Overheard@Work With VectorVMS and Railinc: Advantages of Running an In-house Contingent Workforce Program

This interview is based on a Live LinkedIn event hosted by Club VMSA with VectorVMS and Railinc as guests. During the live session, Lakshmi Naganathan from Railinc. discussed the advantages of having a Shared Managed Services program with VectorVMS SMS Program Manager Teresa Hodges Bryant.

What are the benefits of running an in-house contingent workforce program with the support of a Shared Managed Services (SMS) vendor like VectorVMS? Learn how a VMS supports on-demand hiring in this article covering our recent interactive session with Railinc. Through our questions, we also cover the importance of open communication with vendors, and ongoing support from a seasoned team of staffing professionals to serve your contingent workforce needs.

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There are many organizations trying to determine the best model for their contingent program, whether managed in-house, outsourcing, or a combination of the two. Railinc manages its program in-house in conjunction with support from VectorVMS’s Shared Managed Services (SMS) team. The experiences they share in this Q&A will be useful for organizations in a similar position, making the right decision for their business needs.

Q: Why Did Railinc Choose to Manage Its Program In-House?

Lakshmi Naganathan: The main reason is that we know our culture very well. Corporate culture is very important to us, as well as team fit when bringing new talent to the company. In-house provides us with autonomous power to manage the program as per our needs. We can tailor it based on a specific situation, and we’ve set up many processes, protocols, and procedures, ensuring that we’re all on the same page as a company.

In fact, with VectorVMS’s support, we have created a vendor user guide and a significant effort went into it. When we bring in a new vendor, we share that guide with them so they’re always on the same page with our existing vendors. Best of all, we can influence our key contributors when we run the program in-house.

Teresa Hodges Bryant: That is so important, especially these days when you’re doing on-demand hiring because it’s a tough market right now for the types of skills that you’re looking for.

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Q: Why Did Railinc Decide to Implement a VMS System?

Lakshmi: Railinc started in 1998 and we’ve grown tremendously ever since. That growth required us to implement a VMS program to manage the contingent labor process. As federal contractors, we need to have the best possible compliance management solution. By having a system or portal in place, we’re able to manage our programs effectively. Everything is in one place and we’re able to get access to the information when needed.

Teresa: It’s critically important to ensure you’re working within compliance and not putting your company at risk. You can use Compliance Manager within VectorVMS to capture tasks outside the normal background and screening checks.

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Q: What Else Does Railinc Use Compliance Manager For?

Lakshmi: Whenever a new hire comes into the company to work as a contractor, they need to sign certain documents. For example, we have our data access policy and security policies in place, and they are all stored in the VMS for the vendors to share with their contractors. So, they read it and understand why we have it, and then we can update the documents as needed. We’re able to make changes and upload them into the system, so our vendors and contractors can access them and sign as needed. If they have any questions, they can contact me.

Also, the VMS helps us customize the program based on our needs. For instance, when we implemented the system, it was designed based on Railinc’s needs. Recently we implemented single sign-on (SSO). We teamed up with VectorVMS’s IT team and were able to roll it out in less than a month. Additionally, there’s visibility and transparency with my managers on the requisition side.

As a recruiter, I know my hiring managers very well, and they’re each very different. I’m able to tailor a particular requisition to the right vendor in order to bring in the talent as quickly as possible. To sum up, VectorVMS has best practices that meet our business needs and we work together effectively on strategic initiatives.

Teresa: That’s one of the big value adds with the Shared Managed Services program. Our team has many years of experience in the staffing world, so we bring a lot of experience to the table. We do share best practices and we also work strategically on any initiatives that you may have as programs change and mature. We do things like health checks where we’ll go through the current configurations and workflows and determine if those are still meeting the business needs of the company. Being a strategic partner is wonderful and is one of the things that I like most as an SMS program manager.

LakshmiWhen we discuss the various needs of the company with VectorVMS, they always point out a feature in the VMS that will help us. For example, duplicate candidate submissions, how to send a bulk notification to a vendor, and many other actions. They’ve pointed these out based on my current business needs and I’m very thankful for that.

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Q: What Are Some of the Benefits Railinc Has Gained With An In-House Program?

Lakshmi: With the current market, it’s hard to find talent. If you don’t step up and work on it, you’re going to lose talent because, I think on average, every candidate is only in the market for less than two weeks. So, we really need to start moving from requisition to candidate engagement very quickly. I’m able to do that with the VMS. We can move quickly by having open communication with our vendors, hiring managers, and candidates.

In fact, all vendors get the same bill rate, and pay rates are also in the system. So, the information is available for anyone to see. Additionally, VectorVMS provides me with business review meetings and an executive summary that my manager always looks forward to, that I’m able to share with management.

We also hold annual vendor summit calls together, which is similar to performance reviews for vendors, where their KPIs are defined and discussed. This covers where they stand, where they’re behind, and what we expect from them. We also send quarterly scorecards, which periodically gives them an idea of where they stand with respect to those KPIs.

VectorVMS have created many custom reports for us that allow me to provide data to key stakeholders.Having an SMS manager like Teresa is very important to us. Whenever I’m unavailable, my team knows who to reach out to so they can still run the program seamlessly. The team is always helpful, and that’s what I like about the VectorVMS program.

Q: How is VectorVMS Helping you Engage Candidates Quicker?

Lakshmi: Even though we’re in the railroad industry, we still compete for the same talent as other companies. There are many organizations that use the same kind of tech stack as us. Having a VMS in place, I’m able to roll out a requisition and communicate with my vendors quickly. In fact, my managers are also very quick at responding, so we’re able to carry out the interview process right away.

From the time of an offer, it only takes two weeks for the candidates to join our company. We’re prepared for new hires and the VMS helps us a great deal in carrying out all of these processes, mainly rolling off the requisitions and reaching out to the vendors. This is incredibly easy with a VMS portal in place.

Watch the full session to find out more about the advantages of running an in-house contingent program. Alternatively, reach out!—We’re here to help you solve your contingent workforce management needs.



Meet the Expert
Teresa Hodges Bryant – Program Manager

With more than 25 years of experience in contingent workforce management, Teresa Hodges Bryant provides strategic consultation and program management for mid-market clients. As a member of our Strategic Services team, Teresa helps clients implement and optimize our vendor management system (VMS). She facilitates client-vendor partnerships, recommends program enhancements, and leads development workshops and other initiatives to help clients move from tactical to strategic program management. Connect with her on LinkedIn.