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Step 6. Select the Right Vendor

Get the best value for your investment.


The contractor selection criteria evaluates bidders on the essential qualities, experiences, personnel, values, and outcomes that you can expect from the contractor. Evaluate the contractors against each other and with respect to how you would define a successful project.

Click here to download our contractor selection criteria checklist.

What to look for

Major selection criteria categories include:

Background Information

  • Reputation. Does the contractor have a good reputation?
  • Previous experience. Does the contractor have evidence of successfully completing similar projects?
  • References. Can the contractor provide references of past clients that can validate performance?
  • Past violations. Does the contractor have a history of permit violations, have they violated labor or wage laws?
  • Insurance. Are they fully licensed and bonded?

Proposal Response

  • Technical approach. How well does the contractor understand the scope of work?
  • Project proposal. How does the contractor propose to meet the project requirements?
  • Warranty. Will the contractor provide a warranty for the work completed, and if so, for how long?
  • Cost. What is the cost of the proposal, and just as importantly, what is included or excluded from the proposed cost?
  • Project team. Do they have evidence of a skilled and trained workforce? How do they ensure their workforce stays trained? Are the team leaders licensed and qualified to do the work? Are the proposed subcontractors also credible and qualified?

Social and Community Benefits

  • Commitments. Does the contractor have a dedicated commitment to diversity and inclusion? Are they willing to commit to one for your project?
  • Workforce inclusion. How is the contractor planning to accommodate supplier and subcontractor diversity requirements and track progress towards project goals? Does the contractor plan to work with any community-based organizations or training agencies to create opportunities for local job creation?

Diversity and inclusion in contracting

High-road contracting standards refer to a business standard of productivity and efficiency rooted in environmental sustainability, livable wages, and shared prosperity and inclusion. There is a culture shift underway in the building industry, for both environmental and social considerations, that high-road contracting standards can help address.

Equity and inclusion factors

  • Best value versus lowest bid. Socially responsible contractors that commit to quality work as well as social and community benefits are not likely the lowest bidder. Selecting a bid based on the best value ensures more expansive benefits for both your project and your community.
  • Socially-responsible contractor. Select a contractor who demonstrates they offer high-quality employment opportunities, services, and results. In addition to having a reputation for executing high-quality work, they should pay fair wages, provide good benefits, and provide opportunities for training. This provides assurance that the company cares for its workers, who will in turn provide quality results for your project. Contractor responsibility reduces staff turnover and provides higher quality work and services that are more reliable.
  • Social and community benefits. A socially-responsible contractor is committed to diversity and inclusion. This includes details on their previous diversity and inclusion track record and plans for current projects, including details on outreach, support services, staffing and business utilization plans.


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