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Going Global? Here are things to consider!

Whether implementing a VMS for the first time or migrating to a new VMS, here are 6 considerations when considering a VMS for a global program.


Determine scope to include locations and which provider you are considering can support them. Determine which locations will be included in your program. When doing so, also look towards any pending acquisitions or future growth plans for your organization. For example, a client I supported through an RFP had minimal headcount in the EMEA, but they had invested heavily in sales and marketing to expand their business in the middle east. We had to look for providers with vast experience in Turkey and Yemen and whose tool was localized for those countries.

Ensure the provider you are evaluating has experience supporting locations where you have populations or planned populations of workers. As the evaluation of that provider progresses, ask to speak with a customer who has a population in locations where VMS use is less common than it is in North America and Western Europe. During RFPs, I include the practice of asking for white papers to prove their expertise.


A key decision point will be how you will implement, and you will have a phased approach by geographic region and/or type of contingent workers and what commitment. A “big bang” approach would be to take the program to live for all locations and all types of non-employee labor, including Staff Augmentation, Independent contractors, and statement of work providers at one time on one date. A phased approach breaks the implementation down into different phases, typically by geographic regions and by type of contingent workers. Your organization will need to weigh how your organization adopts change, how quickly you need to realize the benefits of the implementation or transition when making the decision.


However, a vendor-funded model is widely adopted in the US, not as widely used in other parts of the world. Often there are different funding models not only by geography but also by service line. For example, Staff Augmentation in the US is often Vendor funded, wherein EMEA is less common, and the fees associated are the company's responsibility.


The VMS provider will provide resources to support the implementation. However, there is much work to be done internally as well. Do you have an internal resource who has experience and expertise with Global, labor-related implementations? Utilizing an expert with experience in selecting and implementing global VMS tools will help your organization avoid common missteps and have tools and templates they can utilize to avoid your organization from having to create Cross-functional internal team members can include

  • The project manager is often an external consultant.

  • IT for integrations and support of the VMS tools once live

  • An external consultant can also augment the team and provide support for the following resources

  • Change-managed communications ensure effective ways of communicating with various countries and the commonly adopted way in each location for the users of the VMS to receive policy and process notification.

  • Human Resources representation for policies and processes and support questions from hiring managers once live.

  • Procurement for evaluation of the balance of trade with the VMS provider and contract oversight and alignment to procurement practices and approval policies.

  • Legal for contract review with the VMS and staffing providers and advising on local laws related to tenure, co-employment, and labor relations.


Before determining which VMS provider is right for your organization, define examples and scenarios for common processes of hiring managers, required integrations, and reporting needs of your desired future state. Evaluate the provider based on your documented use cases, as while most VMS has the same functionality. There are vast differences in how the VMS handles cost accounting, including POs, Integration into hiring managers' calendars, Financial integrations for Invoice production, and more.


Like the roles and responsibilities conversation, change management and training will need to be facilitated for a large group of resources, both internally for your hiring managers and approvers and external users of your vendors and the workers. Define with the VMS provider their role in these training as they will be responsible for training on the application itself. This will not include the policy and process changes. Again, an external consultant will have experience and templates on change management and training programs that have been effective with other clients that can be customized to your environment.

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