Subadhra Sriram's Blog

Don’t Call Me, Call my MSP

It’s a very familiar scenario. And it doesn’t matter what staffing segment you are in. The common complaint: MSPs block suppliers from contacting the client.

At last week’s Healthcare Staffing Summit in Las Vegas, it was clear that staffing firms resented what they think is the MSP’s pulling of the client strings and denying them access to the customer.

But here’s the thing. MSPs are also at the mercy of the client. Today, contingent workforce managers are swamped by the demands of their job and trying to keep up. Many managers I have spoken with believe that their MSP is doing an excellent job. They like the idea of one point of contact as they believe it makes it more efficient.

So in most cases, the MSP is not denying you admission. They are simply following the client’s orders. But as the panelists said on “All You Wanted to Know about VMS and MSPs (But Were Afraid to Ask)”,  talk to your MSPs. It’s important for suppliers to touch base with the MSP and get feedback on candidate submissions. They will take your input to the client and vice-versa.

For the customer with the right size-program, there is a compelling reason to use the MSP model. Staffing Industry Analysts' Buyer Survey indicated that in 2012, MSP usage for healthcare buyers was 31 percent.  . These healthcare buyers save both time and money engaging an MSP.  “Efficiency wins and that’s what we are trying to do — bring about efficiencies for our client,” says Bob Livonius, president, strategic workforce solutions, AMN Healthcare.

Efficiency is just one of the many reasons hospitals use an MSP. But given the shortage of healthcare workers, MSPs need the supplier community to be engaged. Both sides need to work with one another. Suppliers want visibility. One way of gaining that is to attack those hard to fill positions. This allows the suppliers to be noticeable with both the MSP and the client.

Will the client take your call? Maybe.

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