Every year, ClearanceJobs surveys our cleared recruiters to build a report on important metrics within national security talent acquisition. Our industry is niche, and there isn’t any other data available that is specific to the cleared world.

The 2022 Cleared Recruiting Guide outlines the average time to fill for positions of public trust all the way to a Top Secret/SCI with a polygraph, retention of the cleared workforce, reasons why employees leave a company or national security altogether, and perks that get candidates in the door.

cost of an unfilled cleared position

One of the most critical pieces of data that the report details is the cost of an unfilled cleared position – something especially important for some of the smaller to mid-sized contractors trying to break it in the federal space.

Generally last year, your company could lose $5,160/week or $20,640/month for an unfilled position. The current average time to fill for the government is three months, and your defense contractor could be losing $61,920 if the position goes unfilled in that time. With factors like the time to source or sift through resumes, the time to secure a candidate, getting hiring manager buy-in, and eventually government representative or COR approval, time is money when it comes to a billet remaining vacant.

How to Not Lose Revenue

Open roles mean revenue lost, which leads to the importance of pipelining as you are tackling your fully funded open positions. A few easy ways to pipeline candidates for future roles include:

  • Partnering with military installations to have a revolving door of cleared candidates that are transitioning out of the service.
  • Attending job fairs every quarter (both in-person and virtually), to engage candidates that you know are actively job seeking.
  • Maintaining organization when touching base with your pipeline list; utilizing tools like recruitment marketing software that streamlines the process.
  • Having ‘catch-all’ requisitions on your company’s website that are generalized for specific niches but not specific to a contract you hold (e.g., ‘Intelligence Analyst’ or ‘Software Developer’ with a location associated)




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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! 🇺🇸