The past several years have ushered in major change and significant process improvements for security clearance cases. While the coronavirus has the possibility of ushering in even more changes, it’s worth considering the progress made today, and how it’s impacting cleared recruited.
Evan Lesser, President and Founder of ClearanceJobs, has been working in the industry for about 25 years. Prior to founding the online career marketplace in 2002, he supported cleared contractors and saw the need for a go-to resource for cleared candidates, recruiting wisdom and candidate resumes for defense recruiters.
Security clearance update
It’s no secret that clearance processing times have improved due policy and process improvements made by Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) and Trusted Workforce 2.0 initiatives. Despite improvements in clearance processing times, there is still a lot of downward pressure on the market, with a small population of clearance holders and with far more open cleared positions than candidates to fill them.
“I do anticipate a tight market for the year, if not longer until something changes more definitely with the supply and demand curve,” Lesser noted. With the imbalance of jobs to candidate market, recruiters will likely have a challenge in standing out as an employer.
Security clearance policy is something security clearance holders, whether candidate or recruiter, need to be privy to. Drugs is certainly a popular topic on the news site, and with Virginia recently decriminalizing marijuana, it is important to lay down the pipe until (or if ever) it is legal at the federal level.
Cleared Recruiting and COVID-19
The state of cleared recruiting today, especially during an unprecedented time, was made apparent through recent recruiter and candidate COVID-19 surveys asking about professional activities during the pandemic. The majority of companies are moving forward with steady hiring for contracts that are fully funded and were awarded pre-pandemic. The current pandemic has shown the resilience of the national security workforce and created opportunities for the government and cleared contractors to innovate and continue performing work even in a remote environment.
how has COVID-19 impacted your recruiting and/or forecast for the rest of the year?
Recruiters biggest challenge during the pandemic
Other good news for recruiters? If you’re having trouble filling positions during a global pandemic, you’re not alone. Candidates are reluctant to make a move, for obvious reasons – but those concerns may be short-sighted.
“Believe it or not, relocating during a pandemic could be to your advantage. A lot of signing bonuses out there… and probably have more leverage right now than they would post pandemic,” Lesser says.