NEWS + ADVICE
3 Real World Hiring Examples from Advantage SCI
The hiring process. It seems there are as many “tips” as there are openings. And while the focus is often on tips for the job seeker, the fact of the matter is that organizations also have their challenges. Both sides of the equation are always looking for that critical piece to help them solve the puzzle.
We recently spoke with members of the Advantage SCI recruiting team as well as their three most recent hires (all of whom are veterans) to learn more about how the connection between organization and job seeker came to be. Their stories are both unique and informative.
The Chance Meeting
Mike recently left the Army after 26 years as a Mechanized Infantry and Military Intelligence Officer. He told us that although he only started contemplating retirement from the Army a few years ago, his preparations had been ongoing for much longer.
As he got closer to retirement things really heated up, he told us. “The Ft. Belvoir Soldier for Life Program was very useful to me,” Mike remembers. “I also took advantage of the LinkedIn offer of a free one year Job Seeker Premium account for transitioning veterans.”
At the same time he reengaged previous mentors, friends and peers and leveraged those contacts to facilitate informational interviews. “These were very useful because they gave me knowledge of specific companies and sectors that I did not previously possess,” Mike shared.
When he saw a job announcement on ClearedJobs.Net for a Program Manager at Advantage SCI, he reached out to a former colleague who currently works at ASCI. She confirmed that he would be a great fit if he chose to apply. Mike was already familiar with the organization because he had been following the company ever since he met the CEO through a Pentagon co-worker several years ago. This shows how important it is for job seekers to make the most of their connections, since even a seemingly insignificant meeting can lead to a future job opportunity.
After applying Mike went through an extensive phone interview and was subsequently invited back for a panel interview. He told us that he was surprised at how fast the hiring process went, stating that it only took about five weeks to complete.
Mike’s advice to job seekers is to focus on building a network early. “Establishing, expanding and leveraging a professional network takes time, focus and effort,” he shares. “But every positive aspect of my job search was somehow linked to the strength of my network.”
The Strength of a Good Resume
Karl left the Navy in 2001 where he served as a Naval Flight Officer and an Intel Analyst. He told us that at the time he left the service, the resources were not nearly as good as they currently are for transitioning service members. “I would say that I lacked the awareness to properly translate my skills at the time,” Karl said. The idea of knowing your commercial value to an organization was not something he felt prepared for.
Karl started his most recent job search to expand his expertise and use his skills in some new areas after working with other contractors over the years. He told us that as he prepared to look for a new opportunity, Karl made sure to qualify and quantify his job history and emphasize the impact he had on each of his previous organizations. He stressed the importance of having a well-polished resume that accurately reflects the job seeker’s accomplishments and experience.
After uploading his resume to ClearedJobs.Net, Karl was soon contacted by Advantage SCI Recruiter, Adriene Dickerson. “In this case I did not apply for the position, rather, Advantage SCI found me via ClearedJobs.Net,” he said.
After what Karl also described as a thorough phone interview he was invited in for a second interview with the Vice President, the Director of Operations and the Director of Government Business. Karl was eventually offered a position as a Program Manager.
You’re Always Interviewing
Jessica was an MP in the Army for five years. After she left active duty in 2012, she remained in Korea for another two years as a stay at home mom and college student. When Jessica and her husband returned to the States, she took a job working in the jewelry department at the Fort Belvoir Exchange while she continued to seek other opportunities.
While working at the Exchange Jessica met Elsa Lee, President and CEO of Advantage SCI, for the first time. Jessica relayed the story of how she was helping Elsa find gifts for an upcoming Christmas party and the conversation led to a discussion about Advantage SCI and also about her experience as a transitioning service member.
“There must have been something she liked because before I rang up all her items, she had given me the number to her office and told me to call about an interview,” Jessica recalled.
She called the number the next morning and was invited in for an interview the following day. To prepare for the next step Jessica told us that she looked on the Advantage SCI website to get a better feel for what they did specifically, as well as to see the language and terminology they used. She used this information to tailor her resume to fit the company and its core values.
From there, Jessica said that everything happened pretty quickly. She interviewed with two of the Program Managers and was hired within two weeks as a Task Lead. Jessica has since been assigned a mentor and has been quickly learning all the skills needed to be a successful Program Manager. She even has aspirations to earn her PMP in the next year.
As Jessica looks back on her transition, she admits that it wasn’t easy. “I wasn’t as prepared as I had hoped. I had been a Soldier since I was 18,” she shared, “So when I decided to jump back into the civilian workforce, I had never had an interview or used a resume. “
Jessica’s advice to transitioning vets is to utilize the programs offered. “Soak in as much information as possible and try to use the techniques they are teaching in the programs,” she said. “It’s not that easy, but there are companies out there that want to hire veterans.”
Recruiters and Job Seekers Need Multiple Strategies
Just as there is no single way to find a job, there is no single way to recruit for talent. Adriene Dickerson, a recruiter at Advantage SCI told us that her company works across the spectrum to find the people they need.
“Basically, we do whatever works,” she said. “For some high level positions we rely more on our reputation as a key player in the Counter Intelligence and Cyber world and for other positions we utilize more traditional job postings and resume searches to identify qualified candidates.”
Advantage SCI is also committed to staying relevant in the industries they serve by being active in the Counter Intelligence and Cyber Communities. Having Program Managers that network and stay active in their industry helps them maintain a strong network of contacts to fill future job opportunities
Adriene also shared that they have a successful employee referral program that pays bonuses to current team members who refer qualified candidates.
In addition to the methods mentioned above, Advantage SCI has specific plans to reach into certain markets. They have a dedicated linguist recruiter to focus on that talent pool and to help with veteran outreach. One of Jessica’s new responsibilities is to be a military liaison at local military installations and veterans centers. In this role she cultivates relationships with various programs and organizations such as Soldier for Life.
Adriene summed up the Advantage SCI commitment to veteran hiring by stating, “One of our President and CEO’s passions is mentoring and assisting transitioning veterans. It’s a high priority for her that we reach out to and help as many veterans as possible.”
With these three hires it’s clear Advantage SCI is making progress toward that goal.