Seconds count in staffing. In a market where demand for skilled talent is constant and supply is very limited, high speed is often the trump card. If secondary talent vendors are even just a little bit slow, they are limiting your staffing firm’s placement and earnings potential. How do you help them better help you? Give them a better view into your operations.
At iLabor, we have seen the powerful and positive impact that occurs when staffing companies give their secondary suppliers greater visibility into the talent supply chain. It makes vendors better and faster at delivering top candidates. Here are two examples.
Vendor Coverage Balancing
When all vendors are focused on the same requisitions or group of requisitions, you have an efficiency problem. Some jobs will get overlooked while the hard work of the majority of the vendors fighting to fill the same requisitions will amount to nothing. However, when vendors are given a window into the submittal process, they do something very smart: They self-regulate.
This is how it works: Vendors in the supplier management system are given the ability to see requisition activity across the vendor community. In addition to the active job requisitions out, they can see the number of other vendors searching (not by name) and how many submittals have been made per requisition. Rather than focusing time on requisitions where many submittals have been made and their chances of placing the candidate are slimmer, most vendors look for opportunities where fewer or no submittals have been made. They fill in the gaps in order to win more business.
For many staffing companies and their vendors, this added vendor visibility is a win-win:
- Staffing firms win better, more balanced requisition coverage as all job requisitions and critical placements for the business are not overlooked. In addition, it lessens the likelihood that staffing firms are overrun with submittals and slowed in their own submittal progress. Why? Because vendors are unlikely to pile on more resumes when submittal numbers are already very strong.
- Vendors win the opportunity to be smarter in how they compete, selecting requisitions where they have the best chances of their submittals being selected.
A second way greater visibility can help staffing firms is by presenting target rates to the entire vendor pool and allowing vendors to match or beat those numbers. For example, a staffing firm could post a job requisition for a Systems II Engineer with a target hourly rate of $75 per hour. All vendors can see the target number and then determine if they can 1) make their margins at that rate, 2) come in at a lower, more competitive rate or 3) let other vendors submit and instead focus on other requisitions.
As vendors submit, competing vendors can then view the rates submitted and decide whether are not they can improve their pricing in order to win the opportunity. It gives vendors the added insight they need to act quickly — either compete or move on.
Once the staffing firm has the candidate at the price they want, that final, accepted rate is visible to all. For staffing firms, it’s a way to leverage the competitive market to keep rates reasonable. For vendors, it offers critical insight into what staffing firm clients will or will not pay.
While features like vendor balancing and rate targeting are optional (and some staffing firms prefer to guard information a little closer), vendor visibility has some powerful advantages in secondary supplier management. It can lower prices, better distribute the sourcing workload and — most importantly — give vendors the insight needed to compete strategically and quickly. And when it comes to spend in staffing today, any secondary supplier or primary staffing firm will tell you: You can never be too quick.