South Africa

How to choose a contingent labour Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Sharon White
Operations Executive
3 mins

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a contingent labour management solution implemented by an external partner who combines personal expertise, process and technology to support an organisation’s contingent labour force.

When a business partners with an MSP provider to outsource its contingent labour, the MSP assumes all or some of an organisation’s procurement or HR functions, managing the entire contingent talent lifecycle from recruitment, onboarding, and training, through to invoicing and payment. 

An MSP provider works alongside your internal HR and procurement teams and can perform its duties remotely or onsite at your facility, dependant on your needs.

How do you know if an MSP will be a good fit for your business? Here are a few key areas that will highlight a good match:

  • Your business is looking for better cost control among your staffing vendors
  • You need faster access to semi-skilled and skilled labour
  • You need greater compliance protection 
  • You are investigating workforce analytics, more detailed reporting and key insights into your business to make better-informed contingent workforce decisions
  • You are interested in labour trends and bespoke solutions that will support your business needs and culture.


However, there are also reasons why you should not engage with an MSP provider. These include:

  • If your business is not willing or comfortable with having an external organisation manage your contingent workforce needs
  • If internal stakeholders do not want or are not ready for a centralised solution
  • If your contingent workforce volume isn’t high enough to justify the use or cost of an MSP.


Finding the best fit for your business

If you recognise that an MSP can support your business, here are a few key areas to consider when choosing the right MSP:


Do they have true visibility into the labour market? 

An experienced MSP not only has access to a large labour pool that can be instantly deployed, but deep knowledge of the labour market and current trends. Without this expertise, the wrong people are often hired, at the wrong rate, with the wrong experience. 


Do they place an emphasis on sourcing the highest quality of talent?  

This doesn’t only apply to skilled labour. Semi-skilled labour is often deployed in working conditions that require a high degree of compliance training. This can be costly and onerous. A managed service provider should be taking care of all risk and compliance matters. 


Do they deliver consolidated invoicing? 

When you pay one invoice to your MSP provider instead of (sometimes) hundreds of staff salaries, you save an enormous amount of time previously spent on managing and reconciling individual invoices. 


Will they reduce the workload on your internal HR and procurement functions? 

When your contingent workforce is managed by a specialist dedicated to your organisation, you alleviate pressure on your internal functions while simultaneously working with a workforce management specialist.


Can they instantly upscale or downscale your labour force? 

An MSP’s role is to help its clients match labour needs to production needs. The beauty of the solution is that if a project is completed, staff can be redeployed elsewhere, without your business carrying the overheads of a workforce you don’t currently need. 


Pulling it altogether

Contingent labour is playing an increasingly important role in the talent acquisition and procurement mix. It’s important for businesses to no longer depend on ad hoc approaches to managing their contingent workforce needs.

When you engage a managed service provider, your business can leverage your MSP provider’s expertise in vendor and supply chain management, risk mitigation and compliance, talent markets and even technology.

This experience and expertise will proactively ensure that your business has access to the contingent talent you need, when you need it, in a cost-effective and centralised way.

Visit BLU by Adcorp to find out more today!

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Operations Executive

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