Interview with a Recruiter, Karen Ryan, TRG

Posted by Rob Riggins

Karen RyanKaren, tell us about yourself and your company

My experience as a Human Resources and Recruiting professional has afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with some extremely talented and very mission-focused individuals. My career foundations have always been rooted in team dynamics and working with likeminded individuals to support the mission and grow professionally, which is important to me. I joined The Rehancement Group (TRG) in August, 2015, and quickly realized it was where I wanted to be. It has helped me round out my experience within the Intelligence Community and I’ve also learned more in the analytics and cost and acquisition areas.

TRG proudly supports the missions at DOJ including the Counterterrorism and Counterintelligence divisions. We are adding Management and Program Analysts and Administrative Assistants to our team with strong analytical, research, and writing skills. Most of our position are within the Washington, D. C., Metro area. We do support some DOJ field offices as well.

TRG also supports data analytics and financial management work with GSA and other clients. We look for candidates with strong data and financial experience, budget analysis, cost modelling and cost estimation skills, and project/program management.

TRG is a small business founded in 2007. Our corporate offices are in Reston, VA. We are close to 100 employees. We have a very diverse workforce; some employees have retired or transitioned out of federal service or the military. Some of our employees have 4 to 5 years of experience after earning their degree, and we also have career transitioners. Most of our employees hold security clearances ranging from Secret to TS/SCI.

Why do I want to work for TRG

TRG was founded on the following Core Values: Passion, Change, Integrity, Respect, Success, Commitment, and Life Enhancement. Our Executive Team stands firmly behind these values and we see it in the work our employees perform and the respect and success that comes from that. We receive very high praise from our government clients and we want to continue to bring that passion, integrity, and commitment to our work. I’ve seen several of our employees promoted in the short time I’ve been here as well as those recognized for their continued commitment and delivery of excellent work.

We welcome all candidates interested in pursuing opportunities with TRG. While we may not have the match for everyone, we are able to maintain their information for future opportunities. We offer competitive salaries and an excellent benefits program to include medical/dental/vision insurance, paid time off, 10 paid holidays, training benefit, 401K and short term/long term disability insurance. We also are involved in community events such as Habitat for Humanity, Crohns and Colitis Walk, and Law Enforcement 5K.

The Rehancement GroupTell us about the TRG hiring process

All applicants are highly encouraged to apply directly to our website at They will be able to watch a video of some of our employees and their experience working with TRG. Applicants are asked automatic screening questions which can include specific required skills for each position. For example, if a position requires a Top Secret clearance and the applicant doesn’t have a clearance or only a Secret, then they would not qualify. Additionally, if the positions requires a certain certification that can determine their eligibility. However, even if someone isn’t qualified for that specific position, we look at all candidates for other positions and future opportunities.

Once an individual is qualified for a certain position, they will receive another email with some more specific questions about their career interests. Then a phone screen is conducted with a member of the recruiting department. Then the manager will review the applicant’s resume and conduct a phone interview. The final step is an in-person interview which may happen on a client site. Once a decision has been made to hire, it’s relatively quickly they will receive a verbal offer, followed up by a written offer to include their job description. If a position requires a clearance, all offers are contingent that a final approval or cross-over of their clearance is verified. The whole process can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks. We can accelerate the process for short notice or high turnaround.

Do you target transitioning military    

We often talk to service members six months out from their terminal leave date or transition date. It’s understandable that many military service members want to take time for their transition and we suggest they do that, particularly if they haven’t been stateside for a while. We have worked with individuals who transition easily from military to civilian life, but it’s always an adjustment so we provide mentorship and training.

Often I see resumes that are fairly concise but if you have had a long military career, it’s important to put the missions and locations you have served. Sometimes, I don’t find out until I have talked with someone that they speak Arabic or they worked on a certain mission because they didn’t include it in their resumes. Listing analytical tools such as Palantir, Analyst Notebook, or others can be very helpful. Additionally, listing military training is important. I think some people still believe in the one or two page resume. I don’t. If it’s relevant list it.

What types of cleared positions do you fill       

  • Management and Program Analysts – this can include everything from research, analysis, and help desk for field support analysts. Requires minimum Top Secret.
  • Data and Records Clerks –Records Management Division. Top Secret required.
  • Administrative, Technical Writers, Security Personnel – Top Secret required.
  • Sr. Cost Analyst – Secret required – supporting Army program

View The Rehancement Group open positions

What do you see security cleared job seekers doing wrong or what are some doing right that others should emulate

When applying for a specific job don’t just submit a generic resume. Tailoring the resume to the job helps the candidate stand out – and makes for an easier match to a hiring manager or end-customer. Clearly identify specific experiences/certifications or training called out in the vacancy announcement.

I’ve been very impressed with the level of detail I often see from individuals who held internships and are able to articulate the depth of their experience. Again, strong writing skills is a key success factor. If you managed individuals list how many. If you managed a project, what were the dollars associated with the project and what type of controls and costs were you able to manage successfully?

What’s the most inappropriate thing you’ve seen on a resume

[email protected] or [email protected] – this doesn’t leave a great impression. Also if someone is working at the State Department or DHS, don’t use your work email as a corresponding email. That can be a security red flag.

What do job seekers need to know about your job as a recruiter?     

I love my job but unfortunately, we can’t hire everyone. We understand everyone is willing to learn or obtain a clearance but often the required skills or clearance are just that. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t contact you in the future.

Meet Karen at the February 4 Cleared Job Fair

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 9:12 am

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