HR Management Consultancy: market engagement best practice

HR management consultancy is available through lot 5 of the Management Consultancy Framework 3, which is part of the NHS Workforce Alliance portfolio. You can use this to access expert support with all your HR management consultancy requirements, such as organisational design, workforce planning and capability development.

In this blog, our HR management consultancy experts offer advice, regarding the importance of engaging with the market, the market engagement methods, and offer you some top tips for greater market success.

Engaging with the market 

Better understanding helps make better decisions, so talking and interacting with the market is very important. A good time to do this is before releasing a new tender so you can use the market’s intelligence and knowledge to help shape your requirements and identify suitable suppliers. It is also greatly beneficial to advertise the upcoming opportunities to suppliers so they can plan the time to respond to your opportunity.

However, market engagement doesn’t start and stop at new tenders. It should be a core part of your procurement process. We highly recommend taking a proportionate level of market engagement for every procurement you do, and agree the approach with your commercial teams, where appropriate.

Allow your suppliers to allocate their resources strategically by supporting effective market engagement. You should create and maintain pipelines of current and future contracts. This will likely result in a more diverse range of bidders, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Methods of market engagement to consider

It’s important to understand your procurement options, so the most effective, advantageous approach is taken. Below are four methods and their benefits:

Method 1: Notification to the market of upcoming work
  • Allows you time to prepare and suppliers to get a suitable bidding team together.
  • Advisable for most procurements.
Method 2: Expression of interest (EOI)
  • Highlights whether there are no suitable or interested suppliers, allowing you to modify the tender if necessary.
  • Filters the market based on capacity and interest for the requirement.
Method 3: Request for information (RFI)
  • Allows suppliers to provide information that can inform the structure of the requirement. This can be of particular benefit if you don’t fully understand the outcomes you want to achieve.
  • You can directly benefit from the expertise and experience of the market.
  • Gives opportunity for suppliers to demonstrate innovation.
Method 4: Supplier days
  • Can allow you to passionately articulate the vision of the requirement to suppliers in a compliant way.
  • Opportunity to request feedback from the market through Q&A.
  • Ask open questions of the market, rather than seeking to confirm existing decisions ahead of releasing an Invitation to Tender (ITT).
  • Can reduce the number of clarification questions during the tender process.

Market engagement top tips

  1. Choosing the right way to engage with suppliers: Getting it right starts by choosing the best way to engage with suppliers. For example, is a webinar a good choice or would it be better to aim to meet face to face?

  2. Know your goals: Have a clear understanding of the outcomes you want to achieve, as this will ensure you can explain this succinctly to suppliers and help them recommend suitable solutions.

  3. Engage early on: Engage with your commercial, finance and legal colleagues right at the start, and throughout the procurement if it’s needed.

  4. Plan ahead: Consider how knowledge and skills transfer can be included and maximised across the contract lifecycle.

  5. Break down your requirements: Disaggregate large mixed requirements into suitable work packages, where appropriate.

  6. Market engagement strategy: Undertake a proportionate level of market engagement for all procurements.

Get in touch

Visit the framework page to learn more about the HR management consultancy support available. If you have any questions, please contact us and our team will get back to you.

Our friendly team is happy to help:

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