Applicant Tracking System vs. Vendor Management System

Posted by Don King on May 22, 2018 4:06:28 PM

The Swing and the Follow Through

Most staffing industry professionals and players in the contingent workforce space are familiar with   technologies commonly referred to as ATS and VMS. Along with MSPs, these acronyms are common if not integral components of day to day candidate and workforce management. While there are some similarities in functionality, do you know the major differences between these two key systems?  If successful candidate recruitment and workforce management is a priority to your business, it’s important that you have a clear understanding of how each system may benefit your process.

 Back to basics: The Swing

ATS systems play an integral part in day to day life of individual staffing providers by helping to provide the Swing to start off the tracking and recruiting of available and qualified job candidates.  Many ATS’s on the market are more than proficient at streamlining the hiring and recruiting process through several different functionalities ranging from recruiter modules, job board posting modules, talent acquisition modules, and more.

The major players in the market today are often integrated with the top job board posting sites such as monster and linked in and serve the individual staffing provider or on-site well for bringing in new talent.  ATS are designed to provide functionality as the front end of recruiting and payroll process. After the initial Swing of the recruiting piece has been executed by the ATS and the candidates have been sourced, the handoff to VMS for the Follow Through and management of the contingent workforce comes into play.

Workforce Management for the Win:  The Follow Through

A VMS, or Vendor Management System, provides end to end management of employee candidates, placed contingent workers, and the staffing vendors supplying the labor. A VMS provides visibility into the daily processes at multiple worksites through real-time performance analytics that are accessible by both the staffing vendor and the vendor’s client. The VMS provides functionality which tracks a candidate from procurement to performance to payment.  A well-designed and implemented VMS increases workforce efficiency, decreases rogue spend, and provides real time visibility into the contingent workforce population across the entire organization.  The system allows for seamless communication between staffing vendors and the clients they serve.

In a Nutshell:

An ATS is designed to get people to the door of either a staffing company or enterprise organization.  A VMS is designed to manage a contingent workforce from procurement to performance to payment.  Though there is some overlap in functionality, one system does not replace another, and both are integral technology components for your business’s success.  Many technology companies which offer an ATS system claim to offer VMS functionality; however, they are not equipped with a fully functional vendor management platform.  These ATS systems rely on various web hooks and add-ons to give the appearance of functionality that only true VMS systems are built upon.  Buyer Beware!

If you’re looking for a true VMS system for your staffing or enterprise business, do your homework and find a VMS provider which offers a vendor management platform with complete functionality.  A provider who has experience in and can meet the unique needs of the contingent workforce landscape. 

Bottom line: ATS and VMS are two different software platforms – when utilized together they can provide your organization the perfect Swing and Follow Through!

Topics: VMS, ATS

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