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Should I respond to freelancers to tell them that I decline their offer?

Active Member
Andy D Member Since: Feb 1, 2019
1 of 14

Hello everyone.
When I propose work, I often have several offers. Since I usually only choose one, I have to refuse other offers from freelancers.
I would like them to want to contact me anyway later if I propose other work.
Should I tell them that I refuse their offer?

Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
2 of 14

Hi, Andy.

 

If there is a feature in Upwork that allows a freelancer to ask to be notified each time a particular client posts a new job, I am not aware of it.

 

You can, however, invite particular freelancers you choose to submit proposals each time you post a new job.

Active Member
Amaechi A Member Since: Feb 10, 2017
3 of 14

No, do not do that!

It's literally the most annoying email I could ever receive.

I moved on after I applied for the job, and don't need you to waste my time by having me open an email telling me that I was rejected.

Each time I ever received a rejection email from a recruiter, it took a feat of self-control for me to prevent myself from giving such a recruiter a dressing down.

No matter how politely worded, a rejection email is the most annoying message you could ever send me.

 

Importantly, don't delude yourself into thinking you'd be building a relationship with me by sending me a rejection email.

Once a recruiter (not on this platform) rejected my application for a gig, and expressed the hope that I'd be available to work with her on subsequent projects.

Several months later, the client had an emergency need for a much much smaller gig, and messaged me. Of course I declined to help her. I thought she ought to work for the candidate she hired the first time, and not have me as a subsidiary/backup. But if she hadn't sent me that first rejection message, I probably wouldn't have taken note.

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
4 of 14

Amaechi A wrote:

No, do not do that!

It's literally the most annoying email I could ever receive.

I moved on after I applied for the job, and don't need you to waste my time by having me open an email telling me that I was rejected.

Each time I ever received a rejection email from a recruiter, it took a feat of self-control for me to prevent myself from giving such a recruiter a dressing down.

No matter how politely worded, a rejection email is the most annoying message you could ever send me.

 

Importantly, don't delude yourself into thinking you'd be building a relationship with me by sending me a rejection email.

Once a recruiter (not on this platform) rejected my application for a gig, and expressed the hope that I'd be available to work with her on subsequent projects.

Several months later, the client had an emergency need for a much much smaller gig, and messaged me. Of course I declined to help her. I thought she ought to work for the candidate she hired the first time, and not have me as a subsidiary/backup. But if she hadn't sent me that first rejection message, I probably wouldn't have taken note.


This is so foolish. You are free to feel as you want, but it's clear you don't really know how to handle rejection in any sort of productive way. You are letting your ego get in the way of sensible business. No one likes to be rejected but the response to take your ball and go home thinking them the idiots, is immature. How do you know that smaller gig might not have turned out great and perhaps would have grown into bigger more successful things? Instead of cultivating this business opportunity, you shut it down because your pride couldn't take their initial rejection. 

 

When I was in corporate I once hired someone as an FTE within my department who wound up rejecting the offer. I then went with my "second" option. Turned out the pick's rejection of the offer was the best thing that could have happened as the second option turned out to be fantastic and really the best fit for the role. The point is that people hire other people and people make mistakes sometimes. Other times there can be factors outside of your control or frankly perhaps the initial person was just better even if you were great. Regardless, things don't always go your way but you need to be ready to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves and leave aside the petulance. 

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
5 of 14

Conversely, I think it's extremely polite and considerate for a potential client to send a rejection and I would prioritise them if a project was offered in the future and would look twice at something they posted.

 

Admittedly, when it's happened we have sometimes got stuck in a politeness loop of thanking each other, but on balance that's rather nice, too.

Active Member
Amaechi A Member Since: Feb 10, 2017
6 of 14

Hi! Scott.

Please have in mind that there were many other factors I weighed about my once potential client than I could///can mention on this thread because it would be off-topic.

But most importantly, my potential client the first time was low-balling me, and was window-shopping her way to finding the lowest-priced freelancer to do the work.

Several back and forths with her until I had brought my price down to the lowest I could manage, yet she still managed to find somebody lower, and hired the person.

