Talent Attraction Marketing Services RFP – The Great Falls Development Authority
Date Posted: May 29, 2020
The Great Falls Development Authority is accepting proposals to create and help implement a multi-platform marketing campaign to drive economic development by attracting talent to relocate to the Great Falls Montana region. We seek to develop a positive long-term working relationship with the selected firm(s) to market Great Falls to individuals who may or may not have previous connections to the area. We anticipate executing an annual contract(s) with the selected firm(s) in the range of $20,000 – $40,000. Deadline June 26. Contact Soren Chargois, Talent Attraction Director, (406) 836-0147 [email protected].
Great Falls Development Authority, Inc. Talent Attraction RFP
Great Falls, Montana
Talent Attraction Marketing Services
Request for Proposals
Great Falls Development Authority, Inc.
May 27, 2020
The Great Falls Development Authority, Inc. (GFDA) is accepting proposals to create and help implement a multi-platform marketing campaign to drive economic development by attracting talent to relocate to the Great Falls Montana region. We seek to develop a positive long-term working relationship with the selected firm(s) to market Great Falls to individuals who may or may not have previous connections to the area. We anticipate executing an annual contract(s) with the selected firm(s) in the range of $20,000 – $40,000.
We are approaching this effort with a wide-open view of what types and scope of marketing services could be the most effective for our community’s talent attraction effort. As funding permits, we may engage the selected firm(s) to provide additional marketing services and/or other talent attraction services.
Interested firms are encouraged to discuss this RFP with us, as detailed below.
Great Falls Development Authority
GFDA is a regional public/private economic development organization (EDO) which focuses its efforts on the 13-county Great Falls Montana trade area, also known as Montana’s Golden Triangle. Great Falls Montana is an MSA with 86,000 population. Our trade area extends to the Canadian border, totaling about 209,000 population. Our target industries are food/agriculture/bioscience, business services, energy, tourism, advanced manufacturing, defense, logistics, healthcare, and regional retail/services. Our EDO works on business attraction, business retention/expansion, business start-ups, downtown revitalization, workforce, and housing, amongst other things.
Great Falls Talent Attraction Plan 2020
The newest initiative of GFDA is Talent Attraction which we launched in January. Our goals are to grow the population of the Great Falls region and to attract the specific talent needed by employers.
Our initial Talent Attraction Plan (see attached) focuses on providing tools and services to support company recruiters, and to begin steps to market Great Falls as a desirable place to work and live.
We have partnered with Livability Media to produce the Great Falls Livability Magazine (https://en.calameo.com/read/0004203081bf9dba1046a), a talent attraction tool that we provide to recruiters to aid in their recruitment efforts. The annual magazine highlights the best of what Great Falls has to offer, highlighting the community, local businesses, and quality-of-life to out-of-market individuals.
We are about to launch LiveInGreatFalls.com as Great Falls’ relocation website. The site houses information on anything a person or family would want to know when making the decision to relocate, including information about schools, housing, available jobs, cost of living, healthcare, childcare, transportation, food and drink options, and recreation. The new website utilizes the Talent Attraction color scheme we’ve developed (see attached), the same color scheme that will be used in all Talent Attraction marketing campaigns.
Our ‘Live in Great Falls’ community-focused Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/choosegreatfallsmt/) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/choosegreatfalls/) pages showcase stories of individuals who have relocated here, stories of long-time Great Falls residents, local businesses and restaurants and recreational opportunities in the area.
We have partnered with Great Falls tourism on a Social Toaster account. The Great Falls Champions Social Toaster account gives Great Falls ambassadors the opportunity to share content produced by us with their personal social media networks. We have not utilized Great Falls Champions in our talent attraction initiative yet but are aware of how powerful a tool it will be in our talent attraction marketing campaign(s). We will identify high-profile individuals with significant reach who have connections to Great Falls and ask them to become a Great Falls Champion, promoting the community to their followers. With guidance from the selected firm(s), we will begin incorporating Social Toaster into our digital talent attraction campaign.
In January, GFDA started hosting in-person events for recruiters to discuss best practices and network with one another. Last November we started to host “Get Back to Great Falls” networking events for individuals in town visiting family or friends during the holiday season to connect them with local recruiters. “Call Great Falls” allows job candidates to speak with GFDA’s Talent Attraction Director for more information about living, working, and recreation in Great Falls.
