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Workforce Managed Solutions – Frequently Asked Questions

If you are not familiar with how a workforce managed solution works it may seem initially daunting. This section is designed to cut through any jargon or confusion by answering some frequently asked questions in a straight-forward way.

If you have any further questions or would like an initial consultation call us on 01925 907008 or email

Question 1: I find it difficult to understand what a Managed Solution is, along with all the associated jargon. Please can you help clarify?

We would agree that over the last few decades this area of expertise has developed its own code. Below is a quick explanation of some of the most commonly used acronyms:

  • ATS (Applicant tracking system)
    This e-commerce technology helps a business manage their vacancy and candidate attraction & application processes from start to finish.
  • VMS (Vendor management system)
    Internet enabled technology, used by businesses to procure staffing services, managing the supply chain interaction, invoicing, compliance, risk and efficiency. This provides greater visibility of your recruitment activity.
  • PSL (Preferred supplier list)
    This is the approved recruitment supply chain – often focused upon skill supply and geographical capability.
  • MSP (Managed service provider or provision)
    An outsourced agency (e.g. OPERAM) that optimises and facilities the temporary staffing recruitment process, empowered by technology (ATS and/or VMS). Results in improved quality, reduced total cost and reduces the time-to-hire.
  • RPO (Recruitment process outsourcing)
    An outsourced agency (e.g. OPERAM) that manages the permanent staffing recruitment process, working with technology and various social media tools, to deliver value throughout the process.
  • MV (Master vendor)
    This is where an MSP or RPO partner manages your recruitment, and fills the majority of the vacancies, whilst releasing to an agreed supply chain of 2nd tier suppliers, as required.
  • VN/NV (Vendor Neutral)
    This is where the MSP or RPO partner manages your recruitment process, filling the roles via a managed supply chain, where the MSP itself does not fill these positions from its own recruitment teams.
  • KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
    The agreed method of measuring service level agreement – it is effectively the quality and standards for the service.
  • SLA (Service Level Agreement)
    This is the minimum standard to which the service and the processes need to be performed to

Question 2: Is it true that a Managed Solution is overly complicated and lacks flexibility?

This only occurs when a provider and client design a service in that way, making the mistake of designing solutions that are too complicated for day to day use. The benefit of using Operam is that we always strive to deliver solutions that function smoothly, and are intuitively designed to operate in a logical, no fuss manner. We firstly make sure the technology fits the clients business, and secondly we will have someone on site with you to make sure the implementation and ongoing progress runs smoothly and is understood by everyone. Our method makes workforce management easier for the client.

Question 3: It seems that it’s all about technology and the ‘service’ becomes a black-hole with minimal human intervention, is this correct?

No. For us the VMS technology is used to enable the process, ensure compliance and aid the users of the service – it should never be used to replace the human element. Our team use advanced analysis to recommend the best solution, helping to choose, implement and use the technology properly. In addition, our onsite presence quickly solves any workforce issues, recommending improvements if your business changes or grows, for example.

Question 4: Is it correct that Managed Solutions Providers position themselves to stop recruiters talking to hiring managers?

No, however, sometimes it is appropriate to reduce the volume of activity for the hiring managers, but only when the dialogue does not add value. We design a service that ensures the free flow of conversations in a controlled and open way to speed up the recruitment process. Greater efficiency will ultimately save our clients time and money.

Question 5: Surely these kind of services do not work if the solutions provider does not understand our sector?

If a provider does not understand your sector, they may struggle to provide an effective solution. The benefit of using Operam as your solutions provider is that we only target the sectors that mirror our experiences. We understand your sector, the challenges you face, and look to design a solution that ensures the most efficient, aware and effective service, for the benefit of Client, Supplier and Contractor.

Question 6: It seems that the Managed Solutions Provider is focused on driving suppliers down to the lowest possible cost. Is this true?

A solutions provider is focused on reducing costs for the clients, but is not focused on squeezing suppliers needlessly. The benefits of using Operam is that we reduce costs by reducing inefficient processes sometimes caused by delays in payment and errors, or due to a general lack of data. We recommend that clients reward the best performing agencies with more business, and where applicable, give them exposure to all relevant vacancies. Yes, market driven rate rationalisation is inevitable but this is not a one way journey. The primary objective is to establish long-term mutually rewarding relationships at the optimum cost.

Question 7: Can you provide in-country expertise globally?

Yes. Every solution we provide is delivered locally in-country. They will also be designed to be compliant in terms of tax and labour laws. Support will be provided to the level required by the client, and this will vary from client to client and country to country. All key aspects are considered during the implementation phase and only committed to once all parties have signed offer the Service Configuration Document.

Question 8: Is there a size or complexity of organisation that a Managed Solution is best suited to?

Yes. There is a volume below which having a Managed Solution would make little to no sense in supporting. In the past we have seen client volumes decline, and both parties have agreed that the benefits no longer exist. We would suggest that a solution can be delivered for a client who has 75+ contractors. Below this threshold it becomes more about compliance, quality or service or a desire to out-source non-core functions, than it is about saving costs.

Question 9: How can we find out if the Managed Solutions service could benefit us?

We offer a no-obligation to buy consultation service. Click here to find out more.

Download our brochure explaining benefits, processes, technology, case studies and testimonials.

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