Hiring and Cleared Job Search During A Health Crisis

Posted by Ashley Jones
Sign that says "We're still hiring!"

You’ve seen countless articles about COVID-19 and its far-reaching implications, but are you left wondering how it affects your cleared job search specifically? We asked recruiters how their hiring processes have been impacted and if they are continuing to actively recruit. While adjustments have been made in light of the evolving situation, recruiting efforts are still going strong.

Here’s what personnel from Calibre, DarkStar Intelligence, Kingfisher Systems, MJLM Federal Services, NetImpact Strategies, PAE, Perspecta, and ServiceSource had to say about the state of their hiring efforts:

Should I Continue My Job Search

The big question for cleared job seekers is whether or not employers are still recruiting at this time. I’m happy to reiterate, the answer is yes indeed, so keep your job search moving forward. While interview processes have shifted and some delays are possible, the employers we spoke with are still actively recruiting and adding candidates to their pipelines.

Our recruiters are still contacting potential candidates, using social media outlets, and making offers via the phone and electronically. We are recruiting for all open positions.

Marc Scott | Director, Talent Acquisition | CALIBRE

We are currently planning to move forward with all of our cleared hiring. It could change day-to-day, but we’re still actively recruiting and hiring. Whether it means they start in May or they start in July, we are definitely still moving forward.

Chesney Branson | Human Resources and Recruiting Coordinator | MJLM Federal Services

As a government contractor we are at the behest of our government customers, but our hiring process hasn’t changed from a corporate perspective. We’re still recruiting for our open positions and moving forward with letters of intent.

Jake Cianella | Chief of Talent Acquisition | DarkStar Intelligence

We have adapted our hiring process but nothing has slowed down. We are working closely with all of our clients to make sure that our project teams haven’t missed a beat.

Krystan Silva | Manager, Talent Acquisition | NetImpact Strategies

We are moving forward identifying candidates for all open positions. Kingfisher is always looking for top-notch candidates that go on to be amazing employees, and this current situation will not change that.

Lia Hassebrock | Vice President Recruiting | Kingfisher Systems

Have Interview Processes Changed

In the midst of social distancing and stay at home orders, many employers are largely moving to virtual options for interviews. So don’t be surprised if in-person interviews are scarce at this time. If you’re entering the interview phase of your job search be prepared to chat over the phone and engage in video conferences with your target employers more than usual.

Face-to-face interviews for local candidates are no longer being conducted on-site. All interviews are now conducted by phone or conference calls.

Sharon Wuerl | Senior Recruiter | PAE

We’ve made some changes to our hiring practices such as not doing in-person interviews at this time. I set up a specific conference line for interviews to take place so we can do all of our interviews over the phone.

Tim Taylor | HR Generalist | ServiceSource

We are supportive of and encouraging the guidelines around social distancing right now, therefore, if needed, we have a video option available.

Marc Scott | Director, Talent Acquisition | CALIBRE

All of our interviews have gone virtual. We use a combination of audio and video interviews using GoToMeeting. Interviewers and candidates have all been very quick to adapt. I think this is the start of an interview revolution of sorts.

Krystan Silva | Manager, Talent Acquisition | NetImpact Strategies

Should I Expect Delays

While employers are still recruiting to the best of their abilities, delays are possible. This could potentially occur when employers request site access approval from the government, or when candidates attempt to complete required testing. The situation continues to evolve and patience will be a virtue as we navigate these changing times.

Some out-of-state candidates that have been offered are waiting until the COVID-19 pandemic is over because of concerns of moving and being able to sell their house in this current environment.

Scott Theobald | Senior Technical Recruiter | Perspecta

We’ve had a candidate experience a delay when undergoing his background check. He was unable to schedule his urinalysis because nobody was open or accepting appointments. The current environment is fluid and evolving each day. Know that if you’re being delayed, it’s not anything personal—health and safety is the number one priority.

Tim Taylor | HR Generalist | ServiceSource

If a government customer says we need to delay indoc dates that means we can’t essentially set start dates for our candidates. We ask all our candidates not to give notice until we have a start date approved by the government, so that we don’t have candidates out there that are in between work because of the response to COVID-19.

Jake Cianella | Chief of Talent Acquisition | DarkStar Intelligence

The selection, vetting and hiring process remains the same. However, the actual hiring and ETAs may be delayed if the identified qualified candidate is coming from another state. This will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Sharon Wuerl | Senior Recruiter | PAE

Has Onboarding Been Affected

Luckily we live in an age with an abundance of technology. Therefore many employers are able to conduct orientations and complete onboarding paperwork virtually.

In response to guidance provided from the Center for Disease Control, Perspecta has moved to a virtual only new employee orientation until further notice. Also, a Revised Virtual New Hire Orientation Communication for Candidates has been developed and is under review.

Scott Theobald | Senior Technical Recruiter | Perspecta

So far, we are finding that onboarding is still happening, and everyone is making it work to keep the mission moving. In most cases, we onboard employees virtually as our Human Resources Department is in a different primary location than most of the employees that support us.

Lia Hassebrock | Vice President Recruiting | Kingfisher Systems

In our headquarters in Houston, we’re under stay at home orders. We haven’t had a whole lot on onboarding since this happened, but we do thankfully use a system called Paycom with an employee self-service portal. All that will be done virtually, and interviews and orientations will take place via Zoom.

Chesney Branson | Human Resources and Recruiting Coordinator | MJLM Federal Services

While things may be slowing down in our personal lives during this time of social distancing, employers are working diligently to continue recruiting and hiring to the best of their abilities. An overwhelming sentiment we received from employers is that ‘we’re still hiring.’ So don’t let your job search come to a halt. These may be unsettling times but there are many talent acquisition professionals ready to help you through the process while giving great concern to your health and well-being.


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 5:16 pm

2 thoughts on “Hiring and Cleared Job Search During A Health Crisis”

  1. For those of us potential employees that have been “read out” of an IC position and are coming close to that 24 month window to be “read back in,” is the government looking to extend the 24 month window?

  2. Thank you for your question. According to my sources, Right now, it is cut and dry at 24-month, but they venture to say that as we continue on with COVID-19 season, the agency will relax that but doubtful that policy will reflect that.. Hope this helps!

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