3 Signs It's Time to Break Up with Your Staffing Supplier

Older_Couple_Blog-1.jpgLike in many of your personal relationships, you expect your professional ones to be mutually beneficial. This is especially true in contingent labor procurement where personal or departmental performance goals are based on the results of vendor selection and staffing supplier management.

For better or for worse, around this time of year, we often reflect on our past relationships. Most of us know what it’s like to be in a situation where a romantic relationship has run its course and, sadly, it’s time to go your separate ways. Knowing when it is the right time to say goodbye can help ease the discomfort of this culling process; especially when cutting ties with your long-term staffing supplier.

For organizations that hire thousands of contingent workers, there are a vast number of individuals involved in ensuring a successful contingent labor program. From cost-savings to speed to talent quality, like any long-lasting relationship, you and your staffing supplier need to be in sync to make the partnership a winner.

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Whether you are self-managing your staffing supply chain or using an outside vendor, courting that perfect supplier to fulfill your needs takes time and effort. After all, you have come to depend on your supplier base, and may even develop a bond with the program managers. But, at some point, it’s time to recognize when your blissfully sweet relationship has turned sour.

If time has passed, and you are starting to grow a wandering eye, it’s time to re-evaluate what’s changed. If it’s the classic, “it’s not you it’s me”, maybe your program needs have evolved. Or, perhaps your staffing supplier isn’t making good on what they had promised. Either way, you aren’t happy.


3 Signs its time To Move On From a Staffing Supplier 

Because breaking up is a big deal, we recommend taking ample time to evaluate your staffing supplier. Here are three areas you ought to consider before saying sayonara.  


They are not willing to evolve or adapt

A long-lasting romance will survive by adapting as the involved parties mature and change.  You want to be able to make a statement like “we have had a relationship with a supplier for 16 years, and what makes it work so well is their ability to be agile. They have successfully evolved with us over the years in that they are providing support in skill sets and capabilities they didn’t even have when the relationship started. They are constantly bringing fresh ideas to the table that assist us in achieving better results.”

Can you say that about your supplier? If you are making moves to stay up-to-date on current staffing trends and you find your suppliers are lagging behind and not willing to move forward with you, it’s time to reconsider.  Consistently hitting a wall with a supplier that seems stuck in their ways only hinders your organization’s performance goals.


They overpromise or under deliver

Oh, the honeymoon period. When a doting partner will move mountains to make you happy. The time when they will never let you down.  Then, the reality hits. All of the sudden, they don’t seem to be delivering on their promises.

Luckily, with suppliers, score carding and other ways of tracking metrics hold them accountable to the promises they made when the relationship started. The proof is in the numbers, and by analyzing that data you can see exactly where they are not performing. After 3 months of missing the mark, it’s time to have “the talk”. Take that conversation as a chance to work together to evaluate why the relationship isn’t progressing in a way that you need it to. Discuss what you can work on together to achieve the same goals. If an additional 3 months pass and they still aren’t doing their part, it’s time to end it for good. 

Now if only we can develop a score card for relationships!


The time is right

Sure, that old, reliable partner has been around for a long time and has always stood by your side. But even so, now and then you feel the itch for something more. Something new. Maybe you want to take the next step and they like it just how it is. Maybe something has changed and you are willing to make that jump and they don’t seem to want to move at your pace.

Taking a leap outside of your comfort zone is a good thing. Though it’s hard to break off a relationship with someone who has been steadily reliable, when it comes to choosing staffing suppliers, bringing in fresh blood can give a new perspective that can help you achieve even better results. That plateau you have been experiencing can actually be elevated to go above and beyond even your own expectations.  So entertain that opportunity to work with a supplier that has a different approach than you are used to.  It may bring that breath of fresh air that you need to take it up a notch and bring your staffing program to a level you once saw as unachievable.


We all know breakups are hard and change can be difficult. But gut instincts are often right. If any of these feelings seem true to your relationship with your staffing supplier, I hate to break it to you, but it’s time to go your separate ways.


Marcia Hagood is a Senior Director of Supplier Management for Yoh. Marcia brings more than 15 years of supplier management experience in to her role with Yoh. Prior to this position, Marcia was a Senior Program Manager. There, she spent six years overseeing a managed services account for Yoh. Additionally, Marcia has worked as a Group Operations Manager where she managed operations for several of Yoh's Managed Staffing Provider (MSP) programs and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) programs. Before joining Yoh, Marcia was a middle school science teacher.  

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