In search of aspiring young bid professionals
David Harvey CP.APMP
February 1, 2021. A day that will go down in the annals of BidWrite history. The day we took the audacious step of bringing a group of new consultants into an organisation of 14, instantly increasing our headcount by 43%. Complete madness you say? Perhaps.
But we’d thought long and hard about this. Unlike many others who rely on outsourcing, we’ve made a conscious decision to operate a salaried staffing model. This provides continuity for clients, security for staff and in our experience, high degrees of engagement from both parties.
However, this staffing model isn’t without risk. Realising these benefits requires us to choose new staff carefully and support their development, particularly during the critical first few months.
To prepare for this staffing surge, we spent a lot of time developing a comprehensive onboarding program, including two weeks of intensive training from our fantastic Kelly Richmond, (Managing Consultant, Melbourne Office Manager and People Manager extraordinaire – yes three hats). And the amazing thing is, it seems to have worked a treat.
Seven months in and at least 36 monthly check-ins later, it’s time to look back on this hectic, fun and rewarding period at BidWrite and marvel at just how far our not-so-newbies have come.
Scattered across our Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane offices, our latest recruits have so far dealt with clients in Defence, civil and construction, social and professional services, facilities management, landscaping, transport, logistics and IT. In addition to their own professional domain expertise, they can now confidently hold their own when discussing subjects like body armour, satellite communications, tugboats, wrap around services, agile methodology, fireworks display safety plans and societal reintegration for at-risk youth. Needless to say, our weekly team catchups make for some interesting tales.
And when asked about the new skills they’ve developed, some definite themes have emerged. Getting to grips with complex tender documents, understanding new industries quickly, learning how to draw information from busy subject matter experts (SMEs), sorting through reams of company information to find the gold, managing to tight deadlines, dealing with internationally dispersed bidding teams and the importance of building strong client relationships all spring to mind.
On the technical front, we’ve also witnessed a growing familiarity with a wide range of remote communication platforms, document and bid management systems and of course, the MS Office suite.
Overall, I see increasingly confident, multi-skilled young professionals, who are rapidly developing a nuanced understanding of how and why contracts are won and re-won, in often fiercely competitive commercial environments. You can’t get more real than that.
And they’ve all felt the thrill of ringing the tender bell we have in each office, when their client has excitedly called to let us know they’ve won!
But as a BidWrite owner, it’s not just about what our not-so-new staff are capable of doing for our clients – it’s about how they’ve improved us as a business. It’s so satisfying watching how quickly they’ve committed to our vision and goals, and to ‘having each other’s backs’. They’re a tight bunch who look after each other – a trait to be celebrated in an increasingly individualistic world.
So, in no particular order, a big shout out to Jack Lio and Lillian Curthoys in Brisbane, Tracy Campbell in Melbourne, plus Hannah Walsh and Bec Taylor in Perth. It’s a pleasure to be working with you all and we love having you on the team. And from the client feedback we get, so do they!
In fact, we’ve loved the whole experience so much we are going to do this all again…
Yes, BidWrite will shortly be heading out to market for a new intake of bid consultants to join our growing team. We’re easy about location (Brisbane, Melbourne, or Perth) because like the clients we work with, it’s more about the fit.
So, if you’re hankering to become our next Jack, Lil, Tracy, Hannah or Bec, or know someone who is, we’d love to talk.
You can reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 243974.