How (And Why!) to Align Your ATS and VMS to Form a Total Talent Ecosystem

This article is based on our recent ebook ‘4 Steps to Incorporate Your Contingent Workforce Program Into Your Total Talent Strategy’. Here, we explain the importance of connecting the dots between your ATS, your VMS, and any other workforce technologies to create effective total talent management

There’s one thing that all companies have in common—a reliance on human capital to accomplish any mission. How they attract and employ those individuals varies.

With only permanent staff on hand, these companies will likely use an applicant tracking system (ATS) and those with a large contingent workforce will probably use a vendor management system (VMS). But what are the benefits of joining forces and focusing on total talent management?

The first step is to capture the data of your contingent workforce.

Capture Your Contingent Data

With multiple avenues for sourcing and engaging with contingent talent, tracking with spreadsheets simply isn’t enough. Capturing all of the information in your VMS ensures you have full visibility into your extended workforce, allowing you to streamline processes and maintain compliance throughout the contingent worker lifecycle.

Don’t have a VMS in place? There are three ways to manage contingent data within your total talent management strategy.

  1. Technology License – for organizations with a team dedicated to managing the contingent workforce in-house
  2. MSP – for organizations that choose to outsource all contingent workforce activities to a third party
  3. Hybrid Program – for organizations that prefer to keep their extended workforce management in-house but may lack the personnel or experience to maintain all aspects of the program

RECOMMENDED READING | ‘Buyer’s Guide to Vendor Management Technology

Consider Shared Managed Services

If you’re new to the world of automated contingent workforce management, a VMS may feel intimidating. If you’re low on internal resource or perhaps want a helping hand along the way, a Shared Managed Services (SMS) agreement may be more suitable.

SMS is a hybrid program we offer that allows companies to directly manage their contingent workforce program while still receiving specialized services of their choosing. These services are directly tied to managing your VMS and may also include strategic consulting.

Aligning Your VMS and ATS

Once you’ve assessed your current talent management practices, found the right channels for talent requisition, and collected your contingent data, it’s easy to fold your extended workforce into your total talent strategy. With so many aspects to consider with contingent labor, VMS technology is a must-have when looking at your workforce in totality.

Aligning a VMS with your ATS and any alternative sourcing methods allows your organization to have a single source of record for your entire workforce. Full integration simplifies the process of managing your other talent systems, making it easier to get a complete picture of your workforce.

With integrated systems, your program managers will be able to work in sync with the company’s total talent strategy, building a cohesive and efficient workforce.

But how do you know it’s working?

MORE FROM THE BLOG | ‘An Introduction to Talent Management: Including Your Contingent Workforce

Connected Reporting

While you may have multiple technologies integrated together, you’ll need to make sure you have reporting capabilities for monitoring your workforce. A reporting environment such as the system within VectorVMS gives you the power to combine all of your data in one location to generate the reports that are important to you.

Taking it one step further, deploying organizational planning technology—such as OrgPublisher from our sister company PeopleFluent—ensures you’re getting a concise view of:

  • All the workers in your organization
  • Where and who they report to
  • When gaps will arise as contracts expire
  • Who is available to fill upcoming roles based on upcoming end dates and high-performance scores

Workforce management technologies like these allow you to keep your data logically separated in its correct application but together enough to get a full visual view in an org chart.


A total talent strategy that incorporates the extended workforce can provide organizations with highly sought-after agility to build a future-proof foundation. And while there are a lot of pieces to consider, there are plenty of experts out there who can help ensure your success.

If you want to know more about total talent management and talent ecosystems, get in touch with our experts.



Meet the Expert
Nikki Williams – Marketing Brand Manager

Nikki Williams is responsible for marketing strategy and implementation for VectorVMS. In her role, she helps contingent workforce professionals discover the value of a vendor management solutions through blogs, webinars, conferences, and more. Her goal is to ensure these professionals can quickly find answers to their questions about VMS technology. Nikki has more than 10 years of experience as a marketing professional for technology, including human resources technologies as well as leadership and organizational development services. Connect with her on LinkedIn.