Leveraging highly specialized workers to increase efficiency has been a human resource (HR) practice for several centuries now. While this division of labor was first theorized by economist Adam Smith in his epochal 1776 book ‘The Wealth of Nations’, the concept has grown more popular, with hyperspecialization being the norm in a number of industries.
Smith, in his book, had illustrated how dividing the labor into segments and according to highly specialized tasks led to an increase in productivity. The increase in production is derived from allocation efficiency (utilizing the best skill of every worker) and reduction of transition time between tasks.
The Harvard Business Review, in 2011, noted, “We are entering an era of hyperspecialization—a very different, and not yet widely understood, world of work.” Hyperspecialization, according to many economic experts, can help a business meet the demands of the changing times. And contingent workers are considered the key to unlock the specialized success.
Contingent workers are defined as a provisional group, similar to independent contractors, temporary contract workers, and freelancers, working on a non-permanent basis. They are utilized as a component of a strategic business plan, depending upon the project, or a percentage of the total workforce.
The role of MSPs in contingent hiring
Managed service providers (MSPs) take necessary steps to help a company reach its contingent staffing program. High-performing MSPs stand out by actively managing program operations and suppliers while carrying out continuous improvement of efforts.
A skilled MSP can do the following regarding contingent staffing:
MSPs carry out various types of management activities in contingent staffing. These include sourcing, assignment management, invoicing and expenditure management, system administration, and standard high-level reporting. High performing MSPs take program management to the next level with exhaustive reporting strategies. This results into actionable metrics obtained from standard headcount, time and spend cycle reporting, utilization of less standard aging, contractor/attrition quality, cost savings, contractor utilization, contract duration, off-boarding/onboarding, and rate analysis reporting.
MSPs assess the performance of suppliers by performance measures approved by the client. They have in-depth knowledge of supplier-tiers and can recommend when to add a new supplier and when to remove an existing supplier on the basis of market analysis and supplier performance.
High-performing MSPs ensure that contingent workforce program goals are in alignment with the client’s mission and vision. They are the ones to chart out a strategic program plan for the client, proactively identify compliance opportunities, and mitigate risks.
The changing world of work in the gig economy requires constant improvements in terms of innovation, market analysis and forecasting, policy decisions, and regulatory practices. Good MSPs define SLAs and provide detailed performance reporting. They also drive customer engagement through various forms of communication, including periodic surveys and training, case studies, announcements, and program updates.