Talent Acquisition Glossary: The Key Terms to Know 


March 13, 2024

It is difficult to keep on track of all the talent acquisition terms being used. Some are new and some are old. You will have no doubt seen terms such as ATS, VMS, SOW, MSP and PSL to name a few. 

So to make it a bit easier, we have created a Talent Acquisition Glossary: The Key Terms to Know for Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders and included some example suppliers where relevant.

Vendor Management System (VMS)

The best summary I’ve seen was by Guidant:

A VMS is essentially a software system that can facilitate the procurement and management of contingent workers. The main features of a VMS include:

  • Supplier management
  • Order distribution
  • Consolidated billing
  • Risk mitigation
  • Headcount tracking
  • Significant enhancements in reporting capability over manual systems and processes

Example Companies: Beeline, SAP Fieldglass, VNDLY

Managed Service Programme (MSP)

A Managed Service Programme is where a recruitment outsourcing business assumes primary responsibility for the management of sourcing, engagement and admin of contract and other non-permanent workers.

Example Companies: Resource Solutions, Allegis Group Solutions, Impellam Group

Statement of Work (SOW)

In the last 10 years we have seen a rise in deliverable and outcome based assignments. HCM Works provided a helpful explanation:

A SOW is a formal document that provides direction to the vendor or contractor about how the work should be performed.

In the statement, you define the specific services that the contractor is expected to perform by detailing the work activities and deliverables. You detail the quality and level of service that you expect and outline a time schedule. Pricing and standard governance and regulatory terms and conditions are usually included as well. In some cases, you would outline the exact requirements of the job.

Freelancer Management System (FMS)

An FMS is a platform that manages all of a company’s operational, financial and legal elements of working with freelancers. As more companies rely on freelancers these platforms are growing in popularity.

Example Companies: Worksome, Stoke Talent, Bubty

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

An ATS is software that manages the recruiting and hiring process, including job postings and applications. It organises information about job seekers and makes it searchable. As its name implies, an ATS tracks candidates through the hiring process. It helps with interview scheduling, issues notifications and alerts, and sends automated emails to candidates and employees, such as recruiters and hiring managers.

Example Companies: Workday, iCIMS, Workable

Preferred Supplier List (PSL)

An old one but still in place in some companies. This is where a company has a list of pre-approved suppliers that a hiring manager can use. Typically this has around 5 companies with the same terms of business agreed. 

Open Talent Marketplace (OTM)

In the last five years there has been a rise in OTMs. An OTM is a platform where jobs can be matched to freelancers who will complete the job for payment.

Example Companies: Upwork, Fiverr, Gigged.AI

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

RPO is when a company hires an external firm to act like its own recruiting department. This differs from traditional external hiring firms in that the RPO firm takes responsibility for the entire recruiting process and may assume the identity and recruiting technologies of the client.

Example Companies: Cielo, AMS, Randstad

Internal Talent Marketplace (ITM)

According to Gartner:

 By 2025, 20% of large enterprises will have deployed an internal talent marketplace to optimise the utilisation and agility of talent.

An ITM is a way for companies to tap into skills they also have in their distributed workforce by using AI matching algorithms.

Example Companies: Gigged.AI, Gloat, Fuel50

It's time to meet your match

Join 20,000 businesses, contractors and freelancers accelerating digital projects on Gigged.AI.