Attracting & Retaining Cleared Employees

There is essentially full employment for cleared professionals in the Washington, DC Adobe Imagesarea.  If you have a clearance, you have a job, and probably lots of recruiters calling you daily.  Demand continues to outpace supply, but salaries can only go so high due to labor category constraints. [See “Does a Clearance Earn You More Money?“]  As an employer, how do you attract and retain cleared employees in this market?

Stay connected:
  • Employees who get placed at a remote client site can feel disengaged and are more likely to talk to the next recruiter who calls.  Keep your people connected, informed, and engaged in your business and the client mission.
  • Candidates in the interview process have lots of options. Send updates or reach out at least a few times a week to keep them engaged and interested in your job opportunity while you work out interview scheduling.
  • Stay connected to those candidates whom you talked to but did not hire. Maybe they weren’t right for a particular role or the timing wasn’t right for them to make a move, but who knows what tomorrow will bring.  People you have spoken with in the past are far more likely to take your call in the future.
Pick up the pace:
  • Make sure your interview process is as streamlined as possible. With subs and primes and clients it can be tricky to get everyone’s buy-in on a candidate. Try to arrange interview days in advance so the time is blocked on everyone’s calendar before you even start sourcing. The longer the hiring process the more likely you are to lose that candidate and have to start over from scratch.
  • If there is downtime on the client site, engage your people with internal firm options, such as proposals and white papers. Boredom is terrible for morale and retention.
Mission Focus:
  • Money is important but it isn’t everything.  Engage your employees and your candidates in your client mission. Help them to see how they fit into the big picture.  Show them they matter and are part of something bigger.
  • For the most part, the more flexible you can be as an employer the more loyal and hardworking your people will be.  If you can figure out a way to let people work from home some of the time, that is great.
  • Consider flexible scheduling (arrive early/leave early) and condensed work weeks (four 10-hour days).
  • Many employers are moving to a combined paid time off (PTO) arrangement rather than separating sick leave and vacation time.
  • Consider floating holidays that your employees can use when they see fit.


–Patti Cusack
Artemis Precision Search