The nature of talent acquisition for an always-on-call emergency assistance provider in the American Red Cross makes finding the right talent at the right time inherently difficult. Costs were increasing and the need to fill a wide range of roles, from nurses and call center reps to eventually a full-service IT department, meant that its existing process would no longer suffice. With an underperforming MSP partner managing its workforce, the Red Cross knew it was time for a change.
After years in an ineffective program that a previous MSP partner had installed, the Red Cross required a full change of talent. In a matter of months, DZConneX (DZX) transitioned the entire workforce and supplier system and installed a specialized DZX-managed MSP program. DZX helped this client transform from a small supplier pool of just a handful to more than 25 external suppliers accounting for 50% of the supplier spend. This increased competition exponentially and allowed for significant costs savings. DZX’s hands-on approach and unique thinking helped bring stability to a set of roles that had previously seen high turnover with past suppliers.
With the installation of the DZX-managed MSP, our dedicated team was able to drastically reduce costs from the beginning, decreasing their average bill rate by nearly $500,000 compared to the prior program in a matter of one quarter. By increasing competition, DZX reduced markups by up to 50%. We brought structure, scalability, and visibility into a previously unorganized total talent program.
Industry Fast Facts
The Red Cross responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters every year 1
3.9 million nurses in the U.S. in 2019 2
$73,550 annual salary for U.S. nurse in 2018 3
$40,350 median salary for health IT professional 4
$35,211 average base salary for customer service rep 5
For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been providing emergency services, disaster relief, lifesaving blood and more to communities across the country. Making all that important work possible are the people who serve those communities – the countless nurses, volunteers, call center representatives, executives, engineers, IT professionals, etc.
But what happens when finding this talent becomes an issue? Identifying, filling, tracking and deploying thousands of different people in many different roles all across the country is undoubtedly difficult. It’s only become increasingly challenging as the talent market has stiffened recently.
MSP Installation With Imagination
Years ago, the Red Cross recognized that it was an expert in responding to and preparing for weather emergencies, but they know they weren't experts in finding talent to optimize their workforce. They identified a partner who could help solve their total talent needs and stuck with them. But after a while, they began to see that this partner wasn’t providing the level of workforce management and visibility they needed. Their talent supply chain wasn’t diverse, and as a result, the Red Cross was paying high markups on some of their talent and seeing significant turnover elsewhere. To solve these issues, they connected with DZX.
Typical for organizations the size of the Red Cross, installing this MSP program needed to be done in a short timeframe – in this case, a 12-week implementation process. However, the DZX process began long before that. Well ahead of the project go-live date, the DZX team was already evaluating the Red Cross’s existing supplier system and designing a custom plan focusing on elements that needed refinement, streamlining and organization.
Once the MSP program was in place, DZX turned what was a primarily internally supplied workforce into one that now boasts 25 external suppliers filling 50% of the supplier spend – far exceeding the 15% contractual requirement. In part, these suppliers are filling the typical corporate roles – IT professionals, engineers, developers, analysts, collectors, corporate executives, administrative assistants, human resources, and light industrial positions. But the Red Cross isn’t a typical organization. It requires not just a geographically diverse supplier base, but an MSP provider who has relationships with suppliers that can provide emergency response roles all over the country in a matter of days. Roles include blood donor care providers, registered nurses, aids, and patient care assistants.
Even call center roles aren’t the usual customer service-style positions for the Red Cross. When DZX was told the Red Cross was seeing significant turnover in its call center positions, DZX wanted to see for themselves, So the team flew to the call center, listened to a handful of calls, and made a quick discovery. These call center representatives were in charge of asking previous blood donors to give again – essentially, they were performing the role of a sales rep in a call center position. To solve this problem, DZX decided to hire individuals with a sales-focus, which lead to the Red Cross experiencing substantially less turnover than before.
Without an MSP program or one that provides a diverse talent supply chain, organizations run the risk of overspending on their workforce without the visibility to even know it’s happening. That’s exactly what happened to the Red Cross before DZX came along to help. With a vendor-neutral MSP program, DZX evaluated each existing supplier relationship and worked to either reduce their costs or find a better supplier who would.
Just three months into the relationship, this new supplier competition allowed DZX to shrink the average bill rate by $3.88 per hour for a total savings of nearly $500,000 versus the prior program. For transitioned workers, that number jumps to $5.25 per worker, totaling more than $284,000 in savings. In many instances, DZX reduced supplier markups by up to 50%. Because few other MSP vendors can claim such an extensive pool of suppliers all over the country, DZX was uniquely equipped to bring these savings to their client without sacrificing any quality or speed of hiring.
Today, DZX manages suppliers, onboarding, reporting and tracking, and off-boarding of nearly all of the Red Cross’s contract workers. The DZX team delivers full visibility into the organization’s workforce spend and can provide instant clarity into where inefficiencies may lie and where new saving opportunities can be found. The talent at the Red Cross still delivers vital services to Americans in need all year round. DZX has been able to help them achieve that quicker, easier, and more efficiently than they ever have before.