Author Topic: Any way to know if RFP was won?  (Read 3045 times)

mozar

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Any way to know if RFP was won?
« on: August 06, 2015, 07:56:03 PM »
I received an offer contingent on the employer winning the contract. It's my dream job but I don't want to give up leverage by asking what happened. But the offer was a month and a half ago.
I know that the federal government has started letting companies letting know if they've won, but the govt can also wait until late September to decide. I'm in federal audit/ advisory and stuff can take months. Anyway I can check? I looked at usaspending.gov and tried googling the rfp # but that didn't yield much.

forummm

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 08:02:22 PM »
I think a month and a half is a reasonable period to just check in and see what the status is. Unless you feel otherwise.

Axecleaver

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2015, 08:37:34 PM »
Why do you think you're giving up leverage if you show interest in the job? I'd call your contact and check in with them. A month and a half is really a very short time for proposals to be processed. In my work it's typically a year to 18 months, although I've had work start as soon as three months after submitting a bid. Depending on the dates in the RFP is not reliable, those dates are almost always missed.

One sneaky way to check is to look for job postings from the companies who are likely to have bid on the work. Especially the lower level roles. Do you know the competitors? If you were written into the bid as named staff, but you lose, it's totally normal to go looking for work with the winners.

If you're interested in results a ways down the road, after the contract is signed, you can submit a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA). This is standard practice for getting your hands on competitor bids after you lose. Contracts take 3-6 months to be signed after the contract is awarded, and work has begun.

mozar

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2015, 09:05:16 PM »
I worry that if I show interest then they will think I'm eager. But I want to give the vibe that I have so much going on and things are going so well with my job and I have so many other job offers that I don't need them, and make me seem highly desired, and worth paying a premium for.

I don't know the competitors, but that's a good idea to look for winners. I was written in. The winners might call me anyway but it's hard to know how long I should wait without more info. Also the companies that are bidding are small businesses that don't always update their job listings.

Oh wow, so work can begin before the contract is signed?  Seems like it could take forever for me to find out who won then.

Axecleaver

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2015, 10:09:26 AM »
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Oh wow, so work can begin before the contract is signed?  Seems like it could take forever for me to find out who won then.
Yep. If you want to do business in the federal space as a prime contractor, you have to work at risk. There's no other way to meet the deadlines in the contracts. What really sucks is starting work, working for six months without getting paid, and then hitting some roadblock that forces the winner to give up the work. This is rare but I've seen it happen with big companies that have inflexible contracts people. They never get paid for that and sometimes the subs get screwed, too. The government will then go to the #2 on the list and start from scratch.

Quote
I worry that if I show interest then they will think I'm eager. But I want to give the vibe that I have so much going on and things are going so well with my job and I have so many other job offers that I don't need them, and make me seem highly desired, and worth paying a premium for.
I've been doing this for a while, and I'd like to encourage you to reconsider your approach to playing hard to get. Showing interest in taking a job does not reduce your value. If anything, it shows your employer that you are invested and interested in the work, which raises your value. They don't want to replace you. If you pretend to not care about the job, couldn't they interpret that as a lack of interest? If you pretend to be too busy for them, couldn't they interpret that as a need to look for someone else who wanted the job?

I recommend you call them up today, let them know you're still interested in the contract, and ask them if they have any news on the award. Let them know you'll call again in a month to check in. Say THANK YOU for the opportunity to work with them on this deal.

Regarding rates: I like to agree on a rate up front, to help the company put together their bid responsibly and understand their cost. When it comes to starting work, you'll probably be asked to reduce that rate as part of the Best and Final Offer (BAFO) process. You can decide to do it or not. Some RFP's require monetary penalties for changing named staff. Ultimately, you need to decide what your price is and negotiate it as best you can.

Keep in mind that your leverage is limited to their rate to the customer. If they bid you at $80/h, then agree to $75 during the BAFO, you're unlikely to get more than $45-50, for example. It helps to know their margin guidelines. I use 40% as a standard margin when I lack other info. The financials are usually hidden but there are ways to ferret them out. One way is to ask them. Some companies are very honest about their margin requirements.

The_Dude

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2015, 11:27:39 AM »
So you have an offer contingent on winning the bid and it doesn't specify your rate?

Telecaster

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2015, 11:42:22 AM »
I worry that if I show interest then they will think I'm eager. But I want to give the vibe that I have so much going on and things are going so well with my job and I have so many other job offers that I don't need them, and make me seem highly desired, and worth paying a premium for.

I personally think that's a mistake.   They could just as easily construe that to mean you are too busy to give your full attention to their project.    By showing interest, the client might interpret that to mean...well, that you are interested in their project.  And  following up could indicate you are the type of person who follows up on things. 

Your job is to make their job easier.   If your potential employer doesn't have to pick up the phone to call you because you called him first, then you made his job easier and that's the type of person they want to hire.   Plus squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that.    They might just be too busy to start the hiring process.  Start it for them.   

Sojourner

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 11:47:52 AM »
Can you gain insight into the latest publicly released status of a fed contract on FedBizOpps (fbo.gov)?

Need2Save

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 12:56:51 PM »
As long as you not harassing the hiring HR team (recruiters) daily, then an occasional:   "just touching base, how are things looking with the contract, do you guys need anything from me" is not going to harm you.  I suggest no more than every 2-3 weeks, however to avoid annoying them. 

mozar

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Re: Any way to know if RFP was won?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 07:51:17 PM »
Ok, maybe I'll email them on Monday. This company, we'll call them A, called me a year ago and we talked and we agreed that the particular position they were trying to fill wasn't a match. Then a month after I decided to take my current job, A called me with a good job, but I had already taken my current job.
Job A called me in June 2015 and asked me if they could write me in and I requested $41 an hour. They said ok and they'll get back to me.
So they can be kind of slow and I'm starting to feel the pressure from other recruiters.

So now Job B called me today and they asked if they could submit me for an already won contract. they submitted me at $43, and offered a week more vacation and a shorter commute (but I have to get a car).
Also all these jobs are full time salaried, not 1099.

Thanks for the link for fbo, nothing came up though.

So, I don't know. It's good to talk it over though.