Solutions for temporary staffing

Many organizations are struggling to keep employment costs low while trying to acquire, manage and retain a high-performing work force comprised of full-time and contingent workers. Top talent will be the key to creating a competitive advantage in the next two decades as baby boomers retire en masse and employers try to fill the gaps with the smaller generations that follow.

As leaders search for the balance between cost management and successful talent acquisition, they look to strategic sourcing options that focus on the tools, resources and technologies needed to reduce the time and costs associated with recruiting and hiring.

A solution at arm’s length

One option that is continuing to gain momentum among innovative business leaders is the implementation of a managed vendor program, which manages the contingent labor hiring process with a technology-enabled solution.

Many companies already use vendors to supply contingent staff but have found that it’s not enough. They need someone to help manage this area by applying the right technology platform, creating consistency among staffing vendors and standardizing the contingent hiring process.

A managed vendor’s technology has an immediate impact by helping standardize processes for hiring and managing talent while providing extensive HR metrics to track expenditures and deployment. Through a single managed vendor program, organizations can acquire technology, have the technology implemented and enabled, and have it custom-tailored to their own environment by a provider who understands the scope of a client’s contingent labor needs.

The results are often quick and tangible. For example, after introducing a managed vendor program, a major Internet service provider that spent $36 million on contingent staffing services each year documented nearly $2 million in cost reduction in 2003 alone, a savings of more than 5 percent.

Selecting the right partner

Whether you already utilize a managed vendor program or are just thinking about doing so, remember that not all managed vendors are the same. Successful programs deliver in three key areas.

1. They supply talent quickly and efficiently. The right partner can deploy staff quickly through the use of specialized screening and training tools to ensure that each worker is well-suited and prepared for high job performance.

2. They secure high-quality workers from all staffing vendors. The right partner will focus on quality assurance, efficiency and continuity when using competing and often incompatible staffing vendors.

3. They adjust to meet your needs. No two companies have the same structure, so avoid managed vendor programs that take a cookie-cutter approach. The right staffing partner will tailor the managed vendor program to meet your needs.

Winning the war for talent might be the key to success in the new century. As competition for quality talent grows more intense, winning will require an ever-more-comprehensive approach.

For maximum efficiencies, implement a managed vendor program to help you realize greater time and cost savings through process improvement, efficient talent delivery and the provision of higher quality contingent workers from all staffing vendors. The only way for your managed vendor program to reach maximum effectiveness is to choose the right partner.

Lesley Tell is the South Florida district director for Spherion Staffing Services, a core business unit of Spherion Corp. Reach her at (561) 477-6024 or via e-mail at [email protected]. More information on Spherion is available online at

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