As a business owner myself, I understand that choosing the right companies to do business with is an important component of success. Whether it’s our telecommunications network, our lawyers and accountants, or our data storage provider, we rely on business partners to supply critical services, and that includes your contingent workforce program and the staffing suppliers you employ. The high stakes involved in selecting suppliers can make the whole process seem very daunting but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve collected the experience of the ATR team, and my personal observations over the past 25 years, in our eGuide 6 Best Practices for Selecting Excellent Staffing Suppliers. A good selection process allows you to make an informed choice that truly meets your requirements and serves your particular needs. Our advice will help ensure that your selection process runs smoothly, takes less time, and returns better results. It covers the following 6 areas:
Planning – By far the most important step! If you don’t start with a solid understanding of where you are and have a good idea of where you want to be, then it will be difficult to hire the right partners to help you with anything. Whether your size and complexity requires a formal current/future state gap analysis or something less involved, the basic steps are the same for everyone. Learn the right questions to ask at the beginning to ensure a better ending.
The Selection Team – The best team is one that represents all key stakeholders and allows you to evaluate the suppliers and their proposed solutions accurately and from all angles. An inclusionary project team will ensure that your desired future state includes all constituent requirements and that the solution is workable for everyone. Get advice on who and how many people to include for the ideal team.
The RFP document – The RFP describes the purpose, scope, description, minimum requirements or expectations, qualifications or capability of the proposers, evaluation criteria, and other requirements. A well-written RFP is your best friend in the selection process, but don’t confuse “good” with “lengthy.” We link you to detailed information on creating a great RFP.
Evaluation Criteria –You’ll determine what criteria matter most to you (in the weighting and scoring section of the RFP), but beyond the basic markers and KPIs common in our industry, what should you consider? Ask questions that help you evaluate the leadership and viability of the firms you are considering. Do their values and business practices match yours? Find out what to ask about so that you hire partners you can trust.
Meeting in Person – Our recommendation is to automate and streamline any part of the selection process where it makes sense – we like efficiency too! Be careful though, not to let technology override or replace all human interaction. Without getting to personally know the people who you will be working with, you can’t really effectively evaluate that company. Learn how to take advantage of opportunities for contact during the selection process without sacrificing efficiency.
The Internet and Social Media – The wealth of information available online is staggering and the ability to connect with others and benefit from their experiences is revolutionary. Consider how to take advantage of the Internet and social media tools.
Whether you are undertaking the process for the first time, or what seems like the millionth, I hope that you find the Guide useful. The key lesson overall is to recognize that the selection process is much more than just the RFP process. The thought and effort that you put into the process outside of the actual RFP is critical in getting the best results. Please share any best practices of your own that we haven’t thought of by leaving a comment below, and good luck!
President and CEO
Download the eGuide Now: 6 Best Practices for Selecting Excellent Staffing Suppliers