Subadhra Sriram's Blog

After Executive Forum: What Suppliers Would Like Buyers to Know

They came in droves, strong and confident. Staffing suppliers at the Executive Forum in Orlando are not just pleased with how the industry fared in 2014 — with sales up 6% overall — but with future projections as well. The growth has given suppliers a sense of their value and what they bring to the table. Yes, servicing the buyers is their bread and butter. But suppliers want the buyer to respect their industry and worth. Here’s what they want their clients to know, in their words:

Pricing Challenge. Please don’t nickel and dime us. Yes, we understand contingent workforce managers have to show cost savings to the C-suite, but not at our expense, and not to our detriment. Remember you get what you pay for. We are not going to throw open our books to show you mark-ups and pricing. After all, we are in business to make money.

Safety Predicament. We work very hard to improve temp worker safety. We don’t want to be pressured to cut corners in safety. It’s not good for the candidate, us or for your own standing. In fact, every safety failure means the reputation of the industry takes a hit, driving away quality candidates.

Candidate Experience. It is the era of the worker. They have choices and how you treat them could determine your degree of success. So respect the candidate experience. Please work with us to ensure that you have an effective on-boarding process. It helps the contingent to know what the buyers’ expectations are. After all, they are working with you to get your project done and on time. We may be the employer of record, but you are tasking the worker. And in many cases, the worker is on your site.

Indemnification Trap. Don’t draft agreements that require our agencies to act as your insurance firm. Understand the implications of these contracts. We recognize you may have risk managers trying to shift the financial risk away from your company but the party actually responsible for the loss should be the one to pay for it. All responsibility does not reside with us. The staffing vendor’s risks should be employee-related – payroll taxes, background checks etc. We should only be liable for the service we are providing or for things we actually have control over.

Feedback Loop. Please educate your hiring managers to provide feedback on interviews and resumes. It’s hard to keep top applicants interested if there is no response to their resumes. It’s hard for our recruiters to give you the best candidates if they think these people are falling into a black box. No matter what your brand is, potential candidates will only wait so long before they move on. And in the process, slow responses give us a bad name as well.

Recognize Niche providers. Not everybody is all things to all people. Don’t force the niche provider — aircraft personnel, gym trainers, dog walkers — into behaving like a commodity supplier. Allow them the opportunity to focus on what they do well.

ACA. Bear with us on the ACA. Yes, we do think that we should pass on the additional costs of covering workers on to you but we are not trying to stiff you. We are doing our best trying to get the job done legally. We are in this together. And ultimately, it’s in your interest for us to get this right.


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