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A thought provoking piece of editorial from Mike Jefferies published in the Recruitment and Retention section of the MJ magazine. Mike argues that it can pay significant dividends if procurement takes the time to look beyond the usual roster of recruitment suppliers. A sentiment echo’d by the following story on the BBC which says the government is too dependent on a handful of “quasi-monopoly” private companies to provide public services.

To see Mike’s full article, please visit page 35 of the MJ ebook or read it below:

Central Government has been very vocal over the past 18 months in its support for  SMEs bidding for public sector contracts, but why is it that when push comes to shove in the recruitment sector, size so often matters?

It may be getting easier for SMEs to participate in bids, but research out this month from the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Spend Network suggests that some local authorities still spend just four per cent with SMEs.

So is there a reluctance from authorities to look beyond the small roster of recognised larger recruitment suppliers? And if so, are they missing a trick?

Mike Jefferies, Client Services Director at WDAD Communications – a recruitment advertising and employee communications agency that’s proud to be ’boutique’ – believes that those authorities willing to widen their search may reap the benefit and find suppliers offering a more bespoke service, dedicated support and appropriate solutions:

Too often, however, agencies are judged solely on their ability to buy cheap advertising.

This can make it difficult for an agency whose methodology is based on quality of response to advance beyond the initial ITT process, irrespective of how easy the government makes that process, with scoring usually heavily weighted towards cost.

Can the ability of an agency to deliver an effective recruitment website or an applied employee communications campaign be measured using the criteria found on most ITTs? It takes a certain degree of brio on the part of the commissioning team to see beyond the headline tender costs and explore a bidder’s creativity and depth of thinking, but it’s in those areas that many smaller providers excel.

Smaller agencies tend to provide a high level of dedicated senior level support. Many SME agencies are still owner-managed and are therefore highly motivated to provide successful outcomes and build long term relationships that can help develop their businesses.

Turnover of core staff also tends to be lower, helping agencies to provide a consistency of service.

WDAD’s notable recent creative projects in the sector include working with Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust on an employee communications and branding strategy that won this year’s PPMA ‘Best Resourcing Provider’ award. WDAD also delivered the creative solution that helped to pick up the ‘Best High Volume Recruitment Campaign’ at the same event for Hackney Homes. More recently they started an ongoing project with North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust to help define and communicate their EVP, including project managing a gala employee recognition awards night at Alexandra Palace.

Mike Jefferies is Client Services Director at WDAD Communications.


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