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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.

Balancing many resumes

In addition to a high volume of candidates, when working with an MSP, recruiters typically 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?