• 4 min read

What makes the best VMS in 2022?

Competition for Workforce Management technology solutions in 2022 is growing, not shrinking, even though technologies like the humble Vendor Management System (VMS) have been with us for over a decade. So, what makes for the best VMS in 2022?

In this article, we highlight key capabilities that will determine how buyers qualify the usefulness of their Vendor Management System purchase.

#1 THE gateway to skilled talent

While the role of a Vendor Management System a decade ago was to manage indirect staffing vendors, that was then. Today, the number of contract workers that go to make-up company workforces has tripled, and this is only set to increase as firms contend with the ‘great resignation’ that has only exacerbated supply chain issues for technical talent. Bluntly, there aren’t enough experienced technical workers being produced to service the demands of the economy.

To overcome this shortfall, businesses are rapidly adopting alternative mechanisms—such as Direct Sourcing, Statement of Work contracts, casual contracts, and other mechanisms to reach out to talent, wherever it is. Vendor Management Systems adapted in 2020/21 to support these demands. In 2022, we will see businesses become increasingly dependent on technology to act as the talent interface to their business.

#2 More mobile

In 2021, firms reached the realization that if they chose not to explore candidates from a wider geographic spread, their vacancies would remain open. Hiring managers are having to opt for candidates further afield to fill their vacancies and deal with the operational implications of doing so. For Vendor Management Systems, this means providing more mobile enablement features and ensuring the majority of application features can be used on a mobile phone. This includes submittal of documents, skills testing, candidate credential checks, video interviews, even analytics, and reporting.

#3 AI empowerment

The role of AI will continue to grow in talent sourcing. Consulting firm PWC, suggests that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030. Of this, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity.

Broadly half of the organizations surveyed by McKinsey say they have adopted AI in at least one function and over half of those adopters claimed their use of AI reduced costs.

This rapid pace of adoption is none too surprising considering practically every startup gaining funding in Menlo Park has an AI aspect to its business model. Artificial Intelligence will continue to be center-stage in boardroom plans to innovate out of the economic slowdown, and the talent discipline is not isolated from this trend. Whether it’s about testing coder skills, validating credentials, or vetting CVs, expect AI to be one of the big themes of 2022.

#4 Personalized data decisioning

The role of data analytics will continue to grow as a functional discipline of VMS in 2022. At one time, business intelligence was the domain of executive teams. Producing dashboards and charts was time-consuming and expensive, so only provisioned for the top table of organizations. Today, the pace of change in recruitments means that hiring managers, program managers, suppliers— not to mention candidates—demand a constant feed of insightful data. This higher level of performance transparency keeps everyone on the same page and drives smarter decisioning.

#5 Wizardry and robots

Inspect the page design of a 1990 Vendor Management System and you would have seen a great many long forms characteristic of Microsoft Access. The 2022 version of the technology genre is filled with intuitive wizards that make it easier (and less scary) for users to complete their tasks on a mobile, tablet-PC, or desktop. The steps of each task are fragmented into smaller blocks that make the exercise of entering key-fill data less onerous. You can be sure that, underpinning every activity thread, will be a series of software robots doing the heavy lifting—capturing data, making decisions, automating email workflows, checking answers to questions, and validating claims.