Is staffing a commodity? That’s the question asked by some skeptics in procurement. In a paper published by McKinsey “A business is a value delivery system,” Michael J. Lanning and Edward G. Michaels explain value in terms of the two criteria customers use for their buying decisions:
1) the benefits of a particular product or service and 2) its price. The benefits can be reduced to a single number: what is the most the customer would be willing to pay for the product or service. That number, minus the price, represents the service or product’s value to the customer.
The World Economic Forum in the Human Capital report asserts that ‘a creative and productive workforce contributes more to the long-term economic success of a nation than virtually any other resource. Staffing partners play a key role beyond sourcing and without them contingent workforce programs are at a disadvantage.’ A successful contingent workforce program has three core players: a Managed Service Provider (MSP), a Vendor Management System (VMS) platform, and a Strategic Supplier Base.
Organizations have come to rely on the MSP’s expertise in managing a contingent workforce program, engaging, mentoring and managing a network of staffing partners and achieving program compliance. Plus, the adoption of technology and analytics continue to influence the industry landscape. Key metrics found in better adoption of technologies allow clients to realize cost savings while the three core players grow.
There’s more to staffing than what one might think. Staffing firms provide employment services, including temporary staffing, employee leasing services, direct hire/placement services and/or outplacement. Specifically, they have expertise and experience in matching talent perfectly. Be it highly technical, hard to fill, niche positions or a challenge to recruit in the shortest time; staffing pros always find a way to deliver. Like permanent employees, contingent workers with diverse skills are integral to the workforce of global organizations.
Staffing firms can also take on the role of “employer of record” and are legally responsible for paying wages, employees’ taxes, and similar costs for temporary workers, contractors and contingent workers on a client assignment. Change is the only constant, and the staffing industry continues to evolve. From placement services to workforce solutions and consulting, they now cover the entire talent gamut.
Staffing companies fulfill an organization’s human capital needs; their service only doubles in value when solid execution creates a mutually beneficial partnership.
So, what do you think, is staffing a commodity?