The Secret to Winning Government Recruitment Tenders And How To Grow Your Recruitment Business

By Jason Cooney

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Governments and private organisations across the globe have wholesale recruitment needs with strong internal HR capabilities. With so much recruiting going on, they often assemble a panel of recruitment service providers with whom they work with exclusively. Appointment to these panels can be very lucrative for any recruitment agency and a quality tender submission is required to be successful. So what is the secret to creating a quality tender submission to secure Government recruitment contracts?

Comply, Comply, Comply

The reality with any government tender submission is that you need to comply with all of the requirements. If they have asked for WHS or Environmental Policies, provide them – even if they are not relevant to your business.

Where the tender response asks for CVs of each of your proposed recruitment personnel, including full-length CVs and not just a short Bio summary. Finally, where there are specific requirements with respect to font size and word limits, adhere to them. Complying with the requirements won’t win you a contract, however, not complying with the tender or bid requirements may very well lose you the contract.

Tell the government what they want to hear

It’s important not to be too self-focused when writing your tender response. The unfortunate reality is that most recruitment agencies tend to focus inwards and on themselves when completing a recruitment tender. Remember, you need to tell the government what they want to hear, and you need to read between the lines as to what they are looking for.

That means not being self-focused and assessing the situation from the outside in. Ask yourself:

·         Are there are themes that are appearing in the tender or bid documentation?

·         Who will be our key competitors and how do we differentiate from them?

·         Are there any specific needs of the Government department we will need to address?

Once you have assessed the situation, you may realise that the key points of difference you normally would associate with your business are not applicable, that they don’t really differentiate you from your competitors, and that the Government Department may not really care about them anyway.

In that case, it’s important to reassess your win themes and tailor them to the opportunity.

Write a quality recruitment methodology that reflects the Government requirements

The recruitment processes that Government expect you to undertake are often different from the expectations of private industry. Government departments often have a greater focus on process, with multiple stages and approvals inbuilt into the recruitment process.

Government Departments also often have a greater focus on Equal Opportunity Employment, hiring within and the development of talent pools. It’s absolutely critical that you do your research in this respect and ensure that the methodology and processes that you put forward demonstrate an understanding of specific requirements of the Government and how they expect you to recruit. On occasion, Government Departments also have strict processes in place for advertising including a multi-stage approval process.

Demonstrating a sound understanding of their processes can go a long way in convincing the procurement panel that you are a quality and credible supplier.

Submit a comprehensive tender

A detailed bid/no-bid process is necessary at the start of any tender. This helps ensure you are not wasting precious resources on bids or tenders where you have limited prospects of success.

Once you have made the decision to bid, it’s important to ensure you invest the appropriate time and resources to submit a comprehensive response to each individual question, especially when completing a Government tender.

The reason is simple. Government departments generally use a formal procurement process which involves marking each individual question. Therefore, although you may answer a question with a simple, correct response. This may result in you scoring say 7 out of 10.

Going into detail and providing additional evidence to attest to your capability is what makes the difference between a 7 and 10 out of ten score. Take the time to answer each question comprehensively, in a simple, concise and factual manner. One example of where you can do this is in case studies. Most requests for proposals ask for case studies to demonstrate your past experience. It’s not enough to provide a few bullet points outlining the client, value and scope of services. You need to go into more detail and cover:

·         Name and profile of the client (if it is another Government Department that is beneficial)

·         Any unique or innovative recruitment methodologies you employed

·        What key personnel are involved in servicing the client and are they the same as the team you are putting forward for this contract

·         What challenges were overcome as part of servicing the client

·         A detailed summary of the services provided, the volume of recruitment undertaken and areas where you demonstrated a particular understanding of Government Recruitment practices.

Have a crack!

The final part of the secret to winning government tenders is a simple one – apply for one and see how you go. At worst, you will get detailed feedback and compile a wealth of information for future tenders, and at best, you will be appointed to a panel with a steady stream of work for a 3 or 5 year period.

For other tender writing tips, check out

 About the Author:
ason Cooney is a tender and bid writing consultant and the founder of The Tender Team  and Tsaks Consulting Email Jason anytime at [email protected] from anywhere in the world with a question related to tenders or bids and you will be sure to receive a response.


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