Talent Development Centre

Tag Archives: managed service provider (msp)

All Talent Development Centre posts for Canadian technology contractors relating to Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

Cut Out the Clutter — Go Back to Basics!

Gilbert Boileau By Gilbert Boileau,
Vice-Président, Québec at Eagle

I just got 5 emails, 8 InMails, 3 phone calls and 1 SMS from different IT Staffing firms for 3 different consulting engagements at Bank ABC, all between 8:30 and 9:30 this morning. WhoContractor receiving many phone calls do I call back? The first one who sent me an email, the first voice message or the last one?  I know two of those recruiters very well, Peter and Rob.  Should I call Peter first?

If this sounds like a typical event in one of your typical days as an IT consultant, then you may consider going back to your basics.  What does this mean?

The IT staffing landscape has changed considerably since the Y2K era (don’t tell me you don’t remember those good old times!!)  As Jeremy Mason mentioned last week, most big organizations with large IT contracting needs go through an internally or externally Managed Vendor Program.  This means one point of contact for the entire IT organization.  As he also pointed out, this process can raise your risk of dual representation which is not good for you.  But you should also know that, for some clients, being represented at the same client by 5 staffing companies on 5 different job requests in the same week is not very good for you either.  Depending on which staffing firms you are dealing with, it could mean 5 different bill rates, 5 different profiles and a very confused end client!

How can you minimize this issue? By going back to basics and working with only your preferred staffing firms.  The best measure for determining the best firm fit should rest on how you feel about its recruiters, its ethics and the way they represent you in this new “tighter” consulting ecosystem.  Good recruiters will care, follow-up, abide by strong ethics and look at the short and the long term.  It is worth your while to get to know them and to speak with them frequently because they may have different clients and more options for you.  Take the time to meet them and ask about their values and how they view their relationships with their clients and their contractors. Then discard the ones who are just providing you with a short term opportunity.  Because short term is just what it is — short term.

So, look for the fundamentals.  They are still your best guide today and for the years to come!

How many staffing companies do you currently work with?  Have you run into any confusing situations while juggling multiple companies?  Share your experiences below!

The Risky Business of Dual Representation

Jeremy Mason By Jeremy Mason,
Vice-President, Central Canada at Eagle

The way independent contractors do business through staffing agencies has changed dramatically over the last 10 years. There are, however, still some very basic best-practices that both parties need to continue to respect.  One issue that seems to be ‘rearing its ugly head’ as of late is the problem of “Dual Representation”.

What is Dual Representation?

Essentially, dual representation is when a contractor gives permission to more than one Staffing Agency to submit their resume to a single job opening with a specific Client. Send Resume Button

Dual representation is unfortunately seen by all clients, but is more prevalent for large organizations who deal with a lot of agencies and specifically those who have MSP (Managed Services Provider) Programs in place.  There are a number of approved-Agencies within any large MSP Program, and the feedback from vendors is that dual representations are increasing significantly.  As a result, these MSP Programs are leading the way in implementing new policies to eliminate dual-representation.

Why should candidates care about this? 

Any Client, whether working with an MSP or not, does not want to deal with potential ‘squabbling’ between agencies as to who submitted the candidate first. Instead, they will simply disregard the candidate’s profile and move on to the next suitable candidate.

How can you avoid missing out on an opportunity because of dual representation?

Always be vigilant about where and when you submitted your resume to any given opportunity, and when you do, ensure only 1 agency is submitting your profile. Although it may seem tempting to allow multiple Agencies to submit your resume to an opportunity with hopes that it will ‘better your odds’, the reality of it is it may drastically reduce your chances. You may only be hurting yourself!

Of course, the onus isn’t completely on contractors.  A good and ethical Agency will not only take the time to explain the importance of only submitting your resume once, but will also always get your explicit permission and give you all details before sending your resume to the client.

If you need clarification or have questions about dual representation, you can always get in touch with your recruiter who will provide more information.  Better yet, though, ask us in the comments below so we can share the answer with other independent contractors as well!

Managed Service Providers and Independent Contractors

The Canadian IT Job Market has traditionally been very competitive. In today’s world, many Clients have increased that level of competition by engaging a Managed Service Provider (MSP).

What is an MSP?

An MSP or Managed Service Provider is a company engaged by the client organization to manage multiple staffing vendors.  MSPs are generally mandated to manage performance including tracking a variety of metrics to ensure staffing vendors are performing to the company’s set standards.  Metrics can include evaluation of the quality of candidates, turnaround times, review of rates, submissions versus candidates interviewed, etc.

How do MSPs affect the Independent Contractor?

When an agency receives a contract order request from an MSP, each agency is usually given the opportunity to submit their top two or three candidates.  Due to the number of Agencies working with these MSPs, there are generally a substantially high number of resumes submitted against one contract opportunity.   This means, that when an independent contractor is submitting a resume through an MSP it becomes increasingly more important for resumes to stand out among the pool of potential candidates.

In addition to a high volume of candidates, when working with an MSP, recruiters typicallyBalancing many resumes have less of an opportunity to sell you and your skills to the client, making it more important than ever to work with your Agency to ensure you distinguish yourself by making sure your resume accurately demonstrates your experience so that it stands out among the masses.

Here are some tips to ensure your resume rises to the top:

  1. Ensure your resume is current.  Don’t wait to do it later. Turnaround time with MSPs is usually extremely fast, so when an Agency calls you, it’s key to have a current electronic copy of your resume available. If you take too long to submit an updated resume, you can easily miss your chance at being submitted.
  2. Maintain multiple resumes if you perform multiple roles (i.e. Business Analyst, Project Manager, etc.).  Ensure that each resume iteration demonstrates your niche skills for the specific role to which you’re applying.
  3. Include all relevant technology experience as well as industry experience (i.e. Banking, Government, Insurance).   You want to prove to the client that you have more than the required skills and that you understand their specific environment.
  4. Don’t submit your resume to multiple agencies for the same opportunity, this will only hurt you!  If you give an Agency the “Right to Represent” (RTR) you for a particular opportunity, this means you’re giving them the right as an approved Agency within that MSP to submit your resume.  If you allow that to happen with multiple Agencies, it will result in your resume being submitted twice (a.k.a. Dual submission), and the Client may automatically disqualify you.
  5. Work with your Agency to understand all the relevant contract details.  If you have time, you’ll be able to tweak your resume to include relevant experience relating specifically to the client, industry or project.

These are some very basic tips that can increase the odds of your resume being selected among the hundreds that get submitted to an MSP.  Do you have any other tips to get noticed by a client working with an MSP?  Would you like to know more about MSPs?  We’d love your feedback.  Leave us a comment!