Conversation continues with dotStaff’s Julie Talatinian and Andrea Connell, Program Manager with Knowledge Services, a dotStaff™ Alliance Partner.

Julie:    How would you describe an ideal vendor?

Andrea: An ideal vendor is a good size, and I don’t mean two to three people in a company.  It is an established company who has a long and successful track record in staffing, and that could be anywhere from IT staffing to Medical to Admin/Clerical, to warehouse clerks and document scanners.  It’s a varied skill set.  I segment my vendors into groups.  I have IT Vendors in one group, Medical Vendors in another group and Admin/Clerical Vendors in another group.  So those vendors need to be the top notch players in their industry.

Julie:   And when you say “Top Notch,” what do you mean?

Andrea: They need to have a background in the applicable line of business service. They need to understand the volume “game,” and they need to understand timelines – that time is of the essence. They also need to understand relationships and their importance.  It’s not just about throwing a resume at a requisition, and hoping that it sticks. That never works.

The vendors who are successful in my program build relationships with managers, and we want them to do that.

Julie:   The vendors can still reach out directly to managers?  That is still allowed?

Andrea: We actually encourage that!  That is our philosophy.  We want the vendor and the manager to have a good working relationship.  We know that is how you get the best talent.  If you remove a line of communication, a manager feels cut off—and he doesn’t like that – and the vendor doesn’t like it either.  The reality of labor procurement is that you can only put so much information in a job requisition.

A manager may not remember to include a really important requirement.  If I don’t, nor does my team, know to ask the [relevant] questions of the manager, we find that it is often the vendors who can read between the lines.  They’ll intuitively just know that this manager has had this need before, or perhaps this type of position usually requires a particular certain something.  They can just pick the phone up, call the manager, ask the question, get the answers and provide the candidate for whom the manager is looking. People who do that are the successful vendors in my program – and that is the outcome we want.

Julie:   So you’re saying, you get a better placement when the vendor has a relationship with the hiring manager.

Andrea: You absolutely do, and the process moves faster.  If they have to keep guessing at what a manager wants, ultimately it reflects negatively on the MSP team.  So we want the vendors to know what the managers want.  We want to keep the lines of communication open between the hiring manager and the vendor.  If you specialize in Database Administration, for example, an experienced vendor knows what the job requires.  They’ve filled it over and over again in their career—and they can ask themselves, do all these pieces add up in terms of what the client is looking for?  They can pick up the phone and ask the manager, “Do you really need Oracle 11G, or is that not that important to you?”   With direct communication, you get a much better fit.  So they know for what to go source.  Vendors have a pipeline of candidates that they know and who they’re looking to put back into jobs.

To be concluded…