Listen, there are a lot of factors I weighed, plus my gut feeling, before deciding that this was not my type of client.

In fact, in her first rejection message she said she went with a freelancer that provided a lower quote.

Should I have expected her to miraculously change and that this second time she wasn't i) low-balling, ii) windowshopping her way (i.e. to ask for my price, haggle it down with me, then find a freelancer that can beat the benchmark price she has gotten from me?) Well maybe you would have, if you were me. But I wouldn't do things differently if I could wind back the clock. Feel free to call that foolish.

 

When I hire freelancers (mostly not on this platform), I would never send a rejection message. There is absolutely no need for it.

Think: there was a time when on Upwork, you would always get an email from Upwork telling you that the client hired someone else, and your proposal has been declined. But I think recently Upwork has stopped sending such messages, or at least rarely do. The reason is because it's just not necessary. Upwork doesn't really need to ask you whether you like to receive these rejection emails or not, like @Andy D is doing here. They do their user behaviour research and know that most users don't need to be informed of their rejection, at least not via an email to that effect.

 

Whenever I apply for a job or project, I have in mind that the default is rejection. The client doesn't have to go through contortions to come up with a reason why they won't work with me. The client is free to reject me for no reason at all, or just because you don't like me but you can't say why. I don't need to be told that I was rejected; if the client doesn't get back to me within reasonable period, that's how i know that I was rejected, and I'm perfectly cool with that. By no means am I outraged at such a client for not working with me.

Finally, @Bill H., I don't think you can really know whether they were pleased or displeased by your rejection emails. They won't tell you.

 

Also, it is not politically correct for a client to give a freelancer feedback on his profile and cover letters, as a reason for rejection.

Any serious freelancer should regularly review these and do due diligence on his competition to see where he needs to level up.

I would rather welcome feedback from my fellow freelancers, friends and other colleagues. And the "My Stats" page provides heaps of feedback for the freelancer, so he can continuously evaluate himself, and not have to consult you to teach him how to freelance.

 

 

 

Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
7 of 14

Amaechi A wrote:

No, do not do that!

It's literally the most annoying email I could ever receive.

I moved on after I applied for the job, and don't need you to waste my time by having me open an email telling me that I was rejected.

Each time I ever received a rejection email from a recruiter, it took a feat of self-control for me to prevent myself from giving such a recruiter a dressing down.

Dude! That is your problem NOT the clients. Business is all about relationships.

 

If a client who declined me reached out and suggested that I apply for their future projects, I would consider it. I don't think we can see when a specific client posts a project, so it would be better for the client invites freelancers they are especially interested in seeing applications from. I don't think most freelancers see things the same way.  

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
8 of 14

If I don't hear from a client, I assume they've hired someone else (or postponed the project, or re-scoped it and re-advertised, or won the lottery and disappeared). If I think about it at all, which I usually don't. A couple of times, a client has messaged that they chose someone else but liked my proposal and are keeping me on file for future opportunities. That is a message I welcome.

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 14

Andy D wrote:

Hello everyone.
When I propose work, I often have several offers. Since I usually only choose one, I have to refuse other offers from freelancers.
I would like them to want to contact me anyway later if I propose other work.
Should I tell them that I refuse their offer?




Andy,

It's a nice gesture when a client takes the time to do so, (not all of us feel such a message is annoying or rude) ... but it is not expected and indeed for clients who receive tons of bids, it would take a lot of time. If a client tells me they appreciated my bid and might reach out in the future, I let them know I appreciate that and thank them. I would never refuse a job in the future just because I wasn't hired in the past. How foolish.
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
10 of 14

Andy, If this was a dating site, then I would agree with your way of thinking I don't think I would like to be someones second date choice. . But this is not a dating site.. I don't know about you, but I am here to earn money. And there are freelancers who use this site to make a living. IMO, if this scenario happened to me, and the client who rejected me came back a month or 2 later and offered me a job, I wouldn't care if I received a "rejections" message or if I was the 10th best. Money pays the bills, not pride. or stubbornness .  Besides, the message she sent was that she would keep you in mind for future projects. And she DID do just that. 

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