A Talk With Gary Goss -Hiring Cleared Candidates: In-House or Outsource?

Jun 25, 2024

Hiring cleared candidates for government bids and contracts is critical for contractors aiming to meet stringent security requirements and ensure project success. To delve deeper into the nuances of this process, we sat down with Gary Goss, a highly experienced Executive Coach, Purple Squirrel Hunter, and veteran. Gary shares his insights on the advantages and challenges of in-house hiring versus subcontracting to specialized cleared recruitment firms.

Gary, in your experience, how does hiring cleared candidates in-house differ from subcontracting this task to specialized recruitment firms? Many folks in the government contracting space ask this question when trying to find cleared candidates for their government bids and contracts.

Gary: I think the biggest difference is “how” the candidate feels. With an in-house recruiter, you have a direct connection to the company. Whereas when using a recruitment firm, you, as a candidate, may not feel that connection. Building the proper relationship is critical with the candidate. Thus, aligning a recruitment firm to your company before they reach out to candidates ensures that the firm becomes an added tool in your tool-kit to assist and support.

What advice would you give decision-makers who are confused about keeping the cleared recruitment process in-house or outsourcing it?

Gary: The biggest piece of advice I can give is to do your due diligence. Ask the hard questions to the recruiting team and those outsourcing agencies you may be considering. After all this is not only about recruiting and finding talent. It is about your company, your reputation and your brand.

Makes sense. Apart from outsourcing, what are some of the most innovative strategies you’ve seen government contractors use to attract and retain top cleared talent?

Gary: I think the most innovative are the ones who realize that not every strategy works for every situation. You have to be flexible and adaptable for all your recruiting needs. You need to establish long term relationships with each candidate. Develop mutual trust and be genuine. The relationship and how we as recruiters make each candidate feel is critical.

What trends do you see emerging in the recruitment of cleared candidates, and how can government contractors prepare for these changes?

Gary: I see cleared candidates being more selective with “who” they may respond to, they do have a lot of choices, so they can be very selective. We as contractors need to be prepared for this and create and develop a long-term relationship with the candidates. Additionally, we need to make sure our benefits as contractors are in line with what top candidates desire and are looking for. Each candidate is different and unique and we have to adapt.

Cleared recruitment can be especially challenging for small businesses that lack the resources needed for this complex process. How do you think small businesses can leverage partnerships with other organizations or agencies to expand their pool of cleared candidates?

Gary: I always try to use our current employees and their networks, if they are happy with the company, they are our greatest asset. Getting them to provide referrals, after all, they have more influence with the candidate, and when they tell the company’s story, it means more. Again this goes back to relationships.

Thanks for your time, Gary. Your insights are really valuable and I’m sure a lot of readers will find them beneficial as they create or enhance their existing cleared recruitment strategies.

Hiring cleared candidates is a complex but crucial aspect of government contracting. Both in-house hiring and subcontracting have their merits, and the choice between them depends on various factors such as project scope, urgency, and internal capabilities. As Gary highlights, leveraging the right approach can make a significant difference in securing the best talent and ensuring project success. Whether building an in-house team or partnering with specialized firms, government contractors must strategically navigate the hiring process to meet their unique needs and goals.

Gary Goss is a highly experienced Executive Coach, Purple Squirrel Hunter, and a veteran with more than a decade of extensive experience in the recruitment industry. Gary currently works as a Corporate Recruiter at Flatter, Inc.

At iQuasar, we specialize in helping government contractors find and hire cleared personnel, ensuring you have the skilled workforce needed to meet your contractual obligations. With our extensive experience and tailored approach, we assist you in navigating the complexities of cleared recruitment, offering end-to-end support that saves you time and ensures compliance with all federal regulations. If you’re looking to strengthen your team with qualified, cleared professionals, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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