Today’s competitive business environment has seen many organisations relying on assessment tools to select and develop the best talent. To achieve their desired talent pipeline, these organisations need different assessment tools for different needs. An assessment used for a C-level hire is completely different from one used for graduate recruitment. And tools used for succession planning may be completely different.
Onboarding multiple vendors for a variety of talent assessment tools may seem like a good idea in theory, but it can present a host of challenges that can make HR and procurement teams groan under the weight of the workload.
In our previous blog, we talked about the 7 challenges that organisations face when using multiple assessment tools. Our blog today is the first in a series of the 7 challenges, starting with that of dealing with multiple assessment vendors. We shall explore this in further detail to help you understand them better and how they can impact your business decisions. We have divided it into two stages – pre-selection and post-selection. So, let us begin!
Table of Contents
Dealing with multiple vendors involves spending a sizeable amount of time, coordination, management, and communication to get things off the ground. It is no secret that each vendor would have their own unique processes and preferences. It is also obvious how this would go down – a spiralling path of confusion, inconsistency, and a lack of standardisation in every step of the process.
We begin our journey at the pre-selection stage.
Managing Multiple Vendor Evaluation Cycles
In many organisations, the procurement process mandates that each purchase requires at least three vendors. So, if an organisation is looking for different assessment tools for diverse needs, it will need to follow a lengthy process for each tool. And choosing which vendors to go with is not as simple as choosing which restaurant to dine at.
For procurement teams, this can be exhaustive and lead to frustration and fatigue if they need to evaluate each vendor and the tools offered from scratch. The time and effort taken to do so can result in delays in getting the required tools and have repercussions on business operations, potentially impeding progress and impacting revenue.
Each vendor also comes with a set of features and benefits, different pricing structures, as well as levels of support and training provided. Comparing the various tools offered by each vendor can prove to be a headache for procurement teams to determine the total cost of ownership for each tool before deciding.
Once an organisation has made their selection of vendors, the procurement team will review each vendor’s set of agreements.
Handling Multiple Vendor Agreements
It goes without saying that having multiple vendors can lead to an agonising review of multiple agreements, much like the movie Everything, Everywhere All at Once (If you have seen it, you know what we mean).
Keeping track of important deadlines, payment terms, multiple invoices, as well as service level and legal agreements require an efficient system to avoid missed payments.
Furthermore, each assessment tool comes with its own set of agreements with varying terms and conditions, all of which must go through a legal review before being approved. This process can be time consuming and result in delays, particularly if the organisation needs to evaluate several vendors for various assessment tools.
Once the agreements have been approved, the organisation will start the process of obtaining the IT and security clearances.
Ensuring IT and Security Clearance
In a world where technology reigns supreme, ensuring the safety and security of confidential information have become more critical than ever.
A typical IT and security clearance process involves background checks, reference checks, and other miscellaneous security checks. With each vendor having their own set of clearances, it is no wonder that everything can take up to weeks or months to complete!
Think of this as the act of juggling several balls where each ball represents a vendor and its own clearance process. The key is to keep the balls up in the air while maintaining the juggling stance. In both cases, the stakes are high and the consequences of neglecting critical factors can be dire.
With multiple vendors having access to confidential employee data and information, it is essential to regulate their IT practices and security clearances. Now that the organisation has obtained these, they now face a mighty task in overseeing the onboarding processes.
Overseeing Multiple Onboarding Processes
Managing the onboarding process for multiple vendors is no small feat. All vendors have their own documentation catering to their specific needs, including integration needs, data access requirements, and security protocols. Imagine overseeing 3-5 different vendors, all with different onboarding requirements!
Keeping track of each vendor’s onboarding progress can become a logistical nightmare for both the vendors and the organisation. On one hand, each vendor has its own timelines and expectations. On the other hand, the organisation needs to monitor the progress to ensure that all documentation and compliance requirements are met.
A mismanagement can lead to further miscommunication and misunderstanding between the two parties. It can also lead to delays, increased costs, and potentially damaging security risks which may have an adverse impact on vendor relationships and business operations.
Now that we have conquered the pre-selection stage, we will move on to the post-selection stage – what happens after the organisation has begun working with the vendors.
Tackling Multiple Vendor Projects
Facilitating multiple vendor projects is like herding cats. It often requires coordination, collaboration, and a whole lot of patience. Have you tried doing that? We have not but we can imagine it is nigh impossible.
In reality, most organisations often end up taking on more than one project, leading to a tangled mess of timelines, budgets, and deliverables. As such, HR teams in charge of these vendor projects struggle to align the business needs with each project scope.
As if that is not stressful enough, the HR teams also have to navigate the different vendor relationships and communication styles. Some may offer a more hands-on approach, while others may prefer to leave them to their own devices. Establishing a consistent and productive working relationship with each vendor can be a task of monumental proportions.
Supervising Multiple Support Teams
Dealing with a different support team from multiple vendors is like playing chess. Both have several moving pieces and different personalities to handle.
Coordinating with multiple support teams requires a sharp eye for coordination. This can add layers of complexity and create discordance among the support teams and between them and the organisation.
The differences in schedules can also lead to unanticipated delays, missed opportunities, and a juggling act to keep everyone on track.
Sorting Out Multiple Invoices and Payments
As projects move forward, the time has come to clear the invoices and settle the payments. But with various vendors sending out invoices at various times, each with its own formatting and payment terms, life is never easy.
The key is to ensure prompt payment. On-time payments establish continuity of service and maintain a good relationship with the vendor. Each invoice is scrutinised for accuracy to prevent discrepancies and verifies that the delivered assessment tools match the agreed-upon pricing structure.
While streamlining these processes would be ideal, the reality is that each vendor operates on a different payment cycle and term. The challenge then falls to the HR teams to navigate this maze of payment details and nail down timely payments to avoid penalties or disruptions in the use of assessment tools.
As you can see, there are several challenges associated with using multiple vendors for talent assessment tools. It is important to understand these challenges before committing to a solution so that you can make informed decisions that work best for your business needs. With proper knowledge and understanding of these challenges, you will be able to prepare your business and handle them when they arise.
Stay tuned for our next blog on the 7 challenges of dealing with multiple vendor series, where we will dive deeper into the high time commitment for learning each assessment tool.
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