NEWS + ADVICE
Interview with a Recruiter, Lauren Arky, URS
Lauren, tell us about yourself and URS
I’ve worked for URS since 2010 as a corporate recruiter working on funded positions, proposals and contingent offers. I recruit for a wide variety of areas in the company including Navy and Air Force contracts at the DC Navy Yard, Groton, CT, Middletown, RI and Dayton, OH. I primarily recruit cleared personnel.
URS is a growing company. Four years ago we had 40k employees and today we have 56k. We’ve diversified into oil and gas and there are a lot of opportunities for growth within the company.
Tell us about the URS hiring process
We typically start with a phone screen. Depending on the location of the position we’ll do a phone, video or in-person interview with the hiring manager. For senior positions we may have a second interview. We often use situational questions in interviews, asking job seekers how they handled themselves in a challenge that they encountered on the job.
We check with two previous supervisors when checking references. A drug screen is done after an offer has been accepted, and we do verify education for cleared positions.
Do you target veterans for hiring
Absolutely. URS has a strong focus on attracting, retaining and hiring transitioning military and veterans as well as military spouses. Within URS we value the diversity and skills vets bring to the company. Over 40% of our Federal Services employees are vets. For the fifth consecutive year URS has been recognized by G.I. Jobs as one of the top military-friendly employers, finishing first among defense contractors and fifth among all employers.
What types of cleared positions do you fill
Many different types of cleared positions including information assurance, engineering, acquisition and logistics.
What are the toughest security cleared positions for you to fill
It depends on what the requirements are. The ones that are most challenging require high level clearances and a variety of specific certifications. With a company of our size we have so many opportunities across the country and internationally so I encourage people to come to our website and do a search to see if we may have the right job for you. We have a few positions that need a PE (Professional Engineer) in Virginia combined with a TS/SCI clearance (Lead Mechancial Engineer, Lead Electrical Engineer) so I would love to talk to anyone with that combination!
What’s the most inappropriate thing a job seeker has ever said to you, or that you’ve seen on a resume
Some cleared job seekers share way too many personal details when talking to me about their job search. There is a professional line you shouldn’t cross. It’s always best to stick to your work experience. I am happy to see interesting hobbies listed but keep in mind the audience when you are writing a resume.
We also still regularly see things on resumes such as dates of birth, social security numbers, marital status and children, and I would recommend keeping those details private. Especially the social security number. That is not safe for anyone to share publicly.
What do job seekers need to know about your job as a recruiter
Recruiters want to be helpful and have the best intentions. Our workload is so busy that we have to prioritize and time is our biggest challenge.
If you contact a recruiter be as specific as possible about the opportunity that interests you. Let us know which position you are interested in and ideally include the requisition number so we can look it up in our career center. It’s harder for me to keep an eye out for all the outstanding candidates that I meet, but I would love to hear from you if you see an opportunity, have applied for the job, and meet all the job requirements.
Lauren Arky is a 2013 and 2014 Best Recruiter, as voted by the job seekers attending Cleared Job Fairs.