The competition for cleared candidates today is stiff. You know what it’s like on your side of the relationship, but what does it look like to be security clearance holder in today’s marketplace?

Cleared professionals are most likely not actively looking for a new job. Chances are that your cleared candidate is already employed, well-paid, and hearing from recruiters on a weekly or daily basis.

And unlike in the past when “job hopping” was considered negative, it’s becoming the norm for the limited pool of cleared candidates who find themselves in high demand. For two years in a row, 84% of the respondents in the ClearanceJobs Compensation Survey said they were likely to change jobs in the coming year.

And your competition for talent isn’t only from other cleared employers. Unemployment is low across the board. The unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 2%.

In the 2019 ClearanceJobs Compensation Survey, 52% of respondents received a non-cleared job offer in the previous 12 months. Half of those respondents had more than 3 offers.

That means the average candidate isn’t a candidate – they’re a content, employed professional who is being flooded with recruiting messages.

The bad news for you? Many of those job messages – are bad. People – particularly coveted tech professionals – are being contacted about positions that aren’t even a good fit for them. Security conscious professionals are left wondering if that random recruiting message is really a recruiter at all – or a spy from China or Iran.

Instead of taking a rifle approach to finding talent, too many recruiters are using a shotgun or spaghetti recruiting strategy – throwing out anything, to see what sticks.

How does that leave candidates? They’re largely tuning out your messages. Send a bland, bad or non-specific message, and it will absolutely be ignored.

What can be done? Remember what’s at the heart of good communication – relationship. Focus on the relationship first, and then tailor your message accordingly. Be the recruiter who sends a targeted, meaningful recruiting message, and you will get noticed. Try to be a resource – and you just might land a hire.

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.