Are Weak VMS Relationships Hurting Your Marketing?

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If you rely on a Vendor Management System to procure talent to support your marketing, you need to be very careful to ensure that the relationships you have with them and they have with your vendors are strong. Otherwise, you could very well end up getting suboptimal marketing talent, which translates into weaker marketing, longer time-to-fill, and by extension less potential for business growth.

In the right hands and with the right strategy, a VMS can be an incredibly valuable asset to acquire additional workforce capacity of all kinds efficiently. But marketing is an incredibly sensitive and dynamic field, and finding just the right person for the job has never been more difficult. Small details can make the difference between bringing in an excellent fit that delivers an outstanding performance, and a suitable fit that “just makes do.”

In order to get the best contract marketing staffing talent for your needs, your company, the VMS and your vendors themselves all need to be on the same page and working in sync. This is simple in theory, but often proves to be easier said than done. However, the stakes are high enough that the additional effort is worth it. Here’s what can happen when the parties are acting on different wavelengths:

Misunderstanding of Your Needs

When organizations use a VMS to bring in a contractor, they sometimes neglect to  put the same amount of effort and thought into planning and explaining the role and its responsibilities that they would with a full-time internal hire. That might not be a problem for clerical staff or other general roles, but marketing needs vary heavily from company to company and job to job. When your needs include sophisticated digital staffing and advanced marketing talent, it’s extremely important to find someone with the right skillset and attitude.

If your company isn’t providing well-thought out job descriptions and thorough search intake meetings from the outset, then the vendors responsible for finding the talent won’t have the guidance they need to find you the best fit possible. You might still get extremely talented marketers, but they won’t necessarily be the ones best suited for the job.

A Prolonged Process

Adding an extra step between your organization and the talent you need means nearly every part of your talent acquisition process is going to take longer. Sometimes that extra time is minimized and doesn’t significantly interfere with the process. But too frequently that extra time starts to inhibit your ability to get the marketing staffing expertise you need.

The market is extremely competitive for top talent right now, and the best candidates do not wait around if the selection process gets delayed.  They’re busy, don’t know or care about the extra layer of bureaucracy a VMS adds, and will get impatient quickly. Don’t be surprised if they dismiss your brand as disorganized and decide they don’t want to work with you, or find another opportunity with someone else who is able to act faster.

And of course, any additional time spent procuring talent through a VMS can hurt your marketing, too. In today’s fast-paced market, every day your organization goes without a critical piece of the marketing talent puzzle is another day you could be falling behind the competition. When your marketing can’t get the expertise and executional manpower it needs, your entire business suffers.

Overcoming the Problems

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So what can be done to deal with these obstacles? Obviously, removing the VMS from the process entirely isn’t a viable option–there’s a reason your company has partnered with them, after all. Instead, you’ll have to find ways to work with and around the extra layers of communication and procedures.

The first, and most important, thing your organization can do to improve the quality of marketing talent you receive from marketing and digital staffing agencies is to invest the necessary additional time and thought upfront.  Thoroughly consider what purpose the roles are filling, develop a complete job description, and commit your organization to an elaborate search intake meeting. By ensuring all parties involved know exactly what your needs are and explaining your vision for the job and the kind of person you want executing from the beginning, you can make sure everyone is working toward the same goal.

The other thing you can do is to emphasize to everyone along all steps–your vendors, your VMS, and your internal hiring managers–how critically important responsiveness and communication are. If everyone is holding each other accountable to expectations for responses and feedback, you can reduce the amount of talent lost due to a prolonged procurement and make sure your vendors aren’t off on a wild goose chase for the wrong marketer.

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