As a job seeker, it can be tough to sift through the many opportunities listed on a site like ClearanceJobs.com. Some are for new positions after a contract is awarded to a company (AKA fully funded), some are for key positions to include on RFP responses, others are in hopes of a contract award. The rest could be catch-all positions for potential turnover (a big frustration to candidates).
If you are casting a wide net and apply to positions at multiple companies that are for the same contract, will they all find out and blacklist you?
One ClearanceJobsBlog subscriber was curious and asked the community:
“Hi, I was applying for contractor jobs in Korea. I didn’t know why there were so many similar roles opened but looks like they are all waiting on winning contracts. I already applied to different companies with similar positions, do they share the list of applicants? Also, how long does it take them to win a contract?”
Technically, you are allowed to apply for any position and can only get into trouble here if you sign a non-compete clause. This typically happens after you accept an offer and officially start with a company.
As for your application being shared between companies, this only happens after a contract is awarded, you speak with the company, and they share your resume with the prime contractor or government customer.
If the contract is awarded and a recruiter contacts you, ask which companies are on their teams so you don’t step on any toes, and let them know if another teammate has spoken with you.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A CONTRACT TO BE AWARDED
On the federal level, there are four primary factors that determine the procurement process:
- The size of the procurement: The larger the contract, the more reviews it requires.
- The agency conducting the procurement: Different federal agencies move at different speeds.
- The complexity of the procurement: Purchasing standardized widgets or software packages is straightforward, but IDIQ services are complex.
- The number of respondents: If there are only two bidders, the government can decide quickly. If there are 50, they must give everyone a fair review, which will take longer.
Some contracts can be awarded in a matter of weeks. Sole sourcing to a socio-economic category, such as a Service-Disabled Owned Business or Woman Owned Business, can be done within 30 days. However, the IDIQ contract vehicle may take more than a year to complete.
Protest? Warm up your coffee and be prepared to wait longer.
Pursuing DoD Contracts: A Comprehensive Guide for Small Businesses
Are you looking to do business with the Department of Defense (DoD)? It’s not an endeavor for everyone, as it requires patience, persistence, and a thorough understanding of federal acquisition rules.
On average, it takes 18 months of preparation before a government contractor secures their first DoD contract. You should plan on investing time and resources to become procurement ready, identify opportunities, market to potential clients, develop proposals, implement your first DoD contract, and comply with DoD regulations.
Despite the challenges, there are several government resources and tools available to assist small businesses in winning their first DoD contract. This step-by-step guide will help you get started on the right path.