Presenting in front of your bigwig boss, drafting your Fantasy Football league, starting your 5th-grade art class ceramics project no matter the task, you need a solid game plan if you want to be successful. (Even when that “success” is defined as Mom still bragging about your ceramic craftsmanship 20 years later… )

So why treat third-party vendors any differently? Some recruitment professionals are hesitant to work with third-party vendors simply because they don’t have the right strategy in place. This inevitably hurts both parties involved, as strategies lacking key components leads to miscommunication, misinformation, and missed opportunities. Beyond building relationships, staffing pros need to have the right tools in their pockets to use third-party vendors to their full advantage. 

Here are three strategies for finding the ultimate success with third-party vendors:

1. Get educated on H-1B reform

Let’s be honest, researching H-1B reform probably isn’t something you want to put at the top of your to-do list. But we promise it’s important.

Thanks to H-1B visas, third-party vendors broaden talent pools and help recruitment pros place more talent because they have access to workers outside of the U.S. While this is useful, it can be complicated. 

What’s more, H-1B reform has the potential to impact you and your relationships with third-party vendors. Formal reviews of this program don’t just affect the applicants they also raise questions for the staffing firms that hire them. And the positions filled via H-1B visas that are most affected by reform are IT jobs. That’s why it is crucial you educate yourself on H-1B reform and stay on top of updates as reform continues. 

2. Find a vendor management system that meets your needs

Working with third-party vendors isn’t challenging — that is, as long as you vibe with your vendor management system. To find “the one” for you, you must first figure out what frustrates your team the most about working with third-party vendors

For example, it might be:

  • A lack of efficient and open communication
  • Wasted time due to a fragmented process
  • Unexpected costs
  • No easy way to track the status of requisitions

Once you establish your priorities, find a vendor management system that meets those needs. For example, if struggling with open communication is your biggest pet peeve, find a system that keeps all communications in one place. It may take a little research and a little trial-and-error, but the end results will be well worth the effort.

3. Track third-party vendor data

Just as traditional recruitment strategies are based on data analysis, third-party vendor strategies should center around metrics and performance. 

By tracking your third-party vendors’ data, you can effectively evaluate current strategies and compare them with past successes. Even better, you’ll learn which vendors clients like best and who consistently provides top-tier talent.

And for those times your approach is failing and you don’t know why, think of data as the magnifying glass to your Sherlock Holmes — it will help you understand exactly where your third-party strategy needs to be improved. Don’t just cross your fingers and leave success to chance.

Tell us about your experience with these tricks and tips in the comments below!