Recruitment Frameworks: A Complete Guide to Finding and Securing Contracts on Frameworks

Published19th March 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

Recruitment frameworks: 7 tips for success

Recruitment frameworks can be a fantastic way to generate regular income for your business. Recruitment consultants can spend more time delivering chargeable work, instead of spending valuable time building relationships and developing leads.

The budgets for recruitment frameworks are vast, meaning there’s an opportunity for businesses of all sizes. The UK government has a target to support the growth of SMEs. They have a target outlining that £1 in every £3 should be spent with SMEs by 2022. This means that the government is actively looking to award contracts to smaller businesses. There has never been a better time to get involved with these framework opportunities.

Recruitment frameworks can be daunting if you’ve never been a part of one before. You may be wondering where to begin. This blog will guide you to finding and securing a place on recruitment frameworks and answer some of your FAQs. If you follow our tips and advice, you’ll be well on your way to securing a place on recruitment frameworks.

What are buyers looking for?

Public sector buyers will be looking for recruitment companies that have the capacity to deal with the volume expected. They’ll also be looking for those that can deal with the nature of the job vacancies, regarding training and resources. Contractors will be looking for companies that can offer a high-quality recruitment service for an honourable cost.

What is a framework?

Buyers often use a framework agreement when procuring HR services. A framework agreement is a multi-supplier arrangement. It’s used by buyers to procure multiple suppliers to deliver one or more specific goods or services. Frameworks are often split into lots with each lot pertaining to a specific good, service or location.

Framework durations vary in length and can range from a few months to several years. Most typically, they run between two and five years, and some have the possibility of extension. Depending on the tender documentation, a company may be able to apply for multiple lots. This is all depending on whether or not you have the adequate recourses to do so. A buyer will be expecting hard proof if this is the case that you are able to fulfil multiple lots.

Within a recruitment framework, your company will have to meet the standard and criteria of public sector buyers. It’s worth bearing in mind, therefore, that you’ll have to demonstrate reputability to future prospective clients.

How do recruitment frameworks work?

The initial stage of recruitment frameworks will often involve a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), or a selection questionnaire (SQ). They are used to gauge whether a potential supplier meets the minimum eligibility criteria. PQQs and SQs are essentially a box-ticking exercise. They are often comprised of giving your company’s:

  • Contact information
  • Economic Financial standing
  • Insurance
  • Grounds for mandatory exclusion
  • Equality and Diversity policies
  • Health and safety regulations
  • Environmental standards.

Once you have passed this stage, then you will be sent an invitation to tender (ITT). This is when you must write your response to how you intend to meet the buyer’s needs. You must be persuasive in your response and convince the buyer that you are the best company for the job.

If you are successful in securing a place on recruitment frameworks, you will save time going forward. This is because suppliers on a framework don’t need to complete a PQQ or SQ to progress to an ITT.

When a contractor requires a good or service, they release an ITT to the framework’s suppliers. Buyers could host mini competitions to the suppliers. They then compete to deliver the goods or services.

So, now you know what a framework is, you may be wondering what the benefits of joining one are.

5 reasons for tendering in recruitment

We’re often told by companies that we work with that they don’t tender as it takes too long. They also say they’re never successful or they don’t have the time and so on.

Tendering is a powerful way to generate new business. So powerful, in fact, that many businesses use this as their sole route to winning new business. We think every business should at least try tendering. We understand why businesses are put off from the long, in-depth process you have to follow. However, spending the time upfront to learn how to tender could be vital to the success and growth of your business.

Our Managing Director, Jill, has been winning work via tendering for well over a decade. She is sharing with you her top five reasons for tendering.

  1. You don’t need to sell the service

Responding to recruitment tenders means businesses have already established the need for your HR or Recruitment services. It also often means they have allocated a budget to carry out the work. This reduces the need for selling the benefits of the services and establishing the benefit of investing in XYZ.

Responding to a tender means you’ve just got to prove that you’re the best fit for their business. Surely it’s worth a try? Just make sure you follow a strict process of what you will and won’t apply for.

  1. The project has clear start and end dates

When tendering, the client usually outlines when they would like the work to start and end. This means you can work your time around this. When selling directly B2B we often have projects on hold waiting for particular aspects. We’re not saying this won’t happen with tendering, but your client is likely to be more prepared.

  1. Budget signed off in advance

As the budget has already been allocated, you know what constraints you’re working within. This allows you to best advise your client where to allocate spend.

