Why Vendor Management Systems (VMS) might be hurting your recruitment efforts

Why Vendor Management Systems (VMS) might be hurting your recruitment efforts

Organizations started using vendor management systems to procure recruitment and contract labor services back in the mid-1990s!

25 years later, they are still a common solution for managing the service segment within an organization.

There are obvious benefits to using VMS including simplifying vendor management (work through one vendor versus 100’s). 

With that said, there are significant cons to using vendor management systems if not deployed properly.

  • Dispersing work – Many VMS providers will receive work orders (whether contract labor or permanent placement) from hiring leaders and disperse the position(s) to all vendors at the same time.
    • The logic? Get as many organizations working on your job opening to produce qualified candidates quickly.
    • The Down Side: By deploying this strategy, it is very common for a candidate to get calls from 10, 20+ recruiters within minutes.  Recruiters “fight” over the rights to represent the candidate to the client.  The candidate experience is usually not good.  Often the best candidates will opt not to consider that employer.  In addition, most recruiters do not enjoy this type of recruitment.  Making call after call to candidates only to find out they are the tenth person to call them ☹.  The most respected Search Firms and recruiters I know will NOT work through VMS systems.  So, you often end up working with the low performers in the industry.
  • Not allowing the recruiter access to talk to the hiring manager – With most VMS systems, the work order is released through a software system with limited information about the position, the selling points, competencies/skills required, etc.
    • The logic? This streamlines the process for the hiring leaders and reduces time spent talking with vendors. 
    • The Down Side: The 10, 20+ recruiters reaching out to candidates have limited information to share about the position and/or to screen the candidate.  Again, resulting in a bad experience PLUS increasing the volume of unqualified candidates submitted for consideration.
  • Managing vendors by the “how many” theory – I have found most VMS systems measure vendors based on volume versus efficiency and quality. Some metrics they use to assess performance include # of candidates submitted per position, % of positions the vendor has candidate coverage on, etc.
    • The logic? More volume, higher chance of filling the position faster.
    • The Down Side: Increased volume of unqualified candidates increases wasted time and costs associated with filling the position.  

While I believe that VMS systems have value managing recruitment services for large organizations, they must be deployed properly.  If not, you might find over time that:

  • You have the lowest quality recruiters working on your positions
  • Candidates have a horrible experience, negatively impacting your brand in the market
  • You end up losing out on working with the Top Recruiters/Firms that can engage and recruit the Top Performers 😊.

If you want to discuss this topic more, please reach out to us.  We have a lot of passion on this topic!

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