NEWS + ADVICE
Interview with a Recruiter, Jonathan Everhardt, SOSi
I’ve been with SOSi for about 18 months after transitioning out of the military. I served in the Marines for over 20 years where I spent a majority of my time recruiting.
My primary focuses for SOSi recruiting are IT and cyber positions, in San Antonio, TX, Fort Bragg, NC and DC metro area. I also support logistics and intel hiring, and our veteran outreach program.
My transition from the Marines to SOSi went pretty smoothly. About 25% of our work force is veteran, so the culture shock was minimized because there are so many employees who could relate to the path I’d taken. They knew the challenges I experienced. It was very supportive.
Sell me on SOSi
SOSi is the nation’s leading mid-tier solution provider to the U.S. defense, intelligence and homeland security communities. Our global portfolio includes military logistics, intelligence analysis, specialized software development and cyber security. Founded in 1989, SOSi is the largest, private, family-owned and operated company in the defense and aerospace sector.
SOSi is a great place to work, as it has such a welcoming culture and the people are great. I enjoy who I work with, and the people who I work for.
We make a difference. SOSi leadership supports us and makes us feel that we’re an important asset to the team. It’s a very supportive environment, and the satisfaction that we’re doing things that matter is fulfilling.
Currently, we have four business units and about 1,600 employees. For our mission solutions and intelligence solutions business groups, we focus on positions that are primarily overseas, in the Middle East, Europe, and Kosovo.
Our other business units are software solutions and cyber security solutions, and those are CONUS positions. That’s roles are primarily located at Fort Bragg, San Antonio, Fort Huachuca, Charleston and the DC metro area.
What’s your hiring process like
Our hiring process is fairly standard and not complex. Our goal is to get candidates on board quickly with as little stress as possible and keeping them informed of their status throughout the process.
The process varies by position and the contracts that the position supports. Typically, the process begins with a phone interview with a recruiter. During this interview, the candidate should be prepared to talk about their salary expectations and have questions for us.
Next is an interview with the hiring manager. If both the job seeker and the hiring manager are local then it’s an in-person interview. If not, it will be a phone interview.
Depending on the role, there may be a follow up interview with executive leadership. With overseas roles there may be medical pre-deployment requirements.
What do job seekers who grab your attention get right
They read the job description and they meet the requirements! That really does set them apart from those who just apply for jobs seemingly without reading the job description. We have certain requirements without flexibility, such as the security clearance and certification requirements.
I see some folks who are transitioning out of the military who think they can do anything because the military trains you for your role. The private sector expects you to walk into a role and perform from the start without much training.
Candidates who show a desire to be a part of the team. We get that during the hiring process with questions the job seeker asks about what’s the company culture, what’s the day-to-day routine in the position, how do you define success for the position. You can sense a desire to join the team.
We do look at our Applicant Tracking System first for candidates when we get a new requisition, so have some faith in the cold application – that’s actually how I got my job. But it doesn’t hurt to follow up after applying, assuming you are qualified.
What are your toughest roles to fill
These days nothing is easy, but our most challenging roles to fill require a combination of security clearance and certifications in locations where there aren’t many job seekers. Examples of this would be a Cyber Infrastructure Engineer with a secret clearance in Alabama, a Compensation Technician with a Secret clearance in South Carolina or an HVAC Technician with a TS/SCI in Qatar.
Intel analyst and physical security roles are easier to fill because there is a larger pool of potential candidates to choose from. However, if you’re a job seeker with those skills you have more competition.
What mistakes did you make in your transition to civilian employment
There are a few but the main ones that come to mind are:
- I wish I’d known all the available resources that are out there for veterans. There are so many transition programs, such as American Corporate Partners, Onward to Opportunity or Hiring our Heroes that do a great job of providing mentorship for the transition from military into the civilian world, so the veteran doesn’t have to figure it out alone.
- Waiting to focus on my transition. Everyone thinks they’re irreplaceable and they often lose out because of that. Be sure to take care of yourself and start planning early. The longer you wait to plan out your transition and figure out your next opportunity, the more the stress increases as you approach that end of active duty date.