Construction bidding – What comes first, bid or hire?

Quantity Surveyor Ellis Fox

Bidding on major frameworks, whether as part of a joint venture or sole main contractor is a major undertaking. There are many considerations, not least of which is taking into account the specific skills needed to win and deliver on a project.

Many companies are faced with the dilemma of when to hire. Should the focus be on winning the bid first and then putting key people in place or does the project require specialised expertise in both the bidding and project delivery phases?

For every option companies will have to weigh up the risk versus reward. Here are a few considerations that may impact decision making:

Client priorities and hiring considerations

Increasingly clients are looking for companies that are willing to align with values that deliver on environmental issues, social value and who use new technologies to improve productivity and efficiency. This means that companies who can meet those expectations, despite not have the historic experience in specific projects stand a good chance at being shortlisted.

This opens up two types of opportunities for main contractors. Companies with the right systems and technologies in place and looking to expand their pipeline can hire in the necessary senior expertise to become more competitive in terms of project delivery. Alternatively, larger, more traditional companies may want to consider making changes that will help them secure new contracts such as adopting new technologies as well as the senior expertise able to sell the benefits of this to clients.

Agility in the short and long term

In these challenging economic times no company wants to be spending on hiring if there isn’t short and long term value. Hiring a project director may have the benefit that they can oversee everything from the bidding process to project implementation, but what happens if the bid isn’t successful?

One alternative is to make use of interim directors. While the cost may be higher, many interims have specific skill sets and industry connections that can help secure bids. Similarly interims coming is as project directors have the experience of picking up where someone else left off and be able to get the project up and running quickly. If implemented correctly this approach can provide companies with the expertise they need, when they need it and help them achieve a more cost effective approach to winning bids.

If you’re unsure of the best approach to hiring relating to bidding, feel free to give our team a call. We can help you work through the different options and help you find the best senior expertise when you need it.