Why a Higher Education Organization is the Perfect Candidate for an MSP Program

Guest Blogger
Why a Higher Education Organization is the Perfect Candidate for an MSP Program

Companies have long relied on Managed Services Providers (MSPs) to help them control their contingent workforce spend, mitigate risk, and create streamlined processes while driving efficiency in their use of non-employee workers. Most industries work incredibly well under an MSP, but there are a few aspects of higher education companies that uniquely benefit from the use of an MSP compared to other industries. And while every higher education organization is different, that’s more the benefit, because every DZConneX (DZX) MSP is custom designed with the client in mind. With an MSP, university systems can build what works best for them to optimize their talent supply chain and allow their organization to reach its full potential.

Let’s break down the benefits.

Driving Centralization to a Decentralized Setting

Most universities are trying to create a functional and well-established human resources (HR) space within their organization. But higher education HR may feel separated from their peers or removed from budgeting decisions more so compared to other industries. This is simply because higher education companies are generally more segmented in their traditional approach to finding talent. One school or department may have a completely different strategy, budget, approach and results than another and may not share in the talent pool available. Procurement and HR often do not collaborate on a larger solution to the problem of finding the right talent on time at budget. In general, higher education organizations haven’t adopted a total talent approach as quickly as other industries. This leads to the decentralized process of using different suppliers. By having an MSP in place, a university’s Central Talent Acquisition team can leverage the MSP Program Management Office (PMO) as an extension of its team to drive program initiatives to the various schools and HR leads across the university. Through structured communication and regular cadence meetings, best practices will be shared to help socialize program benefits and drive accountability.

True Cost to Service & Cost Savings

As mentioned above, many times different suppliers are being used within one organization leading to a decentralized process. Many suppliers can mean lack of visibility, which can ultimately drive up costs - both when it comes to the cost of talent and the cost of time. Multiple individual, specialized contracts without standardization in rates and pay don’t bring economies of scale, and may not have been recently updated. Not to mention, the cost of time spent managing supplier relationships and finding new suppliers when the talent market is tight like in a post-COVID market. Contracting, billing, and relationship management outside of an MSP can lead to invoicing errors, poor rate management or rogue spend. In many cases, at the onset an MSP starts with analyzing costs, control, and even immediate savings. Building a strategy for hard and soft cost saving with steps to identify, analyze, and make recommendations regarding pay rate benchmarking and client-specific market assessment are hallmarks of a successful program. An MSP will truly understand the talent procurement business, processes and outcomes to generate results.

A Well-Managed Total Talent Supply Chain

An MSP will act as a trusted advisor to the Talent Acquisition (TA) team and work with managers on a daily basis on the strategy around Total Talent and how it should be best acquired, regardless of the source. The goal is to work efficiently to deliver a candidates that can meet all of your organizational needs, including D&I initiatives. By having a dedicated supplier management team, only the best qualified talent will enter your organization. The MSP will do the heavy-lifting when it comes to communicating with the suppliers so that it’s off your plate. As a diverse talent pool becomes more essential in procuring the best talent, an MSP can collaborate with stakeholders to create goals to increase supplier diversity and ensure the program is set up to recruit diverse candidates.

Opportunities for Business Expansion

Once a successful implementation and delivery of services is achieved, and the MSP is up and running, your program team can build a project roadmap customized to the goals of the ideal program state you want to achieve. In looking at the next steps in building your MSP, which can come in different forms, there may be areas of work that make sense to include in the broader program. Universities, for example, typically use high volume of Independent Contractors, but may not have a roadmap for how to ensure they are being procured at the best cost and in a compliant way. Additionally, since universities are made up of individual departments that act as stand-alone businesses in their procurement strategies, one division may be added at a later date if the original timeline is not a match. There is no wrong way to roadmap your MSP, but doing it in partnership with your provider ensures the best outcome. As companies try to categorize and distinguish different services, like Statement of Work (SOW) or freelance contractors, innovating and delivering a solution that is a fit is where an MSP has a chance to shine, and add real, measurable value.

Flexibility and COVID-19 Support

In a rapidly shifting workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s crucial to get the support that you need from your MSP, even in the form of compliance and in one customer example, in testing. In the case of a DZConneX (DZX) client, we were able to provide one of our higher education clients support for COVID-19 testing protocol as well as an incorporation of COVID-19 screening requirements and communication to all contingent workers and contractors to upload their vaccination and booster status directly to our client. Additionally, we were able to rapidly shift hiring initiatives to meet the university’s increase in remote learning and teaching capabilities. An MSP that can be flexible, and quickly scale up and down, is essential to a university looking to go the Managed Services route, especially in the post-COVID market.

In Summary

From driving centralization to opportunities for business expansion, the benefits of a higher education organization utilizing an MSP are overwhelmingly positive. Partly because higher education organizations and universities are inherently structured to need the very benefits an MSP can provide: Universities tend to be comprised of a group of departments or schools, disjointed from the whole, that each have very different requirements for their talent because they are made up of groups of professionals with completely different skill sets. This is especially true for universities that have a hospital system or a research school – the requirements are far reaching, but not centralized. Essentially, what you have is a large company that is made up of what feels like “smaller companies” or business units within each university system. This enhances the need for a single set of expert eyes on the Total Talent Strategy to drive the benefits an MSP can offer.

We understand that every organization’s workforce is going to have different challenges and needs but the biggest benefit of being in an MSP with experience in higher education is customization. And DZConneX takes a unique approach to building a roadmap for each client to enhance the benefits of their program. First determining the best solution and approach, then expertly managing the talent supply chain, and dedicated program management to return efficient processes and savings. The right Managed Services Provider can be uniquely developed to meet the strategic hiring objectives of any university.

Learn more about DZConneX’s MSP services here.


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