Are bid writers born or made? Let’s consider.
Maybe it seems like there’s an obvious answer, but we’ve noticed many of our competitors treat their fresh recruits as though they are ready-made experts, prepared to have bid writing thrust upon them.
At Kittle Group, we take a different approach. We invest heavily in training new bid writers before they ever set pen to paper on a tender.
Bid writing is an important niche, but a small and relatively less well known one. So, we don’t expect new starters to come in on their first day with a developed understanding of the tender process. And although we only bring in gifted writers – our hiring process even involves a specialised bid writing assessment – we recognise that people who have excelled at writing copy, journalism, academic essays, and creative content will need to recalibrate to produce excellent bid writing. So, our recruitment strategy is premised on bringing on new talent, including fresh graduates, and putting them through their paces in at a bid writing boot camp.
Let’s meet the man behind the plan. Doctor Joel Found – a man of Kent, a Southampton FC fan, and an Italian delicacy aficionado – has worked with Kittle Group since 2017 and run our training programme since 2020. Having taught undergraduates while completing a PhD in Literature, he was well-suited to take on tutoring and mentoring responsibilities at Kittle Group. It was a delight to catch up with Joel, who trained me when I first joined the company, for a quick interview.
If there’s an interesting thing about training in this job, I suppose it’s that there are actually very few skills I have to teach. Most graduates with a good humanities degree pretty much have the skills – we just have to help them work out how to apply those skills in a new context.”
He’s being humble, of course. But, to a degree, he’s right: Joel didn’t teach me how to write, but how to bring my writing skills to the procurement context. Joel’s main job, he explains, is “making sure people are confident enough to assert themselves appropriately”.
Joel told me that he’s now trained 4 cohorts. “Some parts have become much more formalised,” he says. “For example, I’ve got a far better process for teaching formatting now”. Always seeking to refresh and improve his training processes, Joel welcomes feedback from recent graduates of his bid writing boot camp. This reflects a wider philosophy in Kittle Group; we don’t believe insight has to trickle down an organisation chart, and so we invite suggestions from any and every employee.
The training programme is always adapted and amended to the unique needs of the current cohort. Working with just two or three trainees at a time means that Joel can be attentive to the individual needs of each newbie. However, there are some major milestones which each trainee hits, including producing a presentation on a major, recurring Kittle client and writing a real, live bid with Joel’s assistance and oversight. These projects ensure all our staff have a familiarity with our clientele and with what the bidding process actually looks like before the stabilisers are taken off their bikes.
Does Joel have a favourite part of the training?
Getting folk to the tipping point where they realise they can actually do all elements of the job.”
Training is essential to providing a quality service to our clients: having well-trained staff means we can provide a consistency of approach, and it signals that we are investing time and money to be the best in the market. But it means a lot to our staff too.
What do Kittle Group’s most recent trainees have to say about their training?
Here’s Minette, who is currently training with Joel: “Even though I have some previous bidding experience, I didn’t have any training to help with my writing. The training I’ve been receiving at Kittle has helped me understand more about the procurement process and provide advice to clients – and it’s strengthened my writing too.”
Her co-newbie, Harry, agrees: “Before joining Kittle Group, I had no prior knowledge of bid writing or the wider procurement industry. Through their training, however, Kittle Group have not only changed this, but also greatly improved my writing as well.”
Kittle Group is going through a period of substantial growth, and we are considering ways to develop our training programme. This doesn’t necessarily mean simply scaling up and training bigger groups. In fact, we’ve found regularly onboarding small cohorts is the most sustainable way to grow without compromising our friendly company culture (or overworking Joel!). One option we are exploring is providing a recruitment and training package to regular clients, who might want some in-house bid writers but trust of hiring processes and our industry-leading training programme. We are currently piloting this scheme with a partner organisation and are open to offering this service to others in the future.
Do you want to better understand Kittle Group’s highly successful training programme? Do you want to work with our talented and trained workforce to help with your bid? Or do you have any other questions? Our Business Development Team look forward to receiving your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0118 449 2506.