MSP 3.0 - The next step in the Darwinian chain

The world of work has evolved and MSPs must do so too (iStock)

The world of work is evolving at a rapid pace and so too must your Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Some of the world’s best talent is increasingly embracing the flexibility and mobility of contracting. Meanwhile, the rise of the TalentSumer means developing an attractive employer brand has become the key baseline principle for recruitment.

In this environment, MSP providers have a new role to play. On the whole, the service has been guilty of having gone somewhat stale, evolving little in recent years. This simply has to change. At AGS, this change is already well underway. In order to deliver the service businesses need, we have re-built our MSP model process by process and re-built service delivery from beginning to end, while upskilling staff on the basis of an operational excellence and continuous improvement model. We call this the AGS Way.

The AGS Way was borne out of the need to deliver added value to MSP clients and move beyond being a transactional supplier alone. Traditionally, the MSP-client relationship has been a solely transactional one. The provider was tasked with filling vacancies and little else. However, in the new world of work, this approach is no longer enough. The rise of the TalentSumer means for MSPs to stay relevant they must evolve from a transactional supplier into a strategic partner and deliver the value that businesses need. In essence, MSPs need to become talent advisors, serving as a strategic arm of the client business.

Moving front and center

How can this be achieved? Simply filling vacancies can no longer be considered the end game. MSPs must assume a front and center position that allows them to advise on the right approach to attract the best talent.

By drawing on market intelligence, the MSP provides the most holistic view possible. Rather than having a client coming to their MSP requesting a particular service, the AGS Way ensures the provider has the understanding and expertise to go to the client with recommendations for how best to achieve their goals. This can range from using data to advise clients on the location and availability of talent, to advising on the optimum rate card and screening resumes.

With many MSP solutions operating across multiple geographies, it's also vital that the MSP has the capacity to draw on local expertise and take varying local nuances into account. Essentially, the AGS Way works on the principle of combining regional expertise and best practice with a global front and reach.


The emergence of the TalentSumer and rise of the contingent workforce makes the recruitment market an unfamiliar environment for many businesses and it is up to the MSP provider to guide them on best practice in this changed landscape. This requires the establishment of a face-to-face business relationship, with an active on-site presence. Only then can the necessary service for competitive advantage be delivered. MSPs can no longer be a generic service, providers must work with the client business to get an accurate picture of the talent they need and then align the acquisition process accordingly. 

The world of work has changed, and, as Darwin taught us, MSPs must evolve with it if they are to survive and thrive.

Posted 8/18/2016 By Bruce Morton

As a renowned international keynote speaker, named HR Thought Leader of the Year in 2013 and 2014, Bruce Morton has over three decades of experience within the talent acquisition and workforce management industry.

Throughout his career he has designed, implemented and...
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