Staff to Win! Get ahead of RFPs w/ recruiting+resumes! #9 Capture Process Improvement Lesson Learned
(9) Develop a staffing plan and initiate recruiting processes for key personnel and staff.
Critical to planning to win and pricing to win is staffing to win. Innovative staffing solutions and getting a head start on identifying qualified candidates for contract positions are two vital activities in the capture management process.
When proposing personnel on bids, the requirements for proposals varies. Typically, names and resumes for positions designated as “Key Personnel” are required. Sometimes, however, resumes for a majority or even all of the required positions must be submitted (along with signed letters of intent or commitment from the proposed personnel).
In some cases, the RFP defines the expected outcomes and the staffing solution must be proposed in its entirety (including defined labor categories) by the proposal. In other cases, the Government prescribes the type and quantity of positions that must be filled. At a minimum, in either case, the prime contractor must allocate positions to itself and its subcontractors for all positions required / proposed. The Government typically evaluates the appropriate allocation of work across the team based on each team member’s demonstrated capabilities and past performance. In the case of a small business set-aside, the small business prime must ensure that it will perform at least 51% of the work and allocate positions accordingly.
No matter how many resumes are required or whether or not a staffing solution must be provided, it is essential to have an established recruiting capability, to include sourcing strategies and screening and selection processes. Sourcing techniques should include job boards, social media channels, job fairs, academic partners, networking groups, and search firms affiliated with the fields being sought to attract qualified candidates. In addition, policies for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and anti-discrimination laws and regulations must be in place to ensure compliance. In addition to being fair and anti-discriminatory, the screening process must identify personnel who meet all required education, experience, certification, and security clearance qualifications per the Labor Category requirements; otherwise, if unqualified candidates are proposed, then the proposal could be deemed non-compliant.
Finally, once qualified candidates are selected for the proposal, then their resume must be accurate and compliant with the proposal instructions / format. For example, some resume instructions are very specific on the order of work history presentation, the required point of contact information for past employers, the statement of availability by proposed candidates, and the maximum number of pages per resume. Resumes MUST be put in proposal format – simply including a candidate’s “street resume” is usually not sufficient. Resumes should be tailored to the bid position and RFP requirements through use of a template to support ease of evaluation for compliance. Within this template, experience that maps to SOW, PWS, or Section L/M requirements / evaluation criteria can be highlighted through use of SOW/PWS and Section L/M language. Blocks for required experience should be placed within the resume template in the order specified by the SOW/PWS and Section L/M instructions / evaluation criteria to make it easy for the Government evaluators to check for compliance against required personnel qualifications. Once the compliant resume template is developed, then the content from the proposed candidates’ “street” resumes can be mapped to the appropriate blocks within the template.