Request for Proposals – Human Resources Consulting Services

Request for Proposals

Human Resources Consulting Services


PORTLAND OVATIONS is soliciting proposals from qualified firm(s)/consultant(s) to provide Human Resource Services (HRS) on a contract basis. Ovation is seeking a 1-year contract, which may be mutually renewed based on a satisfactory first year. Final scope of services, fees and any project-based timelines will be reviewed and finalized in conversation with selected HRS firm/consultant.


Ovations is a nonprofit cultural organization based in Southern Maine dedicated to gathering communities to share in the power of live performance. Ovations’ mission is to “propel the artistic, social, educational and economic wellbeing of communities through the power of the performing arts.” Our vision statement further expresses the purpose of Ovations: “To inspire a curious and imaginative community where the experience of the performing arts is a vital part of everyday life.” Now in its 94th year, Ovations is a dynamic live arts presenter committed to excellence and diversity of programming, promoting the performing arts and connecting communities through enhanced understanding of the world’s artistic and cultural traditions both onstage through live performance and offstage through activities that deeply engage communities. Ovations’ impact on positive well-being is the central focus of our current strategic planning work.

Ovations currently has a staff of 8 FTE and a volunteer board of directors made up of community leaders from a wide expanse of backgrounds and expertise, as well as 2 contract workers (bookkeeping and front-of-house management). In the near-term Ovations is looking to hire two more FTE. Ovations has a comprehensive employee handbook in place; management and staff have a working knowledge of handbook interpretation and implementation. 


Ovations is seeking an HRS firm/professional who is highly skilled and fully knowledgeable in the human resource field and can take a proactive approach in completing the work below, advising Ovations on all aspects of its current HR practices and policies, and making recommendations for continuous improvement. Services are primarily directed toward supporting management with limited assistance to individual staff, as necessary.

Below is a list of specific services sought by Ovations:

  1. Communicate and maintain best practices and current policies with regard to HR compliance.

  2. Provide guidance for best practices for hiring and onboarding of new staff as well as processes for outgoing staff including exit interviews.

  3. Perform annual compensation and benefit package reviews in relation to industry standards, communicate options to staff, facilitate renewal with insurance broker/carriers.

  4. Review employee handbook/policy manual and provide recommendations for

  5. Oversee annual performance review process, including the creation of new or improved documentation as necessary, provide recommendations for improvement, and guide managers/supervisors on best practices in conducting annual review.

  6. Provide assistance with development of staff training programs related to employee  conduct, soft, skills, supervisory, leadership.

  7. Provide staff leadership with counsel on how best to manage challenging HR situations.

  8. Manage HR-related insurance claims (STD, LTD, workers’ comp).

  9. Provide conflict resolution support to management and/or individual staff.

  10. Technical assistance with other tasks or needs as deemed necessary by



Proposals must include the following:

  • A cover letter that summarizes the key elements of the proposal.

  • Resumes of key person(s) providing HRS.

  • At least three references from current clients.

    • Articulation of one’s approach and commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access both as it relates to a philosophy and how these concepts play out in human resources.

    • Outline of one’s knowledge and history working with non-profit organizations

    • Fee for services.

    • Encouraged: additional innovative and/or creative approaches for providing the service that maximizes efficiency and cost- effectiveness.

All proposals received by Ovations in response to this RFP will be retained.

Submission of Proposals: Proposals must be submitted electronically to  with the subject clearly marked “RFP, Human Resources Consulting Services” no later than 5:00 P.M. on July 31, 2024. Proposals received after this date and time will be rejected. Inquiries: Questions about this RFP must be made in writing, via e-mail to the above.


Evaluation of all proposals received by Ovations will be based on the following criteria:

  • Ability to provide the requested scope of work

  • Recent experience conducting work of similar scope, complexity, and magnitude.

  • Commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access

  • Experience working with non-profits

  • Cost


A selection committee will screen and review all received proposals. Ovations may reject any proposal in which a proposer’s approach, qualifications, or price is not considered acceptable by Ovations. The Committee may also contact references as provided. Ovations may elect to negotiate directly with one or more RFP submitters to obtain the best result for Ovations prior to making a recommendation or selection.


The selected human resources consultant(s) will execute a Service Agreement with Ovations describing the Scope of Work to be performed, the schedule for completion of the services, compensation, and other pertinent provisions. Any contract entered into by Ovations and the successful proposer will provide that either party may terminate the contract upon thirty (30) days’ notice to the proposer.


Chosen consultant(s) agrees and warrants that in the performance of the contract pursuant to this solicitation he/she will not discriminate or permit discrimination against any person or group of persons on the grounds of sex, race, color, religion, age, marital status, ancestry, national origin, past history of mental disorder, mental retardation or physical disability or other basis in any manner prohibited by the laws of the United States, the State of Maine or Ovations.