  1. Clarifies your offering to clients

You won’t always be successful when tendering. But completing a tender document often gives you additional clarity on other areas of your business. It can also help you see how you can productise service offerings. It allows you to benchmark your fees against what people expect to pay.

  1. Research

Tendering allows you to see how businesses are spending their budgets. This helps you to better understand where you should be spending your own budgets and what services are most popular. If you see an influx of a particular tender, for example, Recruitment Tenders, HR Consultancy or Recruitment Frameworks and this is an offering your business provides.

Read the Invitation to Tender documents and align your service descriptions ensuring it’s suitable for the market you’re selling into.

Where can I find recruitment frameworks?

Searching for recruitment frameworks can take a large amount of time out of your day. Time is of the essence when running your own business and you already have enough on your plate. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a centralised platform where you could search for HR tenders in one place?

Enter…HR Tenders!

HR Tenders is a portal that hosts HR and recruitment leads from thousands of websites across the UK. Our Opportunity Trackers manually search for and upload opportunities to one easy-to-navigate portal. You are able to filter the results by keyword, location budget and more. Our clients can simply log in to the platform and search for the perfect tendering opportunity for their business.

What makes HR Tenders different?

HR Tenders was developed to support human resources and recruitment businesses to find new recruitment frameworks and contracts in the UK.

Here at HR Tenders our Business Development Team is second to none. We understand that buying into a subscription for a product you aren’t entirely sure of can be daunting and want to make sure you are as confident as we are about what exactly it can do for your business.

For this reason, we give you the opportunity to view our platform via a remote live demo with one of our friendly team. You will be able to view all of the functionalities we have to offer. This allows you to see for yourself how simple it is to use. This particular technique allows for a quick understanding of the platform. Any questions or queries can be resolved instantly that may be hindering your decision.

The portal is broken down into industry sub-sectors including:

Once the demo has come to an end, we allow for use of the platform until the end of the day. You have the chance to explore for yourself and gain familiarity with the various functions. From here, we are just a phone call away. We can answer any further questions you may have or assist you with any purchases you wish to pursue.

Below are previous recruitment frameworks sourced on our portal:

Recruitment Services Framework

Radian- South East- Budget: £2,200,000

Single-Party Framework Agreement for the Appointment of a Specialist Recruitment Partner

Beaumont Hospital- International- Budget: £400,000

Provision of temporary scientific and support staff (Agency Workers) under a four-year single supplier framework agreement for the Office of NREC

The Health Research Board- International- Budget: Undisclosed

Request for Tenders to establish a Multi Supplier Framework Agreement for the provision of Temporary Agency Workers and Recruitment Services

Commission for Communications Regulation- International- Budget: Undisclosed

Recruitment and Consultancy Services Framework

Financial Services Compensation Scheme Limited- London- Budget: £12,000,000

Framework Agreement for Recruitment Agencies for Temporary and Interim Staff

Homes for Haringey Ltd- London- Budget: Undisclosed

Book a demo today with HR Tenders!

Before you apply to recruitment frameworks, you should ask yourself if you are eligible. You should consider the following before you begin the tendering procedure.

  • Can I deliver the contract of work?
  • Do I meet the financial thresholds?
  • Do I have the relevant experience?

If the answer is yes to the above, then you should go full steam ahead with your response. If any of the answers are no, it might be better to sit this one out. It is likely that a more suitable framework agreement or tender will be released. There is no point wasting time and resources on a response if you can’t deliver the work.

So, now you know what recruitment frameworks are and how to find them. The next challenge is how to win one.

7 tips for securing a place on recruitment frameworks

  1. Plan your time

Once you have received the tender documents, you should plan your time accordingly. You should allow for plenty of time to write a winning response. Setting realistic and achievable internal deadlines for you and your team. Writing a winning response is often a team effort and you want to allow plenty of time for each task.

You should aim to submit your recruitment framework response at least a day before the deadline. Planning additional time for any unexpected delays should also be taken into consideration. Making a checklist of the requirements for the application may help. You could include:

  • Submission deadline – date and time
  • Clarification question deadline
  • Site visit deadline
  • Word count for each question
  • The format of the response (online or hardcopy)
  • Do you need to design or brand your responses?
  • The supporting documents needed.
  1. Experience is key

Buyers will require any potential supplier to provide evidence of their capabilities. These are often in the form of case studies. You may be required to add up to three case studies of completed contracts within the last five years. These case studies must be tailored to reflect work of a similar scale and complexity. Positive testimonials from past clients are always beneficial, if the word count permits.  You may want to consider the following questions when writing your case studies:

  • Do you have experience with a project of a similar scale to the framework?
  • How did you deliver the service?
  • What challenges did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
  • Did you finish on time and on budget?
  1. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes

A great way to help your response to recruitment frameworks is by putting yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What would you like to know if you were them? What separates your business from your competitors?

