An image of light passing by, representing the harmonizing of different talent sourcing technologies.

3 Benefits of Harmonizing Your Talent Sourcing Technologies

A number of core technologies are available for enterprise talent sourcing. They vary whether you hire employees or non-employees. While there are similarities to what these systems do, they are not the same.  They have different aims and value propositions, and they all play a critical part in an organization when it comes to managing its total workforce.  So, this is not a question of which one to use, but rather how an organization will integrate these technologies into its overall talent strategy to access the contingent staff required for success.

ATS versus CRM versus VMS

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) and candidate relationship management (CRM) are at the core of the technologies that hire full-time employees. While I’ve heard ATS solution providers say that they have CRM functionality and CRM firms say they have ATS functionality, these technologies focus on two different aspects of the hiring process. ATS technologies are engines that talent acquisition or recruiters use to manage the recruitment process, while CRM systems drive a better user experience and relationship between job seekers and candidates. CRM technologies have become increasingly more important for organizations due to the “war on talent” alongside ensuring that a company’s brand is effectively conveyed to attract talent with a compelling candidate experience. 

At the core of the technologies for hiring contingent workers (i.e. staff augmentation, independent contractors, project-based workers, etc.) lie vendor management systems (VMS). A VMS lets organizations interact with third-party talent providers to source contingent workers and manage their assignments. This type of system is responsible for the relationship between an organization, its suppliers and workers. It’s also the engine for how an organization manages the administrative activities of these contingent workers when they are on assignment. 


Harmonizing Different Technologies

In most cases, you will never be able to collapse the user experience into one system. These technologies automate and manage different workflows and processes. However, you have to develop a strategy where you can integrate these systems. I have seen different approaches that organizations have taken to use one system to create requisitions (either the ATS/CRM or VMS) and then feed the data into other respective systems. This drove a better user experience for hiring managers. There are pros and cons to which way you go, but ultimately, company culture and objectives will drive which method would be best for them. 

Regardless of which way you go, how you integrate these systems can have an impact on service delivery and the ability to get the talent you need in the time frame you need it. These integrations need to be in real-time so there are no gaps in service.


Why You Need to Harmonize

The main reason why you need to harmonize your employee and non-employee technologies is so that organizations can effectively perform workforce planning activities. Excluding the contingent workforce, which could account for 30% to 60% of your total workforce, can impact the ability to meet an organization’s overall objectives. Harmonizing these systems drive better workforce planning by providing: 

  • Complete Visibility – Having complete visibility into who is working and what they are doing for an organization is still a dream for a lot of organizations. However, technology is now available to make this a reality. Organizations need to have the ability, at a moment’s notice, to explain who is currently working and what they are doing.
  • Better User Experience – Whether you’re a hiring manager, supplier, job seeker or contingent worker, the user experience is important and can have an impact on the brand image. Integrating and streamlining these systems will drive an intuitive and seamless experience for the users, which will ultimately drive better adoption of the product. As a result, an organization can hire talent quickly while mitigating non-conformance risks.
  • Coordinated Talent Sourcing – There are certain situations where it makes sense to hire an FTE or a contingent worker, and some cases where only one category is available for specific needs.  Having these systems integrated can better help organizations assess all openings for talent and determine the right hiring decision based on the skills needed to perform a function.  


Final Considerations

How an organization obtains talent can be a competitive advantage, so it’s important to maximize your talent sourcing efforts. This is done by integrating all the different core technologies that are used to obtain talent. 
Additionally, you shouldn’t have to toggle between departments and systems to do it. The right technology partners should provide the following:

  • Robust integration tools so you can streamline the hiring process and minimize any toggling between systems.   
  • Be able to adapt workflows to drive a better user experience for everyone.
  • Be able to provide your managers with the right decision support tools to help them determine which talent sourcing strategy is optimal for the skills or services they are looking to obtain.

The time to harmonize your talent sourcing technologies is now, and doing so requires the capabilities of an effective VMS system that works alongside an ATS and CRM system. Managing the talent ecosystem of the contingent total workforce and beyond starts with improving the user experience across all parties.

Mark has over 25 years of experience in the workforce solutions industry. Mark has been responsible for implementing, operating, and transforming contingent workforce solutions for hundreds of organizations worldwide. Mark has also led technology teams that built and managed VMS solutions and other technology solutions to digitize and transform extended workforce solutions

Mark Zolkos

Managing Director, Flextrack