• 5 min read

VMS Software Performance Management – Five Features You Might Be Missing

Why VMS Performance Management Matters

How do you source the key facts that tell you everything you need to know about your indirect talent spend and market?

We live in a data-driven world.  Sometimes though, the volume of data can be more of a hindrance to managers than a blessing. This is so often the case when it comes to the Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) frequently offered by Managed Service Providers (MSPs) as a hygiene factor to their indirect spend contract provisioning.  VMS Performance Management has to fully support any QBR process.

Like many, the team at Simplify Workforce has sat through a number of QBRs at the point in a contract relationship that the excitement of the first few months is over and the obligatory QBR meeting—where program performance stats and industry insights are thrown around like confetti—starts to feel pretty stale.


Without some forethought and planning, the exercise of running QBR meetings delivers surprisingly little value to the organizations they’re meant to serve. The team at Simplify Workforce set about doing something about the tawdry QBR process—which is why today Simplify VMS offers more when it comes to serving up the kind of insights talent sourcing practitioners need.

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Context Matters

Context matters when it comes to VMS Performance Management. 
Presented with a Powerpoint filled with program performance stats, QBR participants and bystanders are generally left with a feeling of emptiness and the constant question of ‘so-what?’ on their minds. So-what…that we’ve hired X-number of people, or that P2P costs have peaked at Y-dollars this quarter?’ Without some comparison to previous trading periods, or competitive peers, or market rates, these statistics on their own give up little useful insight.

VMS Performance Management matters because insight and transparency needs to drive any workforce management approach.  That’s why we thought long and hard about the sorts of insights that really make a difference to indirect talent sourcing professionals and how to produce these nuggets.

Candidate Code Testing

Third-party online testing tools are revolutionizing code testing in the IT market to vet the promised qualities stated by candidates. These industry specific checks are increasing as Artificial Intelligence (‘AI’) installs new possibilities in pre-onboarding checks. Vendor Management Systems have a major role to play in simplifying access to these popular platforms by integrating these features into their platform and offering Single-Sign-On (SSO) to useful apps organizations want to use.

Bias Avoidance

Unconscious bias happens when people either intentionally or unknowingly insert terms into documents (like Job Definitions and CVs) or recruitment processes. For example:

  • Requiring roles to be fully co-located or inflexible hours will rule specific groups out;
  • Sifting through CVs that contain potential triggers for bias such as the use of masculine terms;
  • Adoption of a policy to reject CVs with an unexplained gap in employment history that can impact on people from poorer backgrounds that are more likely to take time off to care for relatives;
  • The unknowing installation of interview, short-list or on-boarding bias where operational behaviours aren’t corrected where bias might exist.

Recruitment bias can introduce unintentional discrimination and result in poor decision-making. It’s become one of the hottest recruitment topics in an era where the ability to demonstrate fairness and parity of opportunity for people from all sorts of backgrounds is not only a legal requirement but also a major contributor to a positive brand reputation.

Vendor Management Systems serve to enforce positive behaviors in recruitment processes and therefore have a major role to play in the avoidance of recruitment bias, and yet very few solutions embrace explicit functionality to enforce positive behaviors.

Job Pricing Intelligence

VMS capabilities aid organizations in gaining a rich appreciation of the rates they should be charging for the right skills to get their jobs done have moved to a new level with artificial intelligence-led solutions. A broad range of third-party ‘big data’ oriented platforms now harvest job category pricing data across regions to offer employers forensic pricing indicators they can use to make sure they pay the going rate for the talent they need in their area. Vendor Management Systems have a key role to play in bringing access to these platforms and seamlessly integrating them with job boards and recruitment tools to build a joined-up (and ‘rate-aware’) Total Talent Management (TTM) ecosystem for employers.

Vendor Risk Management and Compliance

With an increasingly regulated business environment, further exacerbated by changes to tax systems and the introduction of the EU’s GDPR, organisations are under pressure to ensure they don’t fall foul of employment law. Vendor Management Systems have a key role to play in governing data appropriately and enforcing vendor terms and conditions; honouring tax systems, data protection, data security and diversity policies.

4. The means to source and compare industry and market stats

It’s not possible to compare against industry and market stats if you can’t source them. Vendor Management Systems should integrate seamlessly with a number of well-tested sources of accurate data available from third-parties like Brightfield Strategies Talent Data Exchange, Gartner, TalentNeuron and IQN’s cognitive intelligence engine (etc.) to offer the forensic-level insights companies need to compare their own internal understanding and performance experiences.

5. The ability to write custom reports

No-matter how good a premeditated reporting system design might be, there will always be a need for custom reports to respond to the diverse variations within talent sourcing contracts (and supply-chains) and deliver the means to respond to new situations as they occur.