Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing provides housing at different levels of affordability for people living in London, the South East, East Midlands, and the East of England.
The association delivers care and support to customers with a wide range of needs, specialising in services for older people, and those with mental health problems or learning difficulties.
The housing provider approached Reed in July 2020 to source a talented and experienced bid writer as part of its ongoing commitment to addressing the national shortage of affordable housing and ensuring everyone has a home and the chance to live well.
Andrew Deutz, Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing’s Bid Manager, has been using our service for several years and has an agreement in place with Reed as a recruitment partner.
He said: “We were looking to recruit a bid writer with relevant experience. We wanted someone who would be able to understand the business, research, and write bids to a very high standard and be immediately effective.
“We have had great difficulties in recruiting for the post in the past, as it is a bit of a niche role in a niche sector.”
This role had been a challenging one to fill, but Reed’s ability to produce a highly suitable candidate resolved the problem.
Bid Manager at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing
Reed has access to thousands of specialists in the property and construction sectors, however, potential candidates had to meet strict criteria to conform to the housing provider’s needs.
Bid writing is a specialist skill and the housing provider was looking for a candidate who had previous tender-writing experience, understood the housing sector – particularly supported housing – and could hit the ground running.
To ensure we found the right match in a timely and professional manner, Reed worked alongside the housing association at every stage of the recruitment process.
Reed Executive Business Manager Melissa Applin, who took on the challenge used all available resources to find the right person for the role, including social media, job boards and existing contacts.
She said: “I have recruited in social housing for the past five years, so I have a detailed understanding of what would be required. It’s important to really listen to the needs of both sides, and only introduce the business to professionals who are not only relevant to the role itself but also to the organisation.”
Andrew said: “From my perspective, the experience of the service is entirely about the relationship with Mel. It was a pleasure to deal with her. She was very personable, honest about her candidates, straightforward in negotiating, and pleasant at all times.”
After four weeks of hard work, Reed placed a professional in the position.
Charlotte Hilliard said she was attracted to the job because it aligned with her specialist experience and her interest in health and social care.
On her experience with Reed’s recruitment process, she said: “There was great communication throughout – it was a very positive experience and it all went smoothly. Mel was always extremely friendly and helpful, and the process was very straightforward and flexible.”
Since her placement within the organisation, Charlotte has already written, submitted, and delivered several tenders and is well on the way to helping the association achieve its objectives. “I am enjoying my new role. It is suitably challenging and allows me to draw upon my previous experience and key specialisms.”
Andrew said he would recommend using our service: “This role had been a challenging one to fill, but Reed’s ability to produce a highly suitable candidate resolved the problem.”
On his new employee, he said: “Charlotte fitted into the small team straight away. She has a great relationship with other team members and is highly regarded by them and other key colleagues. Her joining has ‘made’ the team.”
Melissa summed up her experience with: “There were not many candidates on the market with the skills required, but with persistence and time, I was able to find the perfect fit.”