills and the abundance of open jobs, procuring top talent has become a focal point for nearly every business -- large or small. Too often, though, it seems that a handful of MSPs discount smaller, boutique or regionally specific suppliers, even when these agencies have proven strengths in filling niche skills or positions in sparsely populated regions that bigger players find difficult to cover, or don’t concentrate on because of a perceived lack of profit.

That’s a missed opportunity for everyone. Specialized suppliers can be pivotal in delivering exceptional talent. Our MSP allies understand this. They appreciate the value that comes from unique and different perspectives. They recognize the potential of new methodologies and recruiting models. They give every prospective supplier a chance to prove themselves, introducing these players to their programs. There’s a wider strategic advantage to this approach: it forces all suppliers in the program to re-compete their business, creating a process that continually drives value, cost savings and optimal results.

The vast majority of MSP/VMS programs are supplier funded. To bring out the best in suppliers operating within a “pay to play” model, MSPs must inspire and incentivize their staffing partners. Our MSP champions have done so by giving us to the ability to gain access to a broader spectrum of opportunities through their programs than we may otherwise have had by attempting to sell our services directly to clients. A close relationship of this nature spurs mutual business growth and creates compelling reasons for suppliers to become more aggressive in their recruiting efforts and markups.

A cherished partnership, not a services agreement

The bond these committed MSP partners have developed with staffing suppliers reaches far beyond the signature on a master services agreement. They welcome our calls, they invest themselves in understanding us, and they draw out our energy and dedication. We are partners, deeply vested in our mutual success and the outcomes of the clients we support together. During the early stages of our partnership, for example, the burgeoning relationship created such value and motivation that we began sourcing candidates over a weekend to fill an urgent need before the program had officially been launched. The sense of importance they conveyed inspired us to step up and help.

Not only do these engaged supplier management professionals help us find opportunities, they help us become better business partners. Their integrity, advice, recognition and constructive feedback assist us in capitalizing on ongoing performance enhancements. Their open approach to communication paves the way for meeting existing and anticipated client expectations, future innovations, compliance issues, procedural improvements, and absolute alignment between client hiring managers and MSP account teams. Their inspirational direction compels us to drive our performance to new levels each day, and find an increasingly superior quality of candidate. MSPs are truly masters of collaboration

By virtue of their friendship, acceptance, trust and devotion, these outstanding business women are attracting the best breed of supplier, which continues to fuel the demonstrative success of their programs. To paraphrase Milton Glaser, we’re doing work with people we like and who like us; and through this sense of commonality and purpose, we can ultimately accomplish anything.

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