Effective Vendor Management: A Framework for Selecting Suppliers and Partners of Recruitment Related Services

The attraction and management of a total workforce requires a significant number of providers to bring this function to life.  Some of these providers are transactional “plug and play”, but others require a bit more thoughtfulness when scoping the need, implementing and managing this solution.  This article will review the different types of solutions found inside of Corporate Recruiting Functions and some tips to developing an effective vendor mgt. program.

First let’s take a look at many of the different types of products and services leveraged to acquire and manage a total workforce.  Each of these services may have different stakeholders, requirements, implementation and management processes.  All of these vendors will require an understanding of how their services, technology and / or solutions integrate into your processes which will result in contracts being developed, statements of work, SLA’s and governance practices to ensure the relationship is successful.

Vendor Options

  • Outsourcing :
    Contract Recruiters, RPO, MSP,  Project Recruiting, Onsite Contingent Mgt, Search Firms, Sourcing Firms
  • Recruitment Marketing:
    Ad Agencies, Job Boards, Social Media, Tools, Brand Mgt. Firms, Collateral / Printing
  • Operations/ Technology:
    ATS, VMS, Process Consultants, Memberships, Subscriptions, Training, On-boarding Tools, Collaboration Tools, Expat Mgt, TJTC Vendors, Survey Tools, ERP programs
  • Sourcing:
    Research firms, Web tools, Social Media Memberships, Contract sourcers
  • Screening:
    Background check  vendors, E-verify, Drug Testing, Assessments, Skills Testing
  • Contingent Labor/ Consultants:
    Agencies, Consulting Firms, MSP, VMS, 1099 Vendors and Payroll providers

How do you decide which vendors are for you? Building Your Requirements

1. Begin to answer the following questions: What type of vendor are you looking for?

2. Answer the related questions: What is your overall recruitment strategy?  What types of labor categories are you supporting? What is the volume?   What is the geography? Does your organization have any specific talent demand drivers, such as holidays? What policies do you have in place to support the acquisition of talent? What infrastructure is required to make this work efficiently?  How do you have to ensure compliance? How does cost play a role?

3. Apply your answers to the vendor type: Identify all of the roles or stakeholders who interact with this type of product or service.  What is everyone’s spoken and unspoken knowledge, assumptions and expectations of this service?

4.  Ask the questions: How does each stakeholder engage or leverage that service?  What are the expectations?  Is it supported by people and technology? How?   What if there is a problem?  Why would that occur?  What happens? How do you fix it?

5.   Identify the processes: Identify the work processes that support the engagement, utilization, management and measurement of that work effort based upon the insights above.   What would you change?  What can you change? Who do you need to drive that change?  How do you need them?

For example:  Do you have a situation where a recruiter goes out on Maternity leave? Who fills
her role?   Options: Do nothing.  Engage a contract recruiter.  Give her work to another
recruiter.

Example 2:  Need a recruitment advertising firm to support both common and creative projects.
Understand how does the entire recruiting organization procure advertising support
today?  Centralized or decentralized?  What would change or stay the same?  How does this
align to the needs communicated to the Advertising agencies? Who needs to be involved in the
selection process to achieve buy in?  How does this align to corporate brand efforts?   How can
you structure the pricing based upon your purchasing behaviors?

Once you identify your requirements, than create a RFP.  The RFP should:

1.  Articulate what you are trying to achieve.

2. Provide the adequate amount of information for the supplier to provide the best solution.

3. Provide your expectations of this solution?

4. Have NDA’s signed.

Upon receipt of the RFP responses, begin the Selection Process

The selection process must include:

1. All of the required stakeholders.

2. A clear rating  and selection system.

3. All stakeholders should have a common understanding of the service provider, clear definitions and has reviewed the RFP response.

4.  Timeline and results of the supplier presentations should be clearly and fairly articulated to all.

From here, you will move into the CONTRACTS phase.   This phase focuses on:

1. Liability

2. Terms and conditions

3. Pricing negotiations

4. Clearly defined statement of work

Once the Contract and SOW has been signed, the relationship begins to develop.   Now phase 2 of hard work begins.

Key success factors during this time:

1. Review of expectations and statement of work.

2. Relationship building.

3. Cultural assimilation.

4. Transition expectations.

As the program or product implementation stabilizes, the management this relationship may focus on: 1. Metrics

2. Escalations.

3. Performance.

4. Compliance.

5. Governance.

See figure below:

Vendor selection and management is a process. It requires knowledge of processes, technology, contracts and delivery outcomes.   Some vendor selection and management efforts require a bit more work than others, yet they all require thoughtfulness associated with the execution.

Feel free to reach out if you are looking at putting a vendor management program in place, for additional insights and details.  Tracey Friend tfriend@brightfieldstrategies.com

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