How The Jacobson Group Increased Speed to Submit and Decreased Costs with VMS Sync

Based in Chicago, Illinois, The Jacobson Group is the leading provider of talent to the insurance industry. Since its founding in 1971, The Jacobson Group has been connecting organizations with insurance professionals at all levels across all industry verticals. The Jacobson Group provides an array of services including executive search, professional recruiting, temporary staffing, and subject matter experts. The Jacobson Group has been a Bullhorn client since 2008.

The Challenge

According to Catherine Prete, Senior Vice President of Operations at the Jacobson Group, the company had always preferred working with high-touch, highly-consultative clients, and VMS relationships didn’t allow for either of those. “Prior to 2019, we actively walked away from the VMS-style business and we did not seek out new opportunities in that space,” Catherine said. The Jacobson Group only found themselves working on VMS jobs if all direct jobs were filled, which rarely happened.

Then, The Jacobson Group noticed a shift in the industry. Organizations with as little as $5 million in spend began outsourcing the management of their contingent labor program or centralizing the procurement of their contingent labor through in-house MSPs. “As MSP and VMS solutions began to increase in our space at a very rapid rate, we came to realize that we were missing out on revenue. The scales were tipping in our industry and the VMS/MSP world was gaining strength,” Catherine said.

The Solution

To get their footing in the VMS world, The Jacobson Group started a pilot program in 2019 focused on three clients with which it already had an MSP agreement. The Jacobson Group designated a specific recruiting team to work VMS jobs and shifted processes to support that different style of business. By adopting a strong leader for this pilot group and investing in Bullhorn VMS Sync to automate job data flow from the VMS into Bullhorn, the team immediately saw results and proof of concept.

The Jacobson Group team was also able to pilot VMS Sync’s new submittals functionality, which completes the VMS automation loop, enabling users to automatically submit candidates from directly within Bullhorn into Beeline and Fieldglass VMSes, eliminating the need to log into each VMS individually to do so.

“We’re able to submit candidates directly from Bullhorn into the VMS tool without having to leave the environment and the efficiency that we gained here is that the submittals tool allows our recruiters to stay in Bullhorn and not have to learn a number of VMS tools in order to submit candidates for consideration,” Beth Roekle, Senior Vice President of Talent Delivery said.

The Results

According to Beth, since adopting VMS Sync and its new submittals functionality, “the three biggest benefits that we’ve seen center around speed to submit, efficiency, and being able to spend more time on higher-impact activities.”

Increased speed to submit

With VMS Sync, The Jacobson Group can now begin working on a job the moment it’s released and hasincreased their fill rate on orders coming through VMSes by 5x without markedly increasing the size of the team. “Being able to handle more allows us to scale this team more effectively,” Beth said. The team has also increased their participation rate to over 159%—submitting more than 1½ people per job order that the company receives.

Newfound efficiency and cost-savings

The Jacobson Group wanted to automate as many manual processes as possible, which would create cost savings that they could then pass along to the customer. “Because the process is less labor-intensive, our team can handle a larger volume of work,” Beth said. The team was even able to increase its number of customers by 400%.

Jennifer Shorr, Assistant Vice President of Operations, shared that “working completely within Bullhorn for that process decreases ramp-up time, allowing us to plug and play new staff when there’s an increase in volume.”

Focus on high-impact activities

According to Beth, by increasing overall recruiter productivity through the automation of processes and increased training, their team is able to focus on more strategic initiatives like strengthening relationships with candidates, being more engaged with those candidates, and finding out what hiring managers are really looking for. “Because our recruiters can now accomplish more in less time, they’re able to spend more time thinking,” Beth said, explaining that this strategic thinking helps their team figure out what high-value initiatives they should be focused on.

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Stronger MSP Relationships

According to Beth, there are several metrics that The Jacobson Group is consistently measured on with all of their partnerships—time to submit, participation rate, and attrition—which Beth says have all benefited from the automation the team put in place this past year.

Freeing up additional time to be strategic and reach out to placements on assignments means that the number of unplanned ends, or attrition rate, has decreased. “I think that is probably the most impactful to the client,” she said.

Jennifer added that “the benefits of the submittals functionality is really the ability to meet those key SLAs, specifically time to submit. When you think about working in several or many different VMS systems, the submittals piece really streamlines that, takes out the guesswork of remembering those intricacies that apply to one VMS system versus the next.”

“My focus with our team is on creating strong relationships with the MSP partners, the same way we used to with hiring managers,” Beth said.


The Future

While 2019 was a proof of concept year for The Jacobson Group, 2020 and beyond is all about continued efficiency. “Based on the results we’ve achieved, we’re definitely looking to increase the size of this business unit several times during 2020,” Beth said. “There’s just a lot of opportunity to add value in this space.”

We already utilize and see the value of Bullhorn VMS Sync in increasing our speed to service in the VMS business. The VMS submittals functionality has taken that speed and put it into hyperdrive, and it also allows our staff to spend more time nurturing candidate and client experiences. Shifting the time and focus from data entry to relationship building and delivery of great service is what will set us apart in this crowded market space
Jennifer Shorr Assistant Vice President, Operations, The Jacobsen Group

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