Consultation outcome

Bids invited for research into access to top jobs

This consultation has concluded

Detail of outcome

The bidding round closed on 6 January 2015.

Original consultation

This consultation ran from to


Commission invites bids for research into access to top jobs


Consultation description

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is seeking bidders to undertake research into access to professional jobs. The purpose of this project is to understand more about the ‘black box’ behind candidate selection and decisions around progression within the firm and how this helps –or hinders – social mobility. It should identify potential barriers to changes in business practices to promote fair access. Evidence should be gathered via qualitative methods, primarily interviews with key human resources and management personnel. Interviews would be expected to cover areas such as: the organisation’s recruitment approach and attitude towards social mobility, organisational dynamics, client needs and perceptions of client needs, HR processes and the process of training recruiters.

The closing date for bids is Tuesday 6 January, 17:00.

Full details are in the attached document.

All questions received, along with the Commission’s answers, will be posted below for reference:

1) By ‘social mobility’ do you mean occupational, economic or any other type of mobility?

In this context we are talking about occupational and economic mobility, primarily in relation to people from less advantaged backgrounds getting into top jobs, which our research has shown to be the preserve of a narrow group (e.g. graduates of certain universities/independent schools)

2) Are all types of mobility of interest/importance for this tender, e.g. upward/downward/horizontal?

Upward is the primary interest – we want to understand the barriers to entry to top jobs that might act as a block to people from less advantaged backgrounds (primarily those from lower socio-economic groups).

3) What kind of firms do you have in mind, public, private or a combination of both?

Private, primarily. In particular, top professional services and other firms, perhaps in the banking and engineering sector.

4) Is the geographical area/region where the research takes place of importance?

No, but we anticipate that given many top firms headquarter in London there would need to be some focus on the capital to get the best coverage.

5) Are there any restrictions or further specifications in relation to the types of expenses the funds awarded could cover?

Apart from the cost of the time to undertake and write up the research, we expect expenses to be minimal and should be entirely related to the research – for example travel costs.

6) It is clear in the call that the number of interviews is important; could you possibly specify a bit more about the optimum/ideal size you are hoping for?

We are leaving this to bidders. We expect bidders to suggest the optimal number of interviews given the time and cost constraints. If you wish, you may present more than one option and costs.

7) Will the commission consider a staged delivery of outputs (with some elements falling after the stated March deadline). For example an interim report in March could then be followed up by a more detailed report by the beginning of April?

Bids with alternate timelines will not be ruled out. Our decision of which bid to proceed with will be on the basis of the criteria in the tender document. The primary criteria are expertise (of team/individual staff), ability to access suitable interviewees and cost.