We are open to creative ideas from the selected firm(s) to expand upon these efforts.
We have launched the Talent Attraction Plan with the target audience of those individuals who already have connections in Great Falls – family or friends they left when attending university or accepting career opportunities. These individuals and their often-young families are concentrated in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Washington and Oregon.
The Talent Attraction Plan does not target specific industries. Research of the labor market in Great Falls shows a need for entry and mid-career professionals across many industry sectors.
With the rise of COVID-19, many companies are providing the option for employees to work remotely full-time. A part of the Great Falls talent attraction marketing campaign will be finding how to reach these individuals and how to market Great Falls to them as a desirable place to work remotely. This is also important when we are trying to attract talent with trailing a trailing spouse or partner.
The success of our talent attraction efforts is currently being measured in how valuable a resource we are to local company recruiters – in short, by the end of 2020 do they see GFDA as providing value to their recruitment efforts? If so, we are successful in our first year. In the long term, success of this initiative will be measured in the steady population growth of Great Falls and the surrounding region.
About Great Falls
The Great Falls Montana trade area is anchored by the City of Great Falls located on the falls of the Missouri River in Central Montana; population 56,000. The city and regional population have grown very modestly over the past 30 years, barely 0.2%/year. Other Montana and western cities have shown significant population growth. We have not. For years we have been working on projects to make our community and region more attractive to talent, and will continue these efforts.
Our location on the Missouri River and access to the outdoors is a major asset, and the 60-mile River’s Edge Trail is frequented by residents and tourists alike.
Our cost of living is about 93% of the national average and housing affordability is a key competitive advantage for us.
In 2019 Great Falls was named a Top 100 community in the U.S. by Livability.com.
78% of residents travel less than 15 minutes to work.
Great Falls ranked 88th amongst all U.S. cities for closing our gender pay gap at the quickest rate; 1st amongst all Montana cities.
Great Falls ranked 9th amongst U.S. cities under 150,00 population in Top Cities Where Americans Start the Most Businesses; 23rd amongst all U.S. cities.
If 700 new people to move to Great Falls, it would result in a $13.0 million economic impact that would support 119 new jobs in the region. This is a modest growth of state levels at .85%.
Great Falls Tourism
Great Falls Tourism (https://visitgreatfallsmontana.org) is one of GFDA’s strategic partners. Tourism marketing efforts provide a valuable asset for our new talent attraction efforts. It is very important that we utilize and expand on Tourism’s efforts – to fill in the gaps needed for talent attraction – and that each marketing effort be coordinated and complementary.
The goal of this marketing effort is to increase the perception of Great Falls as a desirable place to work and live and to use various digital or other platforms to highlight Great Falls’ many offerings. Driving traffic that results in an increase in qualified applicants for open positions AND documenting actual relocations are important aspects.
The objectives of this RFP are:
1) Develop a creative integrated marketing campaign(s) that increases the perception of Great Falls as a desirable place to work and live to those who have left for university or other career opportunities, or those who have no familiarity with Great Falls. This includes, but is not limited to, crafting effective messaging and content for a multi-platform talent attraction campaign(s) and developing a strategic plan for the Great Falls Champions Social Toaster platform.
2) Provide input on other talent attraction opportunities or best practices which might not be on our radar;
3) Secure consultant(s) for talent attraction marketing that make the most productive use of our Talent Attraction Director’s time and other talent attraction-related expenses.
We have budgeted for photography and videography work above and beyond the budget for marketing consultant services. We may choose to use the selected firm to produce a high-quality, entertaining Talent Attraction video for use on local employers’ career pages and our LiveInGreatFalls.com website, 1:30-3:30 minutes in length. The video will highlight the broad range of job, housing, dining and entertainment options in Great Falls. Or, we may choose to use another firm for this.
IV. SCOPE OF WORK
Respondents to this RFP have wide latitude in recommending methodology and scope of work involving community talent attraction. The scope of work should be clear as to the services proposed to be offered by the consultant, and the time and resources that our staff team will need to expend. We are open to pursuing multiple talent attraction methodologies with the same consultant or may select multiple consultants. The scope of work should include how we can determine over time whether a particular talent attraction marketing effort is producing effective results. We are not afraid of trying things that fail, however, GFDA’s investors expect us to prudently invest their dollars in producing real results.
