Not everyone has Steve Carrell as the office boss, but if Halloween happens to be a good work event opportunity and employee participation is appreciated, it helps when senior management is a little more like The Office and a little less like OfficeSpace. With so many ways to be offensive or over-the-top with the holiday, it is a good idea to be specific about what is and is not appropriate. This is especially true in the defense industry, where less is usually more when it comes to over-the-top costumes.

Can a job title really describe a position? Well, it could, but all too often, it provides information that ranges from nothing to crazy. recommends more words than “analyst” but less words and symbols than “$$$$” or “rockstar” in the title. Save the cutesy job titles for the interview…or first day.  Job seekers do consider job titles when applying for a position, so make sure yours stacks up.

Sales may be down, but profits are up for some defense contractors. Defense contractors acknowledge that sequestration and a decreased defense budget require a reduction in workforce. Both Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics have reported slumping sales and staff cuts, but an increase in profit. Going lean is a key strategy in remaining competitive in today’s budget environment, which means that every hire counts.

An undefined defense budget, sequestration, furloughs, shutdown…it seems the impacts do not discriminate. Defense contractors are also wary of working in the defense arena. Given the layoffs or the stop and start nature of work lately, many are unwilling to commit to the DOD and may seek employment with another industry. It’s essential to find ways to keep the talent pool where it needs to be and to reassure top talent to stick it out.

Who’s Hiring

One second the workforce is being reduced, hiring is down and defense contractors are being cautious, but the next second, Northrop Grumman is announcing plans to hire 4,000 to 5,000 staff this year. The organization cites a shift towards more in-house work and less outsourcing, as well as potential internal demographic changes. Change is the name of the game.

Innovative or unconventional strategies are what many DC-area companies are resorting to when it comes to recruiting or retaining cybersecurity employees. The cybersecurity market remains competitive and organizations continue to battle over a small pool of candidates. Due to the ever-changing demands of the cybersecurity field, Herndon-based Foreground Security stepped up and decided to acquire in-house training with CyberSpann. Other DC organizations are recruiting recent college grads or building relationships with local universities. Its clear that when it comes to cybersecurity recruiting, you have to be willing to compete and think outside the box.

While one door closes for BAE, another door might stay open. The Army’s decision to move forward with production of the Paladin Integrated Management program puts BAE’s Sterling Heights facility in a better spot. If the budget request that was submitted during the summer gets approved, about two dozen vehicles could get into production upon contract.

Who’s Moving

Navy subcontractor Curtiss-Wright Corp is relocating its engineered pump division from Phillipsburg, N.J. to Bethlehem, Pa. This week was the groundbreaking of the new $25 million facility, which will include space for manufacturing, testing, and a warehouse. The facility is set to be finished by December 2014, and will bring 95 jobs to the site.

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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.