Let’s play the what if game for recruiters working in today’s DoD environment. What if the job market changes from candidate’s to recruiter’s market? What if, suddenly, the next generation gets very interested in supporting the security clearance world? We saw the shift with events like 9/11 and Americans wanting to support national security.

It sounds like a big fat gift for recruiters with more candidates than open positions. But the fact is, change is possible, and you need to be sure you have the support in place to manage the incoming flow of candidate interest.

Thus, here is a list of questions every recruiter must be prepared to answer for when that shift eventually happens.

Bracing for Market Changes

Business looks different in today’s candidate market. Do you have the tools in place for when it might flip?

  • What will happen when / if the market turns? Do I have support to manage more incoming applications? (Resume screeners, a decent applicant tracking system (ATS), etc.)
  • How will we react when there are more candidates than jobs? How will this affect our proposal and business capture teams?

Utilizing Your Current Network

Candidate pipelines are a must – recruiters cannot have a conversation with a candidate and let the relationship fall by the wayside. Throwing out random messages for every open billet will not work. Staffers must fully utilize their current connections / network.

  • Have I spoken with every candidate I have placed within the last five years?
  • Have I reached out to every candidate that I had a phone call with to re-engage in the last 60 days?
  • Have I contacted every quality candidate I did not place to touch base?

Recruiters and Business Development

Companies are gobbling each other up, while smaller ones may have to call it quits. Recruiters should be well-versed in understanding their competitors, and therefore potential candidates to poach. This leads us to the BD world:

  • To manage candidate pipelines and how they fit in to open billets, do I have the opportunity to support BD efforts to better match those candidates to positions?
  • Can I run an effective business development prospect meeting? Or just support with identifying prospects on SAMS.gov?



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Katie Keller 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! 🇺🇸