Sourcing qualified technical candidates, engineers and managers for demanding requisitions is challenging enough. Add “Top Secret” clearance to the requirements and filling the position becomes a difficult mission.

That’s the challenge Gary Unger and John Holbrook face every day. As recruiters for Sumaria Systems, Inc., a government service provider, they specialize in sourcing professionals for IT services, advisory assistance, intelligence purposes, system engineering, contract management and more for Department of Defense (DoD) agencies.

Sumaria sources a range of experienced professionals for the DoD including intelligence support personnel, subject matter experts, security and assurance personnel, software engineers, help desk technicians and more.

About 85% of Sumaria’s requisitions require an active DoD security clearance, including Secret and Top Secret clearances with special access privileges. “Typically, the programs we support involve weapons and vehicle systems used by the Air Force, so the positions involve a high degree of security,” explains Holbrook. In addition, the DoD often calls for candidates with specialized skill sets and Air Force experience.

Specialized Search

Unger and Holbrook have used a mix of sources to find candidates including large national and military job boards, Sumaria’s web site and referrals from current employees. However, that mix wasn’t getting the job done.

In spring 2008, one of Unger’s clients tasked him with finding a professional for a highly specialized position. “We didn’t have a lot of time and I knew the other services I was using weren’t going to provide the securitycleared talent I needed,” he says. At the same time, a representative from contacted Unger.

He and the Sumaria management team decided to use for three months. Unger and Holbrook got hands-on tutorials on so they could use the tool to its fullest potential including creating keyword search agents, job postings and database searches.

Then Unger used the site to find the specialized candidate – and met with immediate success. In only two months of use, Unger and Holbrook made five hires from, and one of those candidates referred another professional who the company also hired. “The response we’ve gotten in two months has been phenomenal,” says Unger. “And we’ve realized a significant increase in our revenue off those hires.”

A Balance of Function and Quality

Their business moves fast so Unger and Holbrook need a service that works as efficiently as they do. “The search tools and retrieval capabilities are robust,” says Holbrook. “I can find populations of candidates that I need quickly.” Holbrook says is also helping build his networking database. “When I get resumes that aren’t an exact fit for what I need, chances are I’ll be able to use them another time. With other boards they’re often not even U.S. citizens so I can’t use them at all.”

The quality of the candidates on is key says Unger. “Almost 99% of the people that reply to our postings are qualified for the job,” says Unger. “On other sites you’ll find people with a security clearance — but it’s expired. Our customers require clearance in place on day one.”

Unger says that because Sumaria’s first three months with produced such good results, the company has upgraded their subscription to a 12-month contract with 10 rotating job postings. And he adds that he sees continued success ahead. “We anticipate that will be a valuable tool in our recruiting toolbox, allowing us to place more candidates and increase our gross revenue.”

Related News, the largest security-cleared career network, specializes in defense jobs for professionals with security clearances. Search thousands of jobs from pre-screened, registered defense industry employers.