In our North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report, “A Numbers Game,” released in February, we analyzed a variety of industry benchmarks gleaned from a survey of 1,337 recruiting agency professionals. One of the trends we studied but didn’t actually include in the final version of the report was the average number of jobs driven through vendor management systems by our respondents.
Vendor management systems have dramatically altered high-volume contingent recruiting by enabling clients to manage relationships with many staffing vendors at once while retaining process control. While staffing agencies working on contract or temp jobs driven through VMS face intense competition and extremely short timelines for filling open reqs, the benefits of maintaining relationships with the large, usually name-brand clients who use these systems makes VMS a viable option.
This reality, as well as increased dependence on a single client (discussed in greater detail in our report), may explain why small firms (1-10 recruiters and salespeople) have such a high average percentage of total jobs driven through VMS (19 percent). While being a small player competing to fill contract and temp jobs isn’t a position of power, speed is of paramount importance in VMS success and this fact levels the playing field. For jobs driven through VMS, the first candidate submitted is often the candidate hired, which means that small firms have every bit as much of a chance of success as a much larger staffing firm if they can prioritize speed.
Segmented by primary recruitment type, it’s surprising to no one that contract and temp firms have the highest percentage of total jobs driven through VMS, as clients using vendor management systems are aiming to fill open contract and temporary requisitions. While it may be strange on face that firms specializing in permanent placement have a relatively high percentage of jobs driven through VMS, it’s important to keep in mind that a firm’s primary recruitment type may not be their only recruitment type.
In terms of jobs driven through VMS by industry, the findings are somewhat surprising. Utilities and transport/warehouse/cargo sectors ranked highly, which makes sense given the plethora of contract and temp jobs associated with both, but the number one industry for percentage of VMS jobs was entertainment.
From even this high-level exploration, we can see that speed and automation are crucial arbiters of success when it comes to VMS usage. And VMS, though controversial, can indeed level the playing field on a req-by-req basis. Given the positive economic conditions, we expect to see an increase in staffing firm startups and an influx of small, new firms becoming approved vendors in the next year, joining the already competitive mix of agencies fighting for VMS jobs.