DoD acquisitions are not procured in a way to be flexible for what is becoming a major skills gap in the cleared industry. Most defense contractors are indeed staffing firms if they want to admit it or not, and what the government is buying is the people to do the work. With the industry facing new innovations like hybrid remote work, what does the rest of the future of the cleared recruiting landscape look like?
After the pandemic, we now have a workforce that wants to work remote, customers that want the latest skillsets, with a cleared workforce that is already shrinking due to the private sector offering some attractive jobs. Oh, and the government really wants a low price.
ClearanceJobs sat down with one of our favorite recruiting rockstars, Tom Weinert, to tackle some of these cleared recruiting issues, and answer the question of what future looks like for cleared recruiting.
HYBRID REMOTE WORK OPTIONS
Weinert tells us about his government staffing, his openings/requirements and whether customers are doing fully remote, hybrid, or planning to get back to the office full time. While some employees are anxious to get back to working face to face, that is certainly not the norm. Remote work is beginning to become an expectation of job perks for candidates, and even agencies like NGA or CISA are still offering telework options when available.
Unfortunately, more agencies and contractors offering remote work creates an even tougher recruiting market for staffers: this type of incentive is no longer unique and makes the competition even more cutthroat with other companies offering remote work. The future of the cleared recruiting landscape will be recruiters getting even more creative with company incentives.
CANDIDATE SKILLSETS in cleared recruiting
The bulk of the tough work is on recruiters – contractors are indeed built on staffing and billets being filled, matching customer requirements and by the lowest price. Weinert offers his perspective on the solving staffing problems, and how changing the way we look at candidate skills will help to answer our cleared staffing prayers.
The DoD and the IC would benefit from adjusting the way agencies look at cleared talent. A simple example of this would be instead of saying I want someone with 10 years of java experience doing exactly what we need them to do…. They could say, I don’t care how many years of experience they have if they can pass a skills assessment at X level.
While we haven’t reached this place yet (as you can see from reading the staffing request for proposals and ridiculous / arbitrary candidate requirements for contract), the government starting to flex on things like remote work may be a step in the right direction to loosening their hold on old ways.
Tom Weinert is the founder of Mount Indie, a family run business headquartered in San Diego, CA. Mount Indie acts as a source for talent and provides recruiting solutions for businesses of all sizes. He is also the co-host of The Employment Line, a podcast that offers a fresh take on recruiting. Weinert has over 10 years of experience in managing large scale recruitment programs in the commercial, federal, and DoD spaces.