A global pandemic. The “Great Resignation.” Digital transformation. Remote and hybrid workplaces. The last two years have disrupted the way we work more than the entire decade that preceded it.
Nearly half of the average workforce now consists of non-employee workers. This extended workforce, which formerly supported – or augmented – the businesses’ employees, is now engaged in work that is essential to achieve most organizations’ business strategy.
Why more than 80% of leading businesses use VMS
The growing importance of contingent talent is one reason companies are racing to adopt advanced workforce technology. According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), between 80 and 85% of businesses with more than 1,000 employees use a vendor management system (VMS) to source and manage their contingent workers.
While VMS is the workforce solution of choice for most organizations, some with more mature contingent workforce programs are moving beyond VMS to adopt even more advanced extended workforce platform technology.
Industry analysts offer timely advice
With growing urgency, HR and Procurement professionals are researching:
- How to implement or upgrade a VMS system, and
- Which VMS providers to consider in their search.
Fortunately, four widely respected industry analyst groups have recently published reports to aid this research process. From needs assessment and building the business case to technology vendor rankings and analysis, these analyst reports can dramatically shorten the time required to implement this key technology.
How to match VMS technology to business goals
For a basic understanding of how VMS technology can improve workforce agility and resilience, a good place to start is Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2022 report, “Leveraging the Power of Your VMS: Evolving Best Practices in an Era of Change.” This 30-page report describes VMS as a “crucial tool” that gives businesses transparency and control of their talent resources.
This report explains why extended workforce technology is so important and describes in detail the steps required to implement it in your business:
- Building a business case
- Obtaining buy-in
- Planning and managing the implementation
- Post-implementation operation
- Evolution and growth
It also provides data to help you sell your program to internal stakeholders, with information on how contingent labor can help you solve your talent shortage. It explains how other businesses use VMS for workforce visibility, compliance, and to access better talent. And it shows how to automate your contingent staffing and service contracting processes for greater efficiency and cost control.
Two reports rank technology providers
Dozens of companies offer contingent workforce management technology. For the uninitiated, sorting the contenders from the pretenders can be a time-consuming process. Two reports can reduce your time and trouble.
Everest Group publishes an annual assessment of VMS providers. In its latest edition of “Vendor Management System (VMS) PEAK Matrix® Assessment with Technology Vendor Landscape 2022,” published in May, Everest Group evaluated 21 global providers of extended workforce technology, divided them into “Leaders,” “Major Contenders,” and “Aspirants,” and identified “Star Performers” based on capability advancements and market impact.
Everest Group’s detailed dashboards and individual assessments make it easy to compare providers’ technical capabilities, strength in global markets, industry coverage, and more.
Another report that compares technology providers is Ardent Partners’ “The 2022 VMS Technology Advisor.” Published August 4, 2022, this report evaluates and compares 11 of “the market’s top VMS solution providers” by “Solution Strength” (the ability to support the full scope of contingent workforce management activity, including requisitions, candidates, projects, talent pools, etc.) and “Provider Strength” (which includes factors like execution ability, client success, references, and product vision).
In this report, Ardent Partners identifies the solution provider with the deepest ecosystem of talent technology and explains the differences between “talent-first” solutions for both HR and Procurement-driven programs and spend management solutions focused on Procurement alone. The report also describes how direct sourcing and statement of work (SOW)-based services are transforming the contingent workforce from a tactical to a strategic resource.
Why extended workforce management needs more agile technology
A separate report by Ardent Partners cites the company’s “State of the Market” research and itemizes the reasons a new generation of deeper, more agile technology is needed to manage the growing complexity of the contingent workforce. In this easy, 5-minute read, Ardent’s Christopher Dwyer explains why “it is absolutely critical that today’s extended workforce platforms remain flexible not just in the solutions they offer, but how those solutions are deployed and can be altered in tune with the major transformations of the talent market.”
How to select the best VMS for your company
Finally, an article by Spend Matters provides guidance about choosing technology for the business-critical process of sourcing and managing contingent talent. The online report, “Selecting the best VMS for your company means staying involved and looking beyond price,” was originally published May 10, 2022 on spendmatters.com.
Spend Matters notes that “not all technology vendors are equal” and selecting a VMS technology provider can be “overwhelming.” But the process is important because, unless VMS users have a positive experience with the technology, “they will quietly subvert your process, which can lead to greater risk, rogue spend, and incomplete data.”
The article recommends several points to consider in selecting a VMS and advises prioritizing these five characteristics:
- Offers proactive collaboration to generate innovative solutions
- Has well-respected service and support capabilities
- Brings innovations from other industries to its solutions
- Is compatible with existing technology systems
- Is configurable to accommodate specific processes and operations.
Most of all, Spend Matters advises to look beyond technology and price for transparency and partnership, noting: “Vendors that bring a partnership approach to the sales process are more likely to maintain that level of collaboration throughout your relationship.”
For more information
We hope these reports and articles will help simplify your search for the right extended workforce management technology. For more information, please use the search or chat functions on this web page or contact us.