By Elliot H. Clark
This year, we introduce our first-ever HRO Today Bakerâs Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratings for total workforce solutions (TWS).Â The companies listed are the absolute best providers in the TWS market. We believe this is a representative list of the HR serviceÂ providers that can manage the large, complex, integrated programs necessary to service global companies. HRO Today defines TWS asÂ the combination of RPO and MSP services into a seamless platform. Prior to the release of this Bakerâs Dozen, we discovered throughÂ research that hundreds of companies claim to be âleading providers of global total workforce solutions.â However, after reviewingÂ our data sets on clients that leverage both RPO and MSP products from a single provider in multiple regions, there seems to be only aÂ handful of firms that can provide the integrated service offering.
There are some very good HR service partner companies in the enterprise and mid-market sectors offering a total workforce solutionÂ and the number of organizations looking for the combined solution is also growing rapidly. And there lies the problem: MarketÂ demand leads less capable companies to claim capabilities that they donât actually have. This monthâs cover story focuses on globalÂ technology leader DXC Technology and its innovative view of the workforce. One aspect of the companyâs talent approach is whatÂ CHRO Jo Mason calls the âunincorporated workforce,â which supports candidates who donât want to be traditionally employed.Â DXC partners with Allegis Global Solutions for this, as well as the sourcing and hiring of full-time employees. Given the scale andÂ complexity, itâs hard to imagine that many HR service partners could accomplish the program objectives. And, in fact, there arenâtÂ manyâand we list most of them on the Bakerâs Dozen this month. So, the overwhelming message of this column if you rememberÂ nothing else is âCaveat Emptor.â
Years ago, I coined a phrase for the fake RPO providers: âFauxPOs.â There are still FauxPOs out there, but they are far fewer each year.Â HR leaders have become much savvier about the questions they need to ask to properly vet an HR service partner. However, we areÂ seeing that dynamic market growth brings out some firms that claim things they have never done and probably lack the scale to do.Â Many of the less than capable TWS providers are temporary services companies and a fair number cannot even lay claim to providingÂ MSP. MSP is, by the way, a North American term and in the U.K. and EU you will see similar service offerings that manage contingentÂ labor under a different name. But, either you have the service and technology infrastructure to manage many contingent laborÂ vendors and optimize spend, or you do not. The âdo nots,â unfortunately, still claim it on their websites.
Some of the players not featured on this list may be large firms, but we received an insufficient sample and no cooperation from themÂ as part of the Bakerâs Dozen process. While HRO Today gets a substantial portion of the survey sample from its own list, we do notÂ always get enough to rate each provider so we ask for their support in forwarding a link to their clients. Trust me when I say thatÂ companies that have positive and enthusiastic clients are falling over themselves to get into our customer satisfaction survey and thoseÂ that fear transparency run at the first sight of a customer questionnaire. If they are not on our list, ask yourself why and be very, very,Â very skeptical.
Starting in 2019, we are going to try and solve this problem. Through the HRO Today Services and Technology Association, we areÂ launching a certification program that verifies that providers of service and technology are ethical companies that do what theyÂ advertise. The Bakerâs Dozen only focuses on the top of the market, but in the eight Bakerâs Dozen lists we do, there are manyÂ companies that may not be top 13, but are âcertifiableâ as good providers depending on organizational needs. This will be aÂ designation of achievement rather than a numerical ranking like the Bakerâs Dozen. In addition, we will be doing due diligence toÂ ensure their ethical, commercial, and financial sustainability as a provider. This âprofessionalizationâ of HR services is long overdue,Â and we hope to use our media platform to explain the certification process and what you, as buyers, should expect from certifiedÂ provider organizations.
Please enjoy this monthâs coverage on the total workforce solution industry, and all of us at HRO Today wish you a very happy holidayÂ season and a happy new year!