Designing your global MSP programme

In today’s globalised business environment you’re confronted with constantly changing economic and labour conditions. These altering conditions increase the need for a global contingent workforce strategy. Especially when struggling with labour shortages in certain industries and countries, having an MSP programme in place could be very helpful. But how should that global MSP be designed to become successful?

Managing a global contingent workforce can be challenging. Many organisations lack a centralised strategy, central governance and centralised systems. Their contingent workforce data is scattered, which makes it very hard to analyse and almost impossible to define the right global strategy. In contrast, organisations with a central global workforce strategy and process in place, have visibility and transparency at their fingertips. It allows them to make instant decisions when hiring contingent workers and expanding or reducing the scope of work.

Organisations often outsource the management of their contingent workforce to a global Managed Service Provider (MSP). Design of the global MSP programme and finding the right MSP partner is fundamental to a successful contingent workforce strategy and its execution.

In-country presence?
One of the first decisions to make is if you need the MSP services, for the countries in scope, to be executed on a local in-country level. That depends on many factors, like for example the number CWs, local legislation, labour market dynamics, internal culture, etc.. In most cases your MSP provider needs local presence and a local legal entity for the execution of their local services. It’s essential to consider this need when selecting the right MSP supplier, since global coverage of the major MSP suppliers differs (see graphic below).

Since in many cases the hiring volume per country differs and the global coverage of the selected MSP partner will not mirror with your global coverage an alternative delivery mode needs to be considered. What are your choices?

Nearshore/offshore delivery
If your MSP partner has no in-country delivery team or the volumes don’t justify a local on the ground team an alternative is to organize the service delivery form a near- or offshore location. All major MSP suppliers have multiple central delivery locations across the different regions in the world. Important element to take into consideration is for example the availability of local language support among other elements like cultural fit, labor market knowledge, managing the change in the first year, etcetera.

Local partnerhips
If the volumes and nature of the contingent workforce in specific countries require a local delivery model and your MSP supplier doesn’t have local coverage or intend to set-up any local entity you could request your MSP supplier to subcontract a local partner. In this case it is important that this local partner acts fully under the responsibility of your MSP supplier and uses the central VMS system to ensure a global execution of your strategy.

Headcount tracking
If the in-country CW volumes not justify a full MSP service delivery model including sourcing, supplier management, etc. and your local management is fully capable to source and manage the contingent workforce by themselves headcount tracking through the central VMS software will assure global visibility and the possibility of making strategic decision if there are changes in volumes, compences, etc.

In summary, there are many choices and complexity associated with designing the right delivery model for a global Contingent Workforce programme.

These complexities should not be underestimated, but they should also not be feared. With correct consideration, all of them can be addressed constructively. A successful global MSP deployment is absolutely possible.

Do you need support designing your regional or global MSP programme? Or would you like a review of your approach? Please feel free to reach out.

Ron BosmaAbout the author

Ron Bosma is Managing Partner at TalentIn. With more than 30 years in the industry his expertise helps organisations build and execute their workforce strategy, making sure that what is designed can be implemented.

TalentIn has extensive national and international experience in developing and improving strategies for the recruitment of your permanent and temporary staff including the underlying technologies. We know how these programmes can be designed and implemented successfully. We advise, but can also provide practical support. Are you interested? Please contact us for an appointment without obligation via, or +31103075422.

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