Homebreadcrumb separatorBusinessbreadcrumb separatorProcurementbreadcrumb separatorTips for successful tendering

Tips for successful tendering

1. Bear in mind that the evaluators have to read anything up to 100 submissions – so always keep to word/character counts, and if they are not specified, then stick to the rule that less is always more!

2. Where asked a question – answer it specifically and directly. Provide only the information requested and don’t be tempted to digress. The evaluator only has a certain number of marks to award for the question, and there are no additional marks for giving irrelevant information that has not been requested (however compelling you think it might be!). Don’t put the evaluator in the position of having to trail through loads of irrelevant information to find the bit they are looking for.

3. Don't include generic marketing literature or general text from your website unless you are asked for it specifically. You need to make sure you customise everything to the specific customer and the service that you are bidding for.

4. Avoid using technical or industry jargon – use simple language that anyone can understand as in many cases the evaluators are from procurement. This means that they are experts in purchasing goods and services – not experts in recruitment. Ask someone you trust, who doesn’t know your business sector well, to review your submission to ensure it is easily understandable. Write your response as if you were answering the question verbally and avoid the temptation to throw in long words, technical terms and “marketing speak.”

5. Break down the question or topic and ensure you answer every part of it.

Example: Describe your employee training & development programme.
Please focus on how employees have benefitted and how it supports recruitment & retention in your agency.
There are three parts to this question and you need to answer all of them.
Use three headings:

  • Employee training & development programme
  • How employees have benefitted from training & development
  • How training & development supports recruitment & retention

Write relevant narrative by each heading to ensure you cover all of the parts of the question.

6. Create an impact by using case studies, examples, testimonials, evidence, and facts and figures to demonstrate any statements you make.

no “We have exceptional fulfilment rates, and this is attributable the relationships we have with our clients, active forecasting, and development of relevant client specific talent pools.”


yes “We have 19 customers in the food manufacturing sector with dedicated onsite account teams who work closely with each customer to forecast requirements, which in turn informs our candidate attraction strategy. We maintain client talent pools at 20% more than forecasted requirements and provide a minimum of 3 standby workers on site each day to guarantee fulfilment. Our staff remain in contact with candidates at least once a week to ensure we remain up to speed with each person’s availability and changing circumstances. This enables us to manage the talent pool effectively and guarantee fulfilment.”

7. If asked for a case study, try using the following four headings – (1) Background, (2) Challenges, (3) Actions, i.e. what you did, and (4) Outcomes. Make it very specific, add facts and figures, and make it relevant to the question being asked.

8. Collect relevant testimonials. Ensure they are not generic, but that they back up the content of your case-study or your response to the question, to add further impact.

9. When proofreading the final document, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I answered every part of the question that was asked?
  • Is there information in my answer that is not relevant to the question? (if yes, then remove it!)
  • Have I included evidence and facts and figures to make this more compelling?
  • Have I included relevant examples, case studies or testimonials to make my answer more impactful?
  • Have I proofread the submission thoroughly?

10. Don’t underestimate how much time you will need to do this well. A winning tender may require you to liaise with multiple departments and individuals throughout your business to gather the necessary information and is likely to take a number of days write from scratch. Print and read the documents as soon as you get them and create a project plan to ensure you remain on schedule. There is no point in completing a tender unless you intend to win it so invest the time and increase your chances.