Interview with a Recruiter, Bryan Acton, Peraton

Posted by Ashley Jones

Bryan Acton, Military & Veterans Program Leader at Peraton, shares insights about career opportunities at Peraton and what you can expect in the hiring process.

Peraton is a national security company that supports a variety of missions that matter for the Department of Defense and the US government. Driven by integrating technology into real-world solutions, we hire a lot in the areas of cybersecurity, IT, network hybridization, virtualization, machine learning, AI, and more.

We’re an 18,000-person organization, so we have just about every role you can think of. As part of the Military and Veterans Program at Peraton, it’s my job to locate, engage, and assist transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses.

Why Should I Work at Peraton

It’s going to be different for every individual, but what I like about Peraton is the culture. As someone who works here, you expect me to say that – but I like to stress to folks that the beauty of not being in the military anymore is that I can go somewhere else if I don’t like it. Not only does Peraton take care of us, but we have over 3,000 veterans who understand the service and civilian sides.

Peraton thinks about work-life balance and what it means to have well-rested employees who are happy to be here. The culture is very team oriented. We focus on each other’s talents, not what we can’t do. It’s a cohesive atmosphere of coming together for one mission.

Cleared Opportunities at Peraton

Another reason why Peraton is a fantastic organization is the fact that our core structure is built around hybrid and remote work. All the people I work with on our talent team are remote. Of course, some of our higher-level clearance work does require daily attendance in a SCIF. But I have seen a shift since the pandemic where some of our contract work allows folks to work a hybrid day or two.

Our major hubs are the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia), Florida, Texas, California, and Colorado. But we have roles, like background investigators for instance, that are all across the country.

Some of the cleared positions we have most available are intelligence-related roles, open source, all source, GEOINT, SIGINT, targeters, and discovery analysts. A large amount of our work is in cybersecurity and intelligence-based functions, but we have a little bit of everything from engineering on naval vessels to oceanographers and deep space operators.

View all Peraton positions on ClearedJobs.Net>>

Due to the nature of our work, most of our roles are at the TS/SCI and higher level. We do have roles at lower to no clearance levels, but there are fewer of them.

Understanding Your Place in the Market

When it comes to hard-to-fill positions, it’s often a clearance issue versus a skill and talent issue. I can find an intelligence analyst with a TS/SCI + CI Poly. But once you jump past that CI Poly, my search results in a resume database like ClearedJobs.Net might go from 5,000 available candidates down to 200.

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the hardest parts of my job is helping a candidate get the lower cleared, less experienced roles. If I have a role that requires zero to two years of experience, a degree, and a Security+ certification, or some kind of entry-level cybersecurity role, 500 people might apply, all with the same general capabilities and backgrounds.

So positions are either hard to fill because there are not enough or too many candidates. If you find yourself in that large pool of candidates who have roughly the same qualifications, make sure you create a relevant, focused resume. If you have little experience, think bigger than what you’ve done for money. Experience isn’t what you’ve been paid to do, experience is what you’ve learned to do.

Be Cautious Applying for Multiple Roles

As you apply to Peraton and submit a resume, keep in mind that you only get one resume at a time with the organization. Applying to 10 different roles isn’t necessarily a bad thing if your resume is relevant to every single role. But if you apply to a cybersecurity job, a help desk job, and a software engineer job, you might have three different versions of your resume, but you can only have one in the system at a time.

When you upload a new resume, everything else you’ve applied to will be updated with the most recent resume – they’re overwritten by the applicant tracking system. So we no longer see your cybersecurity or help desk tailored resumes if you apply to a software engineer job and upload a new version of your resume. That’s why applying to multiple roles at the same company can be a difficult task to accomplish.

What to Expect in the Hiring Process

Whether you’ve been sourced, referred, or you’re applying on your own, you have to apply online before we can do anything further. So the application phase is first. Make sure you get the email from the system that says you have successfully applied because it’s not uncommon that we see an incomplete status for one out of five applicants.

From there, it goes into a review status, where the talent acquisition personnel assigned to that particular role has to go through and look at the application and then determine if it meets the minimum qualifications. That’s why you always need to read the job description closely to make sure you have most, if not all, of the minimum qualifications. And as a government contractor, you typically need to have a one-for-one skills match.

During the review status, you may get asked knockout questions (automatic disqualifying questions) like, “Do you have X clearance and A, B, or C?” If you don’t meet the criteria, you’ll be sent a rejection email within 24 hours.

But if you do move forward to the next step, your package is submitted to the hiring manager next. They will then review your application to see if they agree you should move on to the interview phase. If they say no, then the system will send you a notification.

Once you’re at the interview phase, it becomes more personal. You’re going to hear from somebody to schedule the interview. If you’re interviewed but not selected, you’ll hear from someone. If you are selected, then you’re going to receive a phone call that says, “We’d like to move forward with an offer.”

The amount of time the process takes can vary depending on everyone’s availability but, generally speaking, we’re talking about two weeks from application to offer. You might get through the application to the interview within a few days realistically. But it might take a whole week from the recruiter saying we’d like to make an offer, to actually receiving the offer because it has to go through corporate checks and balances.

Veterans at Peraton

With 21% of our workforce being veterans, Peraton understands the value a veteran service member brings to an organization supporting the Department of Defense and the US government. And we have full buy-in from our CEO Stu Shea, down. Peraton supports our initiatives and gives our program the flexibility to figure out the best way to bring veterans, military members, and spouses into the organization.

We offer a corporate veteran initiative through America’s Warrior Partnership that gives veterans and their families 24/7 support, and an employee resource group called the VALOR (Veterans and Allies Leading Optimal Results). We offer peer networking, and you can also get a mentor to help you navigate the organization after coming in.

Once you’ve worked here for a while, you’re not just stove-piped into the role you got hired into. If you want to move, we allow that. I’ve been in three different roles at Peraton myself. So we support internal and upward mobility to grow in your career.

You can get in touch in touch with Peraton’s Military and Veterans team at [email protected].

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 05, 2024 11:24 am

5 thoughts on “Interview with a Recruiter, Bryan Acton, Peraton”

  1. I want to apply for this job but I don’t have the recruiter’s email address and phone number.

  2. I would be very interested in working in one of Peraton’s rolls. I recently had the results of my most recent polygraph posted. Thank you

  3. I’d love an opportunity to work at Peraton and I hold an active TS/SCI/FSP although i live in Charleston SC if this level of clearance is not needed I’d still like the opportunity to join this company.

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