The saying ‘your reputation precedes you’ is applicable to people and organizations. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is trying to change what people are saying about federal employees. The ads are intended to give America the feeling that federal employees are working for U.S. (meaning United States and “us”). We might not see everything the federal employee does, but that doesn’t mean that the behind-the-scenes work isn’t important and “essential.”

Post shutdown, the Washington Post describes how young workers have turned sour on working for the federal government. “The shutdown was the perfect storm in turning millennials off from a career in government,” said Jason Dorsey, 35, chief strategy officer at the Center for Generational Kinetics, a private consulting group. They are already everything the government is not: fast-moving, restless for change and entrepreneurial. So the shutdown was just one huge slap in the face, a wake-up call that said, “Why am I working here again?”

NTEU’s President Colleen Kelly explains the discouragement that federal employees are facing and the challenges that government offices are facing. Kelley emphasizes the need to stop the downward spiral of many agencies. This is the NTEU’s third campaign in the last five years. NTEU is hopeful that with the increase in social media, the ads will reach a larger audience than before and have a bigger impact.

Public perception could increase federal employee morale, as well as, boost both government and contractor recruiting. It’s tough to say how much a message funded by the union will have on America’s perception of federal employment. Real change happens when the country’s leaders stop actively or passively targeting federal employees without a real plan in place for reducing costs.


Unless you’re a reality star, the saying any press is good press is a myth. Recruiters have to deal with the fallout from any messages about their organization. Staffing Industry reports that 75% of Americans would not accept a job with an organization that has a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed.

If you are finding it hard to fill open positions, it might be time to conduct an internal assessment. Work with management to interview or survey employees. Get an understanding of what employees like or dislike about the organization and what makes them want to stay or go. It’s also a good idea to ask candidates why they rejected an offer. And don’t forget to check company reviews that are floating around the web. Once you’re armed with the information, provide the information to management to be addressed.

Whether or not an organization is ranked #1 on all the employee of the year charts, a recruiter can still have a decided impact on the candidate experience.

  1. Be transparent on what you’re looking for. No one wants to waste time, so be upfront about responsibilities, location, salary, benefits, hours, and required and desired skills, etc.
  2. Make sure the application process is intuitive and easy. Go through the process yourself or have others test it for you.
  3. Let candidates know you’ve received submitted applications or resumes and communicate next steps.
  4. Do what you say. Follow up on any information you promised.
  5. Work around candidate’s schedule when possible. Recognize that some candidates don’t want to endanger their current position. Being flexible could be attractive to top talent.

The message of an organization’s brand could be the distinguishing factor between getting an accepted offer and continuing to try to fill an open position. And make sure the company brand is consistent across all the recruiting sites.



Are you accessible, approachable, and candid? You should be, if you’re a recruiter looking to attract in-demand cleared professionals. Both your corporate and personal brands play a major role in whether or not candidates see you as having the assets mentioned above. Fortunately, via the Cleared Network you can build both your professional and personal brand. Make sure both your company profile and personal profiles are current, up-to-date, and feature cover and profile photos. They’ll help you stand-out, and send the right message about your open positions.

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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.