Interview with a Recruiter, Kirsten Renner, Parsons

Posted by Rob Riggins

Kirsten Renner, ParsonsKirsten, tell us about yourself and your company

After a short while working in IT while studying Human Resources, I combined my love for technology and HR by becoming a Technical Recruiter. I first recruited in Telecom and have been exclusively supporting the Information Security field, mostly for the Intelligence Community, since 2008.

I’ve managed to build a strong reputation for myself within the Community through genuine relationships built one at a time, and would say that the thing I’m most proud of is being a trusted resource to everyone I have the pleasure of working with.

I sincerely care about the people I work with and don’t treat them like a commodity that looks good on a report. Rather I try to find what is best for them by helping them figure out what their next best move is, and when that is a win for the missions I support, that’s the bonus.

Parsons is a 70+ yr old, employee-owned, worldwide engineering conglomerate. I support the division, formerly Sparta, that is in the Government Services Sector. I have been with them for 3.5 years!

Why do I want to work for Parsons

Someone else just asked me this recently and my answer was the people and the missions! That’s my short answer.

Here’s the longer version:

I was supporting missions at previous employers  as a contractor and was contacted by a colleague who’d supported those same missions. My intent was to remain a contractor as I was comfortable and accustomed to it. I agreed to take the Parsons assignment to continue with those same missions and customers. After 30 days, I realized I was working in a place that I was proud to call my home  after witnessing managers treat their teams very much the way they deserved, by valuing them and helping each person to reach their highest potential.

Tell us about the hiring process with your company               

I’ve seen requirements turn around in the blink of an eye, or as long as a year or more, all depending on finding the true best match for highly complex engineering requirements. I realize that is a broad range of time but honestly, it comes down to doing it right and well, not necessarily fast and furious. It is NOT butts in seats. We do an intake, gather requirements, strategize our searches, tap into our networks, utilize our resources, and once a qualified individual is identified as interested and available, we do what we need to do to get them on board!

Do you target transitioning military    

ABSOLUTELY. In fact, last year we hired a high-ranking officer who was transitioning out of the Air Force to lead off the planning and managing of taking on a whole new area of work in a new geographical region. I did all that I could to help him translate what the differences would be in our ‘world’ compared to what he has been used to, and answer all of his questions and concerns.

Similarly, I had the honor of hiring two more individuals recently who are highly decorated and have served our country to the highest imaginable level, consulting all the way up to the White House and training our next generation of Cyber Warriors!

What types of cleared positions do you fill        

All of the above, and then some!

Clearable to Full Scope, both sides of the river.

View Parsons Job Openings on ClearedJobs.Net

Do you use Google or social media to screen job seekers at any point in the hiring process 

I use various social media in different ways. I have found each to have its own unique benefits and have built relationships this way as well. It keeps my ear on the pulse of the community with in which I find all or at least most of the relevant talent to be.

ParsonsWhat are the toughest security cleared positions for you to fill and are any easy to fill

Well what can I say – not much – but I struggle to find people who make and break things…embedded developers, packagers, weaponizers, reverse engineers etc. Easy, what’s that? People ask what is hardest and each different group has their own unique challenges – whether is is location or skillset or clearance or ability to meet salary requirements. No one challenge is quantifiably harder than the other, in all fairness.

What do you see security cleared job seekers doing wrong or right

I don’t want to say that the group as a whole is doing any one thing wrong typically.

I’ve participated on panels and written blogs about closing the gap between recruiters and candidates but that’s no one fault on anyone, its just an idea about helping both sides understand each other better and that responsibility lies with both sides. They both need to do their research and know what they’re talking about, right!

What’s the craziest thing a job seeker has ever said to you       

I had someone “research me” and send me a bunch of personal data about myself – for what reason I don’t know. That was I guess the craziest G-rated thing I can say.

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

I’ve seen some pretty elitist, cocky, and rude Objective Statements, but I try to take them with a grain of salt assuming the person has had a lot of bad experiences with bad recruiters. The thing that really offended me once was a picture a female candidate took of herself that looked like it belonged on a porn site.

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

#1 I actually do care – and I want a mutually successful result to come about from every interaction. It’s a lofty dream! #2 If I appear to have forgotten you, reference back to #1, and remind me!



This entry was posted on Friday, May 27, 2016 9:02 am

3 thoughts on “Interview with a Recruiter, Kirsten Renner, Parsons”

  1. I am interested in sending you my resume. Could you please forward your email address to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of updates to this conversation