Please detail a first-year recommended scope of services and base your cost proposal on this scope of work. We anticipate beginning services on or before August 1, 2020.
V. CONSULTANT QUALIFICATIONS
We seek consultant(s) that have successful experience in providing effective talent attraction marketing services to EDO’s in similar regions and circumstances. Our dream respondent(s) would have:
1) Proven experience in developing and launching creative talent attraction marketing campaigns;
2) Proven experience marketing smaller communities that do not have the same level of name recognition as larger cities;
3) Creative methodology(s) that stand out from standard approaches to talent attraction;
4) Ability and interest in developing a long-term working relationship with GFDA;
5) Excellent reputation amongst outstanding successful EDO’s or other Talent Attraction agencies.
VI. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS
An electronic copy of the proposal should be submitted in PDF format by email, Dropbox or other electronic file sharing method by 5:00 PM MST on Friday, June 26, 2020 to:
We plan to distribute the proposals to our staff/board member selection task group and, therefore, discourage the submittal of printed materials. We welcome inclusion of online URLs that would allow us to assess past experience in more depth.
The submittal should follow the order below and include, at a minimum the following information:
• A cover letter signed and dated by the person or an authorized representative of the organization making the submittal.
• A brief statement of your firm’s understanding of the goals of this effort and of the services requested in this RFP.
• A brief statement of the history of your team, including relevant projects.
• A proposed work plan indicating how your firm proposes to perform the project as defined in your scope of work. This work plan should be detailed enough to demonstrate your familiarity with this type of project. It should include information on your firm’s methodology for completing the scope of work requirements. It should include the firms or sub-consultants and individuals that will prepare each major task or work product.
• Qualifications of key individuals to be assigned to this project, their availability during the relevant time periods, and their recent experience on similar projects.
• Examples of at least three successful talent attraction marketing campaigns, on-going or completed, that your firm has worked on and demonstrate significant return on investment.
• Preference will be given to consultants that provide references from at least three EDO’s that the consultant has recently provided talent attraction marketing services to.
The consultant will present an annual budget based on the Scope of Work and Objectives of the RFP. We anticipate that the annual budget for this effort will be in the range of $20,000 – $40,000. While price is a consideration, our assessment of the potential return on investment will be a higher determinant in the selection of consultant(s). Respondents should take into consideration within their proposed prices the amount of staff time GFDA will need to dedicate to collaboration and communication.
VIII. CONSULTANT SELECTION
Consultants that respond to this RFP will be evaluated and ranked. This evaluation will be based on the submitted proposals and, at the discretion of the Committee, on interviews with those consultants who appear to be particularly well qualified, as determined from their written proposals.
The consultants will be evaluated and ranked in accordance with the following factors, which are weighted as shown:
• The consultant’s experience with similar projects (20%)
• The breadth of the consultant’s experience, including the qualifications and availability of the key personnel who would be assigned (20%)
• The methodology and scope of services to be provided (30%)
• Proven ability from the examples and explanations provided that the consultant can provide talent attraction marketing services within our budget range that could produce significant return on investment for our talent attraction initiative (30%)
Negotiations will commence with the highest ranked consultant(s). Upon reaching agreement on a final work plan and price, the Great Falls Development Authority will award the contract(s). If agreement cannot be reached with the highest ranked consultant(s), negotiations may proceed with lower ranked consultant(s).
IX. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & CONDITIONS
A. STATEMENT OF NONCOMMITMENT
Issuance of this RFP does not commit the Great Falls Development Authority, Inc. to award a contract or to pay any costs incurred in preparation of proposals responding to the RFP. The GFDA reserves the right to reject any or all proposals and re-advertise. All proposals become the property of the GFDA.
B. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Successful contract bidders must comply with provisions of all applicable federal law, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any subcontracting by the successful bidder subjects subcontracting firm(s) to the same provisions of federal law.
