RFP Process for HR
It’s Friday morning, the end of the work week. Imagine yourself sitting at your computer analyzing employee data. The software keeps crashing and it just doesn’t have the capability you need any longer. You have a big problem. What’s the solution? An RFP (Request for Proposal).
HR departments conduct RFPs regularly across a broad spectrum of HR functions such as benefits, compensation and recruitment with vendors who supply goods and services to support everyday business needs. This course will guide you through the often overwhelming yet rewarding process of implementing an RFP. It’ll show you how to conduct one from start to finish.
As an HR practitioner, you will eventually be involved or possibly manage an RFP process. The overall learning objective is to not only help you understand the process but also enable you to successfully lead it!
HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1.25 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.
This activity, has been approved for 1.25 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.
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Title: Providing Information to the Vendors
Module: Assemble & Assess Vendors
A key part of the RFP process is providing information to vendors. This comes in two parts.
The first part is your initial communication and base information for a proposal. This should include your specific needs, technical specifications, and length of time for the contracted work. In some cases, the delivery will be one and done such as the purchase of a specific item or provisions to do a defined amount of contracted work.
In other scenarios, this will be for ongoing services during the life of a contract. Of course, you will need to provide a timeline and deadlines for the process. You may ask for specific financial pricing or quotes during this part of the process. It could be just one initial quote. This provides the starting point for negotiations. Eventually, both parties will settle on the final price.
You should have one set of information or criteria that can be provided to all interested. Consistency is the key.
The second part will come as you approach meeting with finalists at the latter part of the process. Here you will often times delve into specific information. Both in receiving and providing information. In larger and more complex RFPs this may entail several emails and phone calls. Again, I want to stress consistency in your communication to service providers.
You may unknowingly provide an advantage to one service provider by sharing a tid bit or specific amount of information that may give them an advantage in the process. A suggestion to help manage this is to have one person responsible for managing and distributing Q & A with those involved in the process. This information should be cc’d to all internal RFP team members and monitored to insure no one is getting an edge.
In some instances, information to one provider may be shared with all to level the playing field. Note there may be technical questions that an RFP team cannot answer. It is important to stress to participating vendors that they should not do work arounds and contact employees they may know. All information should be controlled from a central point of contact and distribution.
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Mark S. Fogel, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, GPHR, is an educator working as a Senior Adjunct Professor of distinction at Adelphi University’s Business School. Mark leads HR classes for MBA and Undergrad students in Staffing, Selection, Compensation and Global disciplines. He has also presented over two dozen times at SHRM national, regional, and local conferences on a...