7 questions for IT staffing provider selection

1. how important is cost transparency in the process to me?

When choosing a personnel service provider, we always deal with the question of conditions and have to define the degree of transparency we want. Due to the different business models of the staffing service providers on the one hand and the Developments in hourly rates on the other hand, the market is coming under increasing pressure. The IT industry in particular has experienced a rapid increase in costs in recent years and, at the same time, a shortage of resources on the market.

As an end client, I want to keep my costs low, but also find the best service providers and digital experts for my projects. In order to successfully master this balancing act, you approach the personnel service providers with a clear idea.

If you want to enter into an open-book model, communicate this clearly and be open in your expectations. Changing the billing model in the tender process or choosing different models with different partners reduces your transparency and comparability.

How strong are my processes? Is there any potential for optimisation?

Before selecting and implementing a new HR service provider, one should always put one's own processes to the test and check whether they are up to date. An adjustment after successful implementation leads to friction losses and additional expenses compared to a joint transition.

On the one hand, the internal compliance requirements must be compared with the current legislation together with the human resources department and the legal department and revised in case of doubt.

On the other hand, it makes sense to take a look at the entire P2P process for purchasing personnel services. In many companies, the need for external experts is unfortunately still neglected from a purchasing perspective and monetary opportunities are thus lost. In addition, a process that is geared to the needs and the groups of people involved can reduce many internal expenses.

3. how are my needs structured?

Get an overview of your needs. Whether your needs focus on classic IT topics such as SAP consulting, development and IT security or on digital topics can make a big difference in your choice of provider. Because, like you as a company, most personnel service providers have also set priorities in which you are active.

Finding the right match here is essential for the subsequent cooperation. The number of freelancers you request and use over the year should also be transparent for you. This helps to ensure clear expectations in the later exchange with the partners.

4. how deep should the integration of the service provider be?

Am I "only" looking for an intermediary, a Managed Service Partner (MSP) or a platform provider, and do I also need a tool to manage the entire process?

This raises the question of which steps in the process I can and would like to do myself and at which point I would like to outsource the process. A variety of models are conceivable. Depending on the model, different providers have different strengths, which need to be identified in the selection process.

Insofar as the providers on my shortlist have integrated a platform or operate their own vendor management system (VMS), I should think ahead about which of my own tools I would like to connect here and according to which standards this can be done.

5) How well can I describe/concretise my needs or the skills I need?

The right tool, and even more so the right provider, can help your internal recruiters put their wishes and requirements on paper. A well managed skills profile query helps to get the best possible staffing right from the start.

If the internal maturity level is already very high at this point, you again do not need to buy this in.

6. how disruptive am I myself in (personnel) service purchasing and what do I want to measure myself against or what do I perhaps also want to grow in?

The digitalisation of processes does not stop at purchasing. However, since digital purchasing means more than bringing paper-based processes into Excel or SAP, it is important to intensively scrutinise oneself and the internal processes in this regard.

In permanent recruitment, more and more companies are using disruptive tools and working with companies that think differently in order to recruit successfully. Why should this be different in the procurement of external staff?

Do I have sufficient internal know-how and resources to manage the selection process?

The tender to define a new personnel service provider or even the complete restructuring of the supplier portfolio in this commodity group requires some resources. Not only the employees in purchasing are tied up in the tender process. The legal department, HR and the demand side also have to contribute and thus free up resources. If the necessary resources are not available internally, it can help to get support from outside.

Malte Bey, 30 years

To the author:

More than 5 years of experience in operational as well as strategic purchasing of (personnel) services with a focus on IT services and procurement management in various corporate groups