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Supporting Supplier Relationships with Ryan Schaal, MSPs, and Broadleaf Results


Ryan Schaal is the Director of Client Delivery at Broadleaf Results. With an 8-year tenure at Broadleaf and a combined 16+ years in the HR industry, Ryan oversees MSPs for multiple clients that include more than 250 client facilities across the country.

If anyone knows what makes Broadleaf stand out from the competition, it’s Ryan. Here’s what he has to say about MSPs and the Broadleaf difference.

What makes Broadleaf a preferred provider of MSPs?
Broadleaf can and does differentiate itself from the competition by offering MSP consultations to our suppliers, thereby setting them up for the best success. Some companies just align them, wish them luck, and then disappear. But at Broadleaf, we’re in it for the long haul. We’re not just MSP providers, we’re MSP partners.

What challenges are suppliers facing?
A lot of suppliers are typically most comfortable with direct client engagements, so when they start providing staffing support under an MSP, they tend to struggle a little (or a lot), which can be frustrating for them and—more importantly—the client.

So, it can be difficult for suppliers to adapt to an MSP model?
Yes, because working on an MSP can be new and challenging.

How so?
Here are a few reasons:

  • In most cases, an MSP eliminates the direct contact between the supplier and the client, which can be tough on recruiters who are used to picking up the phone and making a call to a hiring manager whenever they want.
  • Margins under MSPs can be lower, so incentivizing recruiters to fill job openings may require a bit more creativity from the supplier.
  • MSPs may also include additional discounts, such as tenure, reduced OT, and volume rebates. And, in almost every instance, the supplier is required to pay a management or VMS fee of usually 3 – 5%, reducing margins even more.
  • The contract process can be more intense and may come with limited flexibility for modifications. Oftentimes, the contract between a supplier and a client is only a few pages, whereas MSP contracts can be much longer.
  • There is usually a VMS in place for all submittals, reports, billing, and so on. This means recruiters can’t just email a resume to a manager, which, to the recruiter, seems inconvenient. Timing is key and a recruiter wants to claim candidate ownership right away, so in some ways MSPs can be perceived to threaten that.
  • MSPs typically generate more supplier competition for job orders, which can seem daunting to a recruiter, especially if they struggle to understand the intricacies of the program, or are not competitive by nature.

If adapting to an MSP is such a challenge, why even bother?
The way I see it, there are a few clear-cut benefits to working with an MSP:

The first is that with an MSP, the supplier is getting more opportunities to create, support, and build on relationships. While most suppliers have one or two relationships with hiring managers, the MSP can bring in dozens of hiring managers or more, which amount to added opportunities.

The second benefit is really built into the first. When we talk about these added opportunities for suppliers, it’s important to note that they require absolutely no spending on sales efforts. The MSP delivers expansion and growth opportunities, so suppliers don’t have to chase them. At the end of the day, the MSP delivers more clients, the businesses grow with the MSP, and the supplier accumulates more volume.

Thirdly, MSPs create a standardized process between clients and suppliers, which helps keep stakeholders accountable and ultimately facilitates the most consistent process possible. It doesn’t take long for the MSP to bridge the gap between clients and suppliers in a way that improves productivity and sets up all parties for continued success.

And don’t forget: MSPs are becoming a key component of talent solutions. Consider these stats:

  • 86% of best-in-class organizations use MSPs.
  • 63% of employers say the talent shortage is a serious concern for their organization.
  • 40% of today’s workforce is employed as contingent, part-time, or gig worker.

We know that MSPs are absolutely the way of the future.

Finally, MSPs do a lot of the heavy lifting for suppliers—MSPs help clients offer competitive payrates based on the market, and reduce the need for the client and supplier interaction. In other words, suppliers can focus on recruiting while the MSP focuses on best practices and market expectations for the client.

If MSPs are valuable but difficult to adapt to, how does Broadleaf simplify the process for suppliers?
This is the big question. My colleagues and I have personally been able to partner with suppliers, evaluate and improve their understanding, refresh their thinking, and realign their expectations of an MSP.

Broadleaf makes it a point to not only explain the process to suppliers, but we even take it a step further—we work with suppliers to help them structure a process that is specific to MSP support. To be clear, we help suppliers:

  • Find the most efficient ways to work through the MSP and ensure supplier success under the required process.
  • Leverage volume and expanded opportunities to offset potentially tighter margins.
  • Minimizing effort and time it takes to fill positions, which keeps recruiters engaged.
  • Partner with supplier payroll and billing teams to understand the role of the VMS, smoothing out the payroll process and ensuring that invoices are correctly entered and timely paid. We’ll consolidate billing so suppliers don’t have to send invoices—we do that in a centralized way, which leads to efficiency – we handle the process for them.
  • Access real-time reporting and analytics within the VMS, which provides the visibility needed to best manage their business.

It’s really as simple as this: Suppliers need to fill orders, and we help make sure those orders get filled. When jobs get filled, we all win. With a dedicated MSP partner such as Broadleaf, we have seen suppliers and clients alike achieve incredible success!


For more total talent insights from Ryan, follow him on LinkedIn.

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