Now that you are on 'the program,' what makes for a successful MSP Partnership?

Congratulations! You targeted a specific MSP program, did your homework, are fully vetted and now you are ready to receive requirements. Great feeling - and reason to celebrate! Now, the hard part.being successful.

Here are 4 areas to focus on

Compliance - It is every vendors responsibility to be in 100% compliant with the program that they are supporting. This includes all facets of the MSA; mark-up or rate-card, insurance requirements, on-boarding & termination procedures and understanding & respecting the rules of engagement. In my 20+ years supporting MSP's, not following the rules of engagement is probably the #1 reason that gets suppliers thrown in Vendor Prison (eliminated from participating in submitting candidates for a determined period of time) or at worse, thrown off the program! Follow the rules of engagement, stay out of vendor prison!

Communication - As a true partner, you need to be transparent and proactive with the MSP. This means bringing to the attention issues or concerns before it's escalated to the MSP/Program Managers. It means being honest on the skills/roles that you are adept at filling and those that you are not. Might even mean withdrawing from a program if you find that you will waste the time of the Program Manager(s). A true partner shares and communicates meaningful market intel even when it doesn't benefit themselves directly, including identifying potential sales opportunities.

Delivery - Strong fundamentals in your delivery team are of course, key to success. Knowing your candidates and understanding their strengths along with the types of companies/environments that they thrive in is extremely important. Depending upon the role, having multiple interviews including having them speak with a subject matter expert can ensure that you are submitting a quality candidate. Reference checks prior to submitting is also highly recommended.

Retention - We all know and understand the high cost of turnover. Often times making a placement that doesn't stick is worse than not filling the position in the first place. Not always, but turnover is often avoidable. It happens for one or more of the following reasons:

  • You don't know your candidates. You submit them based solely on skills and nothing else.
  • Focused on speed over quality. If the candidate doesn't measure up technically, skills or experience, getting him/her placed quickly will not work.
  • Little to no contact after the candidate started. Out of sight out of mind! We meet and or conference call on a regular schedule with all employees.
  • Strong Account Management can help identify issues with consultants by working closely with the Delivery Team.