From year to year, we see trends in staffing support change, or more frustratingly, remain as continuing headaches from the previous year. With new technology comes solutions to challenges, but some factors outside of recruiters’ control continue to be pain points (or piercing migraines) among talent acquisition specialists.
Tom Weinert, Co-founder at Mount Indie Staffing says a big pain point is “the recruiting industry has an internal identity crisis. Half of people in recruiting don’t know what their job is, ask ten recruiters what “sourcing” is and you will get ten different answers, and everyone has an opinion on what ‘good recruiting’ looks like.”
How can you better one of the most important arms of the national security apparatus if we don’t have a solid consensus on what recruiting is? While we won’t tackle this question, but the pain point helped us come up with list of problem trends across a group of trusted recruiters in our network and some insight into how to fix them.
THE INNATE PROBLEM OF GOVERNMENT WORK
Many candidates in this industry would love the work-from-home environment, but of course, the government customer needs people onsite in their offices. For some organizations, this has led to employees willing to give up their security clearance for a telework opportunity if they can’t find cleared, remote work.
Other complaints are that candidates are growing tired of recompetes, bridges, and contracts coming to an end. Some are seeing more safety in the commercial world, especially since the government isn’t necessarily flexible on degrees for people with years of experience.
How to overcome this? Find those candidates that are motivated by mission and recruit for companies that have their hands in both commercial and government work to offer more mobility within a company.
THE LOWEST BID WINS AND SALARIES ARE SLASHED
This is a trend that continues to be a pain point within the defense contracting world. Companies that win programs often do so by selling below-market bids to the government customer, and then wonder why billets remain vacant. It is because people are not looking for the low salaries that were written into the original proposal. It doesn’t help that some candidates are fielding multiple offers and have attractive opportunities in the commercial sector with high paying sign-on bonuses.
Tip: Use resources like the 2022 Security Clearance Compensation Report to sell realistic salaries to your pricing teams in the proposal phase.
SECURITY CLEARANCE PROCESS affecting staffing
Some recruiters say that the clearance or badging process takes a long time. While we have made strides in clearance processing times, and even reciprocity from agency to agency has had some wins in terms of timelines, perhaps the amount of security clearance denials, revocations, or suitability denials continues to prevent potential candidates from getting in the door. Benjamin Mena, Managing Partner at Select Source Solutions notes, “People trying to get a public trust are waiting 6+ weeks to start while commercial companies can get them started in days.” He also has seen that not enough people are entering the cleared field. “So, there is going to be an even more shortage of qualified people within the next few years.”
recruiting TECHNOLOGY AND TOOLS
Some recruiting automation tools are transforming the workplace and helping to make a recruiter’s job a little bit easier. Each year there is always the next best “HR Tech” that is created, and with placing candidates in roles becoming even harder, tools may be getting more expensive.
Are organizations now realizing that they must invest in their recruiting teams or fork over the dough for recruiting support technology? You will see some companies thrive when they come to that very conclusion.
THE CLEARED RECRUITING CHRONICLES: YOUR WEEKLY DoD RECRUITING TIPS TO OUT COMPETE THE NEXT NATIONAL SECURITY STAFFER.