Is your Contingent Managed Service Provider going the extra mile?

One of the challenges of working with a Contingent Managed Service Provider is keeping in tune with what is happening with the rest of the market. With a long-term contract, it can be difficult to see beyond the horizon. Additionally, you may struggle to feel assured that your Managed Service Provider is taking you on the right journey.

Of course, not every big Managed Service Provider wants their clients to be able to see beyond the horizon. It is safer to focus on the short-term, because big providers can find it difficult to change at pace. That’s a problem. Right now, it is more important than ever that clients understand how the market is changing and how quickly that change is happening. Uncertainty in the economy and the labour market are turning talent acquisition into a different kind of challenge. Undeniably, this demands a radical rethink.

How is your Contingent Managed Service Provider responding?

Are you challenging your Contingent Managed Service Provider to think differently?

In many organisations, contingent workforce management is a shared responsibility sitting between HR, Procurement, business functions and hiring managers. This often means that there is not enough ownership or a strong enough line of accountability to enable someone to challenge the Managed Service Provider to think or work differently. The outcome is that the status quo continues internally – regardless of how the market may be changing externally.

39% of organisations say that their spend on contingent workers is increasing. Focusing on larger organisations, it rises to 51% – The State of Contingent Work 2023, HR Research Institute

What can your Managed Service Provider do to help you manage your contingent workforce effectively in the current talent landscape?

#1 Contingent workforces are growing

Globally, the contingent workforce is growing as more people choose to work remotely and more flexibly. At the same time, organisations are increasing their spend on contingent workers. According to the Research & Markets, The Global Contingent Workforce Management Market size is expected to reach $325.7 trillion by 2028.

There is more talent on the market – and at the same time, more competition for that talent too. Over the next two-to-three years, it is not going to be enough to continue at the same pace. Organisations who want to be on the front foot in their pursuit of the best contingent workers will need to manage their investment carefully. This means ensuring that they are maximising spend and exploring new ways to engage with talent.

If you’re not already sharpening your competitive edge, you need to ask your Managed Service Provider why not.

#2 Talent marketing is effective and measurable

Talent marketing campaigns have been used by employers and as part of an RPO to generate awareness and applications from passive and active job seekers. They have been used much less – and much less effectively – in the engagement of contingent workers.

As the market changes, new technology platforms offer different ways to engage with contingent workers beyond standard agency relationships. Managed Service Providers should be leading the way in utilising these platforms, and other social media channels, by creating and communicating a clear contingent workforce value proposition that can help drive direct fulfillment and reduce costs.

#3 Talent pooling technology is rapidly evolving

Talent pooling platforms are a natural extension to your brand-building strategy. Rather than relying on agency talent pools that are also open to your competitors, organisations can build their own contingent worker talent communities and begin to nurture those direct relationships to create awareness, loyalty and better candidate relationships.

Your Managed Service Provider should be auditing the technology platforms you use on a regular basis and ensuring that there is an integrated strategy behind them. The capability to attract candidates, build and nurture talent communities, grow relationships and communicate specific vacancies should be a fundamental part of your contingent workforce solution. Those Managed Service Providers relying too heavily on the supply chain and traditional recruitment methods need to evolve quickly.

#4 Solutions should adapt to your needs

It is important to remember your contingent workforce solution does not belong to your Managed Service Provider; it belongs to you. There is no one-size-fits-all product as every organisation has different recruitment requirements and is at a different stage in the journey.

It takes time to build a contingent workforce solution with services that really wrap around what you need. But your Managed Service Provider should be talking to you about future milestones at every step on the journey. Where do you want to go? What are the skills, resources and people you’re going to need to get you there?

Don’t forget, every sophisticated third generation program began as a basic first generation program. It takes a vision to move it forward, and real scalability to make it happen.

#5 Quality of experience is more important than ever

In the new era of contingent working, creating positive experiences is more important than ever. Contingent workers are no longer just looking for a transactional relationship managed through an agency. They want to use contingent working as an opportunity to engage in short-term, meaningful assignments that have purpose and make an impact. Why work 9-5 for one company, when you can be cherry-picking the best opportunities, finding new challenges and working for organisations around the globe?

From attraction through to onboarding and ongoing relationship building, organisations need to see their contingent workers as a valuable asset whom they need to empower and enable to do their best work, every day.


There are many reasons why organisations may choose to engage with an Managed Service Provider. But where you start is only the first step. If your Managed Service Provider is driving the agenda in a proactive, positive way, it should open the door to more discussions around how it can make an ongoing impact in many different ways.

Over the course of a long contract, the needs of a business change and your Managed Service Provider needs to be able to adapt with you. To put it simply, they need to up their game.