It’s no secret that DoD recruitment has become more competitive. More contractors, emerging tech, and a smaller pool of cleared candidates mean tighter competition now more than ever. That means that stale recruiting tactics can tank your chances of finding cleared talent.

Five Trends for Defense Recruiters

1. Recruitment Marketing

The job search has become more personal, both for the candidate and recruiter. It’s more about building relationships and making meaningful connections. There’s an emphasis on branding and maintaining soft approaches through your online presence. Social media, blogging, and networking have become the norm to reach candidates instead of the standard application process.

2. New Technology

A silver lining out of COVID-19 was how this industry and its workforce could telework. There are new technologies for meeting, video interviewing and interview scheduling that may have not been widely used before. This simplifies the hiring process and allows employees to work from other locations. What was once a high-ticket software is now affordable for businesses of all sizes.

3. Buyer’s Market

Ten years ago, it was applicants who had to show off their talents, sending out application after application. Employers no longer have complete control over the job search and it’s difficult to find actively seeking candidates. Employers must now focus on drawing in top talent by competing for the attention of a passive candidate pool. The usual medical benefits are no longer leveraging points: health insurance for your pet, company matches to nonprofits, or unlimited PTO are new incentives.

4. Predictive Analytics

Recruiting analytics is using data to inform hiring strategies. This is valuable to talent acquisition teams because they predict future success in hiring. Instead of guessing the type of candidate who will make the best addition to the team, hiring managers have come to rely heavily on data and figures to guide their choices, saving time and money.

5. Remaining Agile

Now and through the next decade, recruiters need to adapt quicker than the competition. Recruiters need to learn new skills and adapt to a changing environment. They should be open to learning new processes and be innovative to reach top talent.

Keep up with the Times

Those who refuse and decide to stick with posting their jobs in the local newspaper or continue processes because they are comfortable will get left in the dust.


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Katie Helbling is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 10+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