Jason Cooney from Tsaks Group discusses techniques and strategies to win recruitment tenders.

Bid to win.

In an increasingly competitive recruitment market, tender and bid success can open a wealth of opportunities for recruitment firms.

Talk about your database

For any recruitment firm your database is critical. What’s more important is that you communicate the quality of your database and what methodologies you have in place to build and maintain it to the reader and potential client. Talk about how you nurture your database and potential candidates, how often you contact them, and the size of your database. It’s also important to talk about any areas of speciality you focus on. 

Let’s say for example that you are looking to be appointed to a panel of recruiters for a major bank’s IT and ICT division. It’s important to highlight the fact that as a specialist IT recruiter (or a large recruiter with a specialist IT division) you have a database filled with IT professionals that is constantly nurtured well aligned to the client’s requirements. 

Demonstrate a speciality in all areas you select

Most recruitment tenders in the Asia Pacific region and Europe are for a range of different areas within the organisation. For example, a tender may include recruiting for marketing, accounting, executive and other specialised roles. As part of your tender response, it’s important to play to your strengths, and select the areas for which you can provide a comprehensive response. Why you may ask? Because you want to score well in the tender response in all areas. Scoring low in one particular area may damage your overall prospects of success. 

This leads us to the next point: demonstrate a specialisation. You may have members of your team that work across multiple areas and therefore their existing CVs and Bios will be somewhat generic. It’s important to take the time to make sure you put forward a team of specialists for each area. Then re-write the CVs and Bios to ensure that you they are aligned to that particular area you are looking to be appointed for.

Provide a comprehensive response to each question

It’s important in any tender to comprehensively respond to each question. This is particularly important in recruitment tender for a few reasons. The first is most recruitment firms don’t take the time to respond comprehensively. The second is that companies want to procure from recruitment firms that give them the confidence they will deliver. That confidence comes from results, evidence, and also detail in the tender response.

It’s important not to confuse detail with ‘fluff’. If one of the questions asks what strategies you employ for advertising roles, there’s no point in writing three paragraphs on how you leverage LinkedIn. However, an introduction on the different methods you use, as well as a paragraph on each of the different avenues (such as online (LinkedIn)), memberships of industry associations, headhunting and contacting your database) enables you to answer the question comprehensively and to provide sufficient detail.

Provide compelling value-added services

Everyone likes something for free. This also applies to large organisations as well – they just call them value adds. It’s important to put forward value added services that add real value and are compelling. Some examples of great value added services are running workshops for clients to upskill their in-house team, providing free position development sessions whereby you work with the client to develop and iron out position descriptions for different roles and providing templates and other recruitment documentation free of charge. A bit of goodwill in the tender goes a long way to securing a contract and can give you an edge over competitors who take a more commercial approach.

How recruitment tenders are changing

To succeed in recruitment there is no doubt that relationships are critical. When servicing clients in Australia, New Zealand and Europe, our experience is companies develop strong relationships with clients and are often invited or encouraged to tender. With a strong relationship, you are in a great position, but that can all come to a halt with a poor tender response and some picky people in the procurement department. We’ve seen recruitment tenders and bids become more competitive, less focused on fancy presentation and more focused on facts and evidence, and a lot more sophisticated. 

Organisations are often taking a more comprehensive and structure approach to procuring recruitment firms. Organisations need to allocate the time and resources to develop compelling submissions that will pay dividends over the contract term. 

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