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Ensure a Positive Candidate Experience When Hiring Contingent Talent Remotely

As digitization, coupled with the global pandemic, propels contingent hiring online and with more individuals relying on employer reviewer sites to evaluate businesses, delivering a positive[...]

March 10, 2021

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From In-House Programs to AI-Boosted Tech Platforms: Vendor Management System History

Ford’s revolutionary assembly line altered manufacturing forever, much like its early concept of a vendor management system changed staffing. And now nearly 30 years later, Crowdstaffing has further improved upon that idea.


Back in the late 1960s, an advertising slogan informed car buyers that “Ford has a better idea” about designing and manufacturing automobiles. Three decades later, in the 1990s, Ford Motor Company had an even better idea—instituting the world’s first Vendor Management System (VMS). At the time Ford called it PeopleNet.

Why was PeopleNet so revolutionary? It gave the company a way to merge multiple points of contact for contingent staffing and other human resources partners into a single, easy-to-use solution. It compressed what formerly required hundreds, if not thousands, of laborious man-hours of paperwork into an automated process that freed up HR staffers to concentrate on more important matters, namely, finding and hiring the best possible people.

But that was only the beginning.

A subsequent step in the development of more advanced VMSs was the implementation of vendor neutrality. In other words, these more adept, fully independent VMSs eliminated potential conflicts of interest, thus empowering users to evaluate the qualifications of vendors and candidates on merit and experience, alone. In this way, second-generation VMSs took preconceptions and prejudices out of the equation when supplying candidates for permanent positions and contingent roles alike. Reaching out to multiple vendors for the right people—regardless of the vendors’ relationships, business models, or other circumstances—helped bring in the best candidates and incrementally improved the entire hiring process. (But it’s important to note that, even today, not all VMS services are vendor-neutral.)

Traditional VMS Benefits Provide a Good First Step 


A few basic labor-saving advantages come standard with nearly any VMS worthy of the name,  but there are many other benefits to be had. To be specific, companies and organizations can now use VMSs to gather and publish job requisitions, manage relationships with independent recruiters and other staffing sources, create workflows and streamline payroll, onboard new personnel, ensure regulatory compliance, and more. 

In short, today’s VMSs do just about any task required to source, recruit, and hire top-notch talent whenever it’s needed. While that may sound like a lot of functionality, these run-of-the-mill VMSs still lack highly valuable attributes. Fortunately, evolution ensures survival of the fittest, and Darwin’s theory is still in play today. Which brings us to our innovative VMS of the future: Crowdstaffing.


Our Next-Gen Vendor Management Platform: Boosted with AI and a Built-in Hiring Marketplace


Today, a quarter-century after Ford first opened up the VMS highway, Crowdstaffing has driven the concept of VMS to places even a creative genius like Henry Ford could never have envisioned. The old-style, assembly-line approach to contingent staffing management is giving way to a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to employ high-level algorithms that make the platform highly adaptive, able to instantly adjust to changing needs and circumstances. Crowdstaffing’s dynamic system can be truly called the VMS of the future. What makes it different?


Boosted by machine learning and artificial intelligence

Many VMSs employ technology to match candidates to positions, but when you look under the hood you’ll sometimes find simplistic engines that only scratch the surface of all possible variables. It’s like comparing an old-fashioned distributor cap to a turbocharged fuel-injection system. Crowdstaffing, on the other hand, employs multiple algorithms that continually rank both prospective candidates and staffing suppliers. For instance, if it notes that one supplier has a high level of success filling a particular type of role, our system will dynamically give that source greater weighting as it parses people from all available sources to fill a given requisition. With Crowdstaffing, you put in the parameters and out pop the proper people. Pronto. This happens automatically, in real time. This not only makes for a far greater likelihood of success, but also creates a virtuous cycle that sends the best prospective people to the most proactive employers faster than other systems, enhancing and reinforcing their mutual success.

Those same algorithms take into account such factors as prior success, skills, geographical expertise, available recruiter bandwidth and dozens of other parameters. They allow employers to prioritize open positions so the most vital openings get filled more quickly and so recruiters don’t spend undue amounts of time on jobs of less importance. Instead of working in a clockwise, linear, or analog mode, these advanced algorithms take full advantage of the digital revolution, using a creative calculus to function like a highly-organized human brain, prioritizing higher-level thinking while underlying processes go on automatically—the same way you don’t have to consciously think about breathing or digesting food while you’re fully occupied with solving a challenging sudoku brain-teaser or crossword puzzle.


Built-in hiring marketplace serves as a single point-of-contact for all hiring needs

Our innovative system includes a built-in marketplace with thousands of talent suppliers ready to staff your positions. To consider how it works, just look at your Amazon home page. When you search for a new item, you instantly see products tailored to your buying habits and recent online searches—but Amazon isn’t the only vendor behind those recommended products. In fact, Amazon is increasingly becoming an online bazaar stocked by thousands of sellers vetted and monitored by Amazon for high standards of excellent service. It’s like a global clearinghouse that’s essentially invisible to buyers since Amazon handles all transactions and logistics.

Crowdstaffing uses the sam econcept for our hiring marketplace—but instead of pitching products, it provides people. The right people. With the right skills. From a plethora of talent suppliers that range from independent recruiters to large staffing organizations. So when you hire through our cloud-based marketplace, you expand your recruiting reach exponentially but you deal with just one point-of-contact, sign only one agreement, and receive just one invoice.


Being Future-Focused Prioritizes People and Profits


Earlier VMSs were designed with only employers in mind, often treating prospective contingent staffers and future employees like semi-anonymous commodities. In comparison, Crowdstaffing offers an interactive dashboard for candidates, empowering them to drive their own job searches and engaging them more deeply in the hiring process. For instance, candidates can:

  • Log in, create and manage their profiles
  • View matching jobs
  • Modify their resumes
  • Apply to positions
  • Accept interviews
  • Collaborate with recruiters
  • View the status for each position to which they have been recommended or applied 

And they can do all of this within the Crowdstaffing platform. It even lets candidates opt-in to positions for which they want to be considered, including choosing which recruiters or talent suppliers they want to have represent them.

While we see this as a huge opportunity for contingent workers, it’s an equally important benefit to employers. Prospective staff members end up more engaged into the process, and that can result in a higher level of employee commitment and satisfaction from square one. With this operational model, new hires feel like they’re an integral part of their own hiring process and are ready to hit the ground running from the moment they’re on board.

“Sure,” you might be saying, “This sounds like the luxury SUV I’ve been eyeing, but all I can afford is a basic, stripped-down sedan.” The good news is that everything described here is included in the Crowdstaffing platform’s basic functionality—which business users get at no cost. In other words, it doesn’t cost a penny to get every available feature of Crowdstaffing. Much like the friendly, no-haggle pricing that makes some car dealerships a pleasure to visit, we don’t charge for any extra-cost “option” packages, destination charges, dealer upcharges, or tax, title, registration or delivery fees. 

It’s worth mentioning again the groundbreaking “better idea” promise that Ford made to car buyers in the 1960s. At Crowdstaffing we continually seek and implement better ideas. We pay attention as hiring trends and workforce ecosystems develop, and we intentionally adapt and evolve, modifying and improving our proprietary algorithms to meet new challenges. Curious if Crowdstaffing could solve your staffing woes? Get a free “test drive” of the Crowdstaffing platform.

Request a demo below so you can decide if it’s right for you.


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