Plan A is Australasia’s largest and most experienced specialist tender writing company. We have a huge amount of work coming our way over the next several months, and we’re looking for keen, experienced, committed bid writers to join our team.
What kind of people are perfect for Plan A work?
If you’re ready to give the corporate world the flick, and you want to build your contracting career within a supportive and professional team environment that gives you flexibility around family or other commitments, then read on.
Plan A tender writers have solid tender writing, bid managing and/ or coordinating experience; excellent project management skills; the ability to work under pressure (but to your own timetable and from your own office); and solid working knowledge of advanced functions of MS Word.
All are great at organising information and managing complex documents. They are intelligent and insightful – with the ability to quickly grasp the essentials in new business sectors we encounter. They’re also great communicators – written, verbal, and face-to-face.
Our working Environment
Plan A people can be based anywhere in New Zealand.
Although we do all kinds of business writing, most of our business is in responding to tenders – in a wide range of sectors. These include civil construction and engineering, security, health services, technology, professional services, and many other areas.
We enjoy excellent financial rewards and all the benefits of working for ourselves (no commuting, flexibility in when and how we work, no office politics, valid tax deductibility of your home office and vehicle, etc…).
However, when the heat is on, we do know how to work hard, and to exacting, professional standards. We have a strong, loyal and growing client base, founded on 17 years of steady success providing professional writing services.
Although our people are contractors, most of them work the majority of their time for Plan A. However after immersion in the initial induction period, some consultants keep their other business, personal or family interests running alongside.
What it takes to get up to speed
A solid commitment is needed from successful recruits for at least an initial three to six months while they are learning our systems, standards and processes. Even very experienced bid writers and managers who join Plan A typically invest around a month of their own time spread over that period, to come up to speed with the demands and standards of our work. Typically, we work on 2-3 projects at a time to ensure a continuous flow of billable work.
So, what do you need to demonstrate?
Successful Plan A consultants need to have the following resources and strengths:
Significant experience in writing (not just managing or strategising!) tender documents, handling multiple inputs and managing complex projects (preferably with familiarity of public sector RFTs in a range of sectors)
Your own office space, set up with a powerful/ up-to-date laptop, MS Office, fast broadband, etc.
Resilience – to put very significant energy and dedication into learning and working with others on our team, especially over the first three months. Hand-in-hand with this, goes the attention to detail which is demonstrated in your ability to follow detailed instructions, to the letter, right first time.
The appetite and the discipline to work to your own timetable and mainly from your own office. Plan A people enjoy working autonomously, but with support and frequent liaison from other members of our team.
We are all strong, experienced project managers – well organised; ‘tidy’ in the way we manage our work tasks; and good at handling multiple projects and complex demands simultaneously.
We’re great team players, able to work closely with others on our team as well as our clients. For a virtual team, we have an unbelievably strong sense of collegiality, and we get a real buzz from working on projects together.
Plan A people are outstanding communicators – responsive, accessible, credible and articulate. Our senior consultants are comfortable leading strategy discussions with new clients and quickly gaining their respect. Plan A consultants always reply to emails and phone calls promptly, professionally and with courtesy.
It is essential that you already have advanced knowledge and familiarity with the functions in MS Word (heading styles, tables of contents, fields, etc.). You’ll enjoy writing in a direct, simple, 100% error-free style.
You’re prepared to invest time and commitment to learn Plan A’s systems and processes, mostly within the framework of fast-moving projects. You are open to learning more from anyone on the team.
Plan A consultants are skilled at structuring documents in a logical way, to present a compelling and well substantiated business case. We can translate complex techno-speak into clear, professional, easy-to-understand written documents.
We generally work well under pressure, late at night and in weekends if needed (and we enjoy serious holiday breaks as well, from time to time, with the support of the rest of the team).
Our senior consultants enjoy steady, lucrative work (this one’s a no-brainer, the others you might like to think about!)
If this sounds like you, please spend some time on our website at www.plana.co.nz. Check out our areas of expertise, client testimonials, and browse the articles we have written. You might wish to check the backgrounds of some of the members of our team.
We’re especially keen to hear from people who have been internal bid writers, and are ready to take the next step in their careers to build their own capabilities and careers away from office dynamics, but within and collegial environment that Plan A people just love.
A Warning: This is not for everyone, though…
It’s fair to warn prospective applicants that it’s really hard to find people with the right blend of skills to be successful at Plan A. Although the rewards are excellent, the work can be very demanding.
Experience has taught us that certain basics are essential to succeed in our type of work. To save time for both applicants and us, please don’t apply if:
You don’t have a strong working knowledge of the advanced functions of MS Word and the proven ability to develop and manage complex documents. This is a basic tool of our profession; and you will need to provide evidence of structured documents you have developed in MS Word as part of the recruitment and selection process. They are of course treated in total confidence.
You are not a natural ‘finisher’ – with an eagle eye for detail and a passion for excellence (including phrasing, spelling and grammar) in documentation.
You don’t have a knack for writing in a simple, direct style.
Your writing experience is mostly in journalistic or creative writing, (such as novels, magazine articles or general marketing content), rather than technical and/ or business and/ or tender writing.
You are not willing to put significant time and energy into professional development when you join us, to learn new standards and styles. This is pretty rigorous, so we seek people who are open to being taught, even though they may have existing significant experience in similar areas.
You don’t have capacity for ‘hustle’ – i.e. getting stuck in straight away to fast-paced, challenging projects. You need to be results-driven, with strong focus on billable outputs.
You don’t present and act professionally and credibly to senior and middle management /business executives.
You’re not good at multi-tasking; working on different and varied projects with different combinations of members of our team and clients.
You’re not based in New Zealand, with a valid work permit.
English (NZ/UK/USA style) is not your first language.
You’re looking for only a few hours work each week; or to fill a gap between other longer term projects. We generally find that it takes close to full-time commitment, for a period of a few months to get up to speed.
You’re not prepared to work late and/ or weekends; you’re not able to be contacted most of the time, and you’re not extremely responsive at any time (except when you are away on leave!).
We have found that these factors generally make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to succeed in our business.
… but, for those who succeed, the benefits are great!
On the positive side, our business is growing steadily, and we have an outstanding virtual team. We have a growing national and international reputation for excellence in our field, which we’re all fiercely proud of.
We all enjoy working closely with each other on projects, relying heavily on email, Skype for Business, teleconferences and phone discussions to work closely to develop outstanding documents for our clients.
Earning potential is very significant. Once you have learned our systems and standards, the limitation is mostly based on the hours you want to work. Experienced Plan A people earn upwards of $100k p.a., some earn very significantly more.
Unlike setting up your own business from scratch, it’s also possible to take significant breaks (and still have work to come back to afterwards!) – as long as they are well planned in advance so the rest of the team can cover that absence.
OK, so this sounds right for me, what should I do now?
So, if we haven’t scared you off yet; if you’re up for a challenge and some serious rewards; and if you can meet all these criteria, we’d love to hear from you!
Please send us a CV and covering letter that addresses what we are looking for as described in this advert in MS Word (hint: please note the specific nature, and follow these instructions carefully!).
Once you send in your CV and covering letter, we’ll be in contact shortly afterwards. We look forward to hearing from you.
Plan A Limited