Remember that they may have a number of tender responses to go through. You want to provide your information clearly and concisely. You want to avoid rambling about how great your company is. A good way to keep you on track is by using the P.E.E method:

  • Point
  • Evidence
  • Explain

This should help you keep your response focused. Be assertive and use phrases such as ‘we will’ and ‘we are’ as opposed to ‘we might’. If you were the buyer, wouldn’t you choose a candidate who asserts confidence in their writing and their plan? They want to be confident in their supplier that they can perform and do the job at hand.

  1. Demonstrate value for money

Contractors for recruitment frameworks will be looking for those that present the most value for money. In the public sector, recruitment framework suppliers are awarded to the most economically advantageous tender. This is referred to as the MEAT. A buyer is looking at more than just a low price. They consider a number of factors such as:

  • Accessibility
  • Innovation
  • Quality
  • Customer service
  • Environmental benefits.
  1. Take time to establish your social value

Following on from presenting value for money, you should establish your businesses social value. Social value now has a mandatory minimum weighting of 10% within public sector contracts. In some cases, social value can have a weighting of up to 30%. When completing your tender response, you should take into consideration the social, economic and environmental aspects.

The government has a particular interest in sustainable practice and development. Buyers want to see you making promises you can keep. It’s best to have a good think about what initiatives and policies your company aligns with. You could include the following:

  • Support COVID-19 recovery
  • Promote new skills, upskilling the local community
  • Pay employees the National Living Wage
  • Reduce waste and encourage recycling
  • Encourage sustainable development and practices
  • Promote equal employment and diversity policies
  • Introduce work experience and apprenticeships.
  1. Don’t assume anything

You shouldn’t assume that the buyer knows anything about your organisation or what it does. You should explain everything. Leaving room for assumptions can allow for the wrong assumptions to be made.

  1. Produce a high-quality written response

A buyer cares about the written quality of your response for recruitment frameworks. You should utilise the word or page count to the best of your abilities. If a buyer thinks that a question needs a 1000-word response, simply writing a couple of sentences won’t suffice. Word counts are there for a reason.

You should format your response clearly. Using subheadings and bullet points are a good way to do this. A question will typically have a number of sub-questions throughout that you can use as your subheadings. This will help you to make sure that you have answered every aspect of the question.

This will also be clear to the buyer when they’re reviewing your response. They will appreciate a clearly laid out response that is broken up into clearly labelled sections. It’s likely that they will have to read tens to hundreds of responses. You will automatically be in their good books if your response isn’t one large chunk of text.

Need help when writing your recruitment framework response?

If being a supplier on recruitment frameworks is something your business is interested in, we can help. It’s understandable if you don’t have the necessary resources or time to complete a winning bid in-house.

Our sister company, Hudson Succeed, have over 60 years bid writing experience, boasting an 87% success rate. They have secured direct contract wins totalling over £300million for our clients. They offer four bid writing support services.

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect recruitment framework opportunity for your business, why not send it their way? Our Bid Writers can take care of it all for you. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown. They’ll even submit it on your behalf.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own tender response and need someone to double-check it for errors, Tender Mentor can help. The Bid Team will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They’ll also ensure that it’s in line with the specification before you submit it.

Tender Ready

The Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to make sure you have everything in place to tender successfully. Tender Ready offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to HR Tenders.
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding Professionals.
  • An Organisation-wide Bid library, including 3 case studies, 5 CV’s and 8 policies.
  • Additional flexible benefit options.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing the results you want, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents, working with you to improve for future submissions.

Upgrade to Discover Elite

Upgrading to Discover Elite allows you to optimise your tendering opportunities even when you’re busy. Our two new packages can improve your competitor awareness and bidding success rate. Each package can help save you even more time when searching for the right recruitment frameworks for your business.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option is perfect for businesses that overlap two industries.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable HR tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • A Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow. Now is the time to bid for recruitment frameworks. There has never been a better time to tender.

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