In accordance with state and federal requirements, the consultant (hereinafter referred to as “contractor”) must agree as follows:
1.) COMPLIANCE WITH TITLE VI OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 FOR FEDERAL AID CONTRACTS
(a) Compliance with Regulations. The Contractor shall comply with all Regulations relative to nondiscrimination in Federally-assisted programs of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 24 CFR Part 1, as they may be amended (hereafter referred to as the Regulations), which are incorporated by reference and made part of this Agreement.
(b) Nondescrimination. The Contractor, with regard to the work performed by it during the Agreement, shall not discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, color or national origin in the selection and retention of subcontractors, including procurement of materials and leases of equipment. The Contractor shall not participate either directly or indirectly in the discrimination prohibited in 24CFR Part 21.
(c) Solicitations for Subcontractors, Including Procurements of Materials and Equipment. In all solicitations, whether by competitive bidding or negotiation by the Contractor for work to be performed under a subcontract, including procurements of materials or leases of equipment, any potential subcontractor or supplier shall be notified by the Contractor of the Contractor’s obligations under this Agreement and the Regulations relative to nondiscrimination.
(d) Sanctions for Noncompliance. In the event of the contractor’s noncompliance with the nondiscrimination provisions of this Agreement, the Department may impose sanctions as it determines appropriate, including, but not limited to withholding payments to the Contractor under the Agreement until the Contractor complies, and/or cancellation, termination or suspension of the agreement in whole or in part.
2) COMPLIANCE WITH THE MONTANA GOVERNMENTAL CODE OF FAIR PRACTICES, 49-3-207. MCA
In accordance with 49-3-207, MCA, the Contractor agrees that for this agreement all hiring will be made on the basis of merit and qualifications and that there will be no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, political ideas, sex, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, or national origin by persons performing the Agreement.
3) COMPLIANCE WITH MINORITY & WOMEN BUSINESS ENTERPRISES
Contractor will make efforts to encourage the use of minority and women’s business enterprises in connection with Agreements activities in accordance with 24 CFR Part 85.36(e) which describes the actions to ensure that minority and women’s business enterprises are used when possible in the procurement of property and services.
The laws of the State of Montana govern this contract. The parties agree that any litigation concerning bid, proposal, or subsequent contract must be brought in the Eighth Judicial District of Cascade County, State of Montana and each party shall pay its own costs and attorney fees. (Reference 18-1-401 MCA)
Certificates of Insurance, indicating compliance with the required overage, must be filed with the Great Falls Development Authority within ten (10) working days of the Notice of Award. The proof of insurance/exemption must be valid for the entire contract period.
E. RFP AUTHORITY
This RFP has been issued in accordance with Title 18, Montana Code Annotated and the Administrative Rules of Montana, Title 2, Chapter 5. The RFP process is a procurement option, allowing award to be based on stated criteria or evaluation factors. The evaluation factors to be used in this procurement have been specified in this RFP.
F. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For more information regarding this RFP, please contact:
Talent Attraction Director
2020 Talent Attraction Plan – Kick-Off Year
As we start a new effort doing something we have not done before, we plan to make little bets, trying what produces results and what doesn’t. Whatever we start out doing is likely to evolve. Based on our research of what has been producing results in other communities, this is an outline of our initial plan.
1) Digital Marketing
• Continue Livability Media project, including magazine, articles and Livability.com web pages.
• Update and keep Choose Great Falls website current.
• Produce targeted relocation content and post to Choose Great Falls social media apps.
• Use of Social Toaster to spread content through Great Falls Champions.
• Engage community to produce locally generated content.
• Engage partners, clubs and interest groups to generate and distribute content.
• Include rural partners and content.
2) Services & Tools
• Engage employer recruiters to share tactics, increase cooperative efforts and refer candidates and discharges.
• Create online job board system for employers and candidates.
• Provide confidential phone assistance to trailing partners/spouses.
3) Face-to-Face Marketing
• Host Get Back to Great Falls events and support similar events with partners in rural communities.
• Launch new Great Falls Young Professionals group.
• Coordinate partner and employer presence pitching the Great Falls region at Montana universities.
• Engage Accelerate Montana and other state organizations to boost efforts,
• Supplement Talent Attraction Plan with targeted employer roundtables and trainings in recruitment, retention, development and overall talent management best practices.
How To Apply
Deadline June 26. Contact Soren Chargois, Talent Attraction Director, (406) 836-0147 [email protected].