“Building the foundation of the relationship is critical to the future partnership.”

Partnerships are important, especially in national security. ClearanceJobs’ Manager of Partnerships, Jenn Magerer, joins the podcast to outline steps to creating a successful partnership. No matter if you are a recruiter, a candidate, a contractor, or government, critical partnerships are the way of the future when it comes to combatting adversaries.

Tune in to this podcast episode to learn the key steps to building a successful partnership.

As a background investigator, Jenn was discouraged from establishing a connection with the sources and subjects of investigation, but knowing that she needed to also develop instant rapport. How does one do that? Especially when the working relationship may last a week, how do you do that without making someone feel like it’s only transactional?


It’s not impossible to build a successful partnership – it just takes some time and planning.

Step 1: Build relationships.

  • Mindful listening – tune into what the person is saying. Find ways to connect. Although it can be difficult, especially when you have a point you want to make, interrupting or waiting for someone to finish their thought so you can jump in with your response, inadvertently signals that their input isn’t valued.
  • Eye contact and a smile can help break the ice when you’re in person, but what about virtually? Maybe remembering their name or something personal about them and bringing it up in a future conversation. Jenn tries to start emails with a thought or mention about something that just happened or a future event with the person or organization.
  • Body language is so important – even on virtual calls! Are you distracted with someone or something else? Looking off into the distance, or worse, your digital device? Focused energy on the person in front of you can make a big difference in gaining their trust and cooperation.
  • Ask questions, and don’t just act interested…BE interested.

Step 2: Recognize your firm’s value and reach.

  • Understanding the impact of the organization you want to work with, and what the value add is to both parties by working together. As in all relationships, the benefits will ebb and flow. Sometimes you’re connecting them with others to help them develop and network. Sometimes they’re showing up for you. But the greatest partnerships recognize that your organization’s mission is different but complementary to their organization’s scope or sphere of influence.
  • Show effort and investment, especially in talent. You want your employees to take the same approach. It’s been said that people leave managers, not companies. Building relationships at the foundational level is key to long-term success.

Building relationships, establishing trust, open and honest communication, understanding that no man is an island is critical to partnerships. No one can succeed alone. We need support, and we need collaboration to thrive. We live in a very competitive world, especially in defense recruiting. Unifying strategy, collecting resources, and dividing efforts amongst the partners enables national security efforts to thrive.

ClearanceJobs cares deeply about our talent acquisition partners, so consider registering for ClearanceJobs Connect 2022 in Reston, VA on Wednesday, October 5! Thanks to the generosity of SIMS Software and Xcelerate Solutions, we are hosting a full day of in-person strategic and innovative sessions by leaders in the national security community and defense industry. Expand your cleared recruiting skills, create meaningful connections, learn from experts, and have fun!

Why Should You Attend?

ClearanceJobs Connect is the ONLY event focused on security cleared recruiting, and features government speakers from Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) and Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA). You will learn the latest security clearance policies, the most innovative cleared recruiting ideas, and an opportunity to network with fellow secret squirrel recruiters.

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Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ 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! 🇺🇸