Omgaan met tegenaanbiedingen als freelancer

Een tegenbod moet je ervan overtuigen of je bij een bedrijf blijft of niet in ruil voor bepaalde voordelen. Dit artikel geeft advies over hoe je als freelancer op een correcte manier omgaat met een tegenbod van een opdrachtgever en of je die moet accepteren of afwijzen

You have completed a project within the contractually agreed timeframe and there is already another exciting project waiting with another customer? This is an excellent opportunity for you.

However, your current client would like to work with you for another follow-up project and extend your contract. Accordingly, he is not so enthusiastic about your change and makes you a counteroffer. We will show you how to deal with such an offer as a freelancer.

Why do companies make counteroffers?

A counteroffer is supposed to convince you and persuade you to stay with benefits. We show you how to deal with a counteroffer as a freelancer correctly and whether you should accept or reject it.

Finding freelancers who bring both professional expertise and fit the corporate culture is a challenge for many companies. Therefore, it’s even more important to keep freelancers who have integrated well into the team and company structures and consistently perform well in the company for as long as possible. A position that needs to be filled in the company involves a lot of time and costs. HR managers have to advertise the position, select the right freelancer and factor in the required training period. You may also be particularly well qualified and considered an expert in your field. In this case, a lot of specific expertise is lost with you, which the company may urgently need. The more highly qualified you are and the more specific your expertise, the bigger the gap you leave behind.

What are your motivations for taking on a new project with another client?

Particularly important for your decision whether you should accept or rather reject the counteroffer are your actual motivations for deciding to start a new project with another client.

Possible motivations could be:

  • Professional growth – You want to advance your career and grow professionally. This includes expanding your skills, but also the desire to gain new experience.
  • Desire for a new challenge – You have already been assigned to a project as a specialist for a longer period and understand your craft. The desire for new challenges and tasks that lure you out of your personal comfort zone can be a motivator for a project change.
  • Expanding areas of expertise – If you already have all the skills and competencies for your current project and are good at them, a new project with a new client can help you further expand your areas of expertise.
  • Different work environment – The desire for a different work environment can also be a good motivator. After a long time in a large corporation, you may feel the need to gain experience in a medium-sized company or start-up.
  • Desire to work internationally – Going abroad can be a reason to change projects if the current client does not offer this opportunity.

If your desire for a new project is due to any of the above motivations, you should refrain from accepting a counteroffer. If these points cannot be guaranteed by your current client, the only option is to switch to another project. This is because accepting a counteroffer means that the need that originally motivated you to switch will continue to exist and, if not fulfilled, will lead to dissatisfaction.

Money – a good motivation to switch to a different project?

A counteroffer usually includes a more attractive hourly rate or other monetary benefits. If your motivation for a new project is the financial aspect and you are otherwise satisfied with the circumstances and conditions at your current client, it may make sense to accept the counteroffer. However, if your offer with a higher hourly rate has been rejected in the past and you now have a counteroffer with a more attractive compensation, you should consider to what extent your client values you and your work without the prospect of you leaving the company. After all, the raise in your rate consists of the costs that arise if you don’t extend the project and a new freelancer has to be recruited.  So a counteroffer can be a measure to keep the costs for the company as low as possible.

Dealing with a counteroffer

If you receive a counteroffer, you should take time to calmly weigh the pros and cons for you personally. Consider what motivations led you to be interested in a new project with another client. Does the counteroffer fulfil these motives? The aspect of money should not be the only decisive reason for or against a counteroffer. Once you’ve made up your mind, you should let your previous client know in a timely manner. This is only more than fair – after all, depending on your decision, the company will have to start looking for your replacement. Furthermore, you should inform your new client of your decision as soon as possible.

If you were satisfied with your project with your current employer and the desire for a change is based on your professional development, there is a possibility to resume the cooperation in the future. Therefore you should reject a counteroffer in a professional and friendly manner.

Conclusion – Why a counteroffer is almost always a bad choice

A counteroffer needs to have a long-term, sustainable impact and ensure that your development and career prospects are covered and considered in your current project.

If this is not the case, it usually makes more sense to reject the counteroffer. If the cooperation is good and satisfactory, there is no reason why you should not accept a project with your previous client in the future. In the best case, your new experience will provide you with new skills and competencies, which will also benefit the company and qualify you for new projects in the company.

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SThree is a global staffing organisation providing specialist services in the STEM industries (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Our five specialist brands operating in Belgium, Computer Futures, Progressive, Huxley, Real Staffing and JP Gray, place professionals across IT, Engineering, Oil & Gas, Banking, Pharma and Supply Chain. Bekijk alle berichten van SThree

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