Who is Sick and Tired of VMS Systems - What is anyone doing to combat this?

My name is Robin Borough, I am EVP for Omnikron Systems, Inc., in Woodland Hills California. We are a technology staffing firm, 95% of our business is contract and contract to hire; 5% is perm.

Over the years, we've lost many major accounts due to VMS Systems. Starting with Universal and Chimes, Nestle and Chimes, Toyota and 3 different VMS Systems; Kaiser, WellPoint and now our largest client has selected BarTech using Fieldglass as their new VMS partner.

We've gone from working with Directors and Line Managers across the United States - where we've worked nights and weekends to bail many departments out of crisis, to now being commanded by the CLERKS at BarTech to "Not talk to the Managers"; we are looking at $5 to $10 margins and competing with 100's of vendors who are litterally throwing unqualified resumes into the system. For this goodness, we are also being charged an override of 2.65%.

Additionally, I am sitting with a $50,000 loss from the Ensemble Bankruptcy at Toyota.

Is it me or is this insanity?

How do the corporate execs continue to buy off on this? Can you imagine the CEO of any company allowing him or herself to be submitted through a VMS System?

As far as I can tell - the process is terrible, most managers don't like it, the quality of service and quality of candidates is significantly reduced.... What am I missing?

I haven't seen any write-ups on ERE Exchange and/or Staffing Analysts. Are we as an industry just going to sit by and watch our services continually be eroded? In my opinion, the VMS systems and process take all the money and joy out of the valuable services we provide.

Please please tell me - as many of you as possible - what are we doing about this as an industry?

What are you doing to combat this?

If you have made it work - do you have any advice you'd be willing to share? I am happy to hear your opinion on this blog, you can also email me directly at Robin.Borough@Omnikron.com and even call me at (818) 223-4115. I would love to hear your opinions - I'd love to see how this continually growing evolution is changing the way we do business.

Thanks very much.

Views: 283

Comment by Mike Stallfus on May 26, 2008 at 2:59pm
Happy Memorial Day Robin!

I am sitting on my deck with a cool beverage looking at the postings and came upon yours. I am surprised I am the first to reply. I agree with you about the VMS systems. I have battled with them for the last 4 years and have found them very discouraging. They take ALL value add benefits of a recruiter away and reduce us to low -cost commodity suppliers. The companies that succeed are based on volume of placements - 100@10% of 60/hour. To obtain these numbers you must be very large and fast with many low cost sourcers scouring all the usual places for candidates. I can not compete as an independent.
How to combat this? This is a paradigm that large companies seem to like. The VMS provides their reduced HR people with a pre-screened list of resumes sorted by price. The HR folks can pass these resumes directly on to the managers with out doing anything and the best thing is the vendors (recruiters) pay for the system with the override. Corporate HR loves this system. The only way it goes away is if recruiters stop participating. I have stopped. My success rate was less then 5% and even when I made placements the margins were so very low. It was a FULL time process - I had to commit 40 hrs plus per week on % success. This was not a wise investment for me.


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