Why Timing Is Everything in VMS Recruiting

Making placements through VMS programs is a game of quick draw. Staffing firms that do not execute their sourcing, screening and submittal of high quality candidates with a sense of urgency, have a low success rate. The window for submittal is very small. Those who thrive in a VMS based recruiting environment match the quality of their candidates with speed, using whatever means necessary (from search tools to offshore sourcing and screening services) to achieve that end.

Why Does Speed Equal Quality in VMS Recruiting

The VMS model favors those who deliver submittals fast. In fact, Jim Coughlin, industry expert and Creative Director of VMSA, says that “speed and quality are the same thing in VMS servicing.” The reason being is that interviews and hires increase for VMS recruiting simply by submitting candidates within the first 12 hours. Our own first-hand experience with a key workforce solutions client shows exactly how those KPIs increase the faster we submit quality candidates (check out another VMS recruiting success story here).

For starters, there was a clear correlation between the number of interviews candidates obtained based on the time it took for their recruiter to find and submit the candidate into the client’s VMS. At least 20% of submittals made it to the interview stage if they were submitted within the first 12 hours of the requisition being opened. Of the candidates submitted in the first 24 and 36 hours, only 16% and 13% were asked to interview.

Yet the most significant findings occurred when we reviewed who was hired. Of those candidates submitted in the first 12 hours, 3.7% were placed. Any time after that, the odds were 1.1% or less. Basically, after a requisition has remained open for 12 hours, the recruiter has to submit 3x as many candidates to get the same number of placements as they would from candidates submitted in less than 12 hours.

How Staffing Firms Increase Submit Speeds

It is easy to fall behind in VMS recruiting, resulting in low client scorecard results and poor profitability. Some of the strategies below will help staffing firms consistently deliver quality candidates with speed:


Responding quickly to open requisitions requires some foresight. Staffing firms that successfully do high volume staffing give proper attention to pipelining. Let’s say your organization is in a metropolitan area like San Francisco where DevOps candidates are a hot commodity. Having a short list in advance drastically reduces the time it takes to find and submit a candidate. Before having a requisition, recruiters who can submit to VMS accounts quickly usually have a number of pre-screened candidates in their ATS, tagged in a way they can be readily accessed.

Requisition Prioritization and Assignment

Managers must understand the strengths and weaknesses of their recruiters, assigning requisitions based on current workload, experience level and requisitions type (recruiters often specialize in certain skill sets or demonstrate higher placement rates for certain skill types).

Once requisitions have been assigned, recruiters must realize that not all requisitions are weighted equally. Recruiters need to be perceptive enough to balance those requisitions that are less than 12 hours old and those that are approaching the limits of their service level. When a recruiter has challenges with a requisition, it is important that they can quickly get assistance from their manager and not waste time.  Having the right leadership in place is critical to ensure recruiters are productive and do not get stuck without receiving help.

The advantage of our offshore RPO teams is that they are provided with proactive guidance from leadership that understands the big picture and are not left alone to work a set of requisitions without support. Leadership is trained to identify roles which will deliver the greatest ROI and motivate front-line team members to work those requisitions until they find the right candidate.

Daily Planner

Organized structure in a recruiter’s day removes obstacles that might slow a quick search for quality candidates. It’s important to have a routine in place to encourage the right candidates to come to the forefront – especially if you don’t have anyone in your pipeline.

For example, our own recruiters might receive a new requisition and send out a text or email blast early to sourced/tagged candidates. After that, they’d pick up the phone and start dialing, constantly looking at their inboxes for responding candidates who have a much higher likelihood of converting. While watching for incoming emails, calls, and text messages, recruiters are able to work through structured activities on multiple channels to find alternatives in case no one bites. Little time is wasted on low return activities.

Using Offshore Recruiting Services to Add Speed to Your VMS Game

Our long track record with VMS accounts has helped us to quickly ramp up our Philippines offshore recruiting team to source, screen, and submit candidates for our clients. Our extensive, highly-trained recruiters can cast a wide net for potential candidates in a fraction of the time. Plus, we are able to match or surpass our client’s performance levels and dramatically lower costs compared to their internal recruiters.

Want to learn more about how our VMS recruiting can increase your speed and success with clients? Contact us today to boost your profit.

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