Interview with a Recruiter, Lilla Hunter, Leidos

Posted by Ashley Jones

Lilla Hunter, Talent Acquisition, Leidos, shares insights about career opportunities at Leidos and what you can expect in the hiring process.

I’ve been in the Intel space for 10 years, and in recruiting for 17 total. I’m also cleared, so that gets me into those spaces with the program managers and in the SCIFs, so I can learn more about the program. Cleared recruiters are unicorns – there’s not a lot of us. As a recruiter who’s allowed to go to the program manager review meetings at customer sites, the customer is able to hear from talent acquisition firsthand. It’s a real plus.

Before joining Leidos, I knew I liked what they did for the community, and I wondered how I could get in and grow with the company. The key lines of business are civil, defense, health and intelligence. And we’re the number one government contractor too! Leidos was the perfect fit for me.

Why Should I Work at Leidos

It’s the process, the culture, the people – all that good stuff, as well as the benefits. Beyond Leidos being a household name and competitive in the market, it’s a really good fit for someone who wants to land somewhere stable.

There’s not a lot of revolving doors. The internal mobility is really good. I’ve never seen anything like it. When we feel someone is at risk, we try to transition them and find them something else within the company. We want to keep people, so we try to find them things that match their background. And we do a really good job at that.

Cleared Opportunities at Leidos

Leidos has a whole gamut of different positions. What we mostly focus on is system engineers, network engineers, system admins, information security system engineers, cloud architects, and of course software engineers.

Whether it’s front end, back end, or whatever it is, software engineering roles are one of the most challenging to fill because it’s very competitive and there’s a lot of demand. And so we’re all kind of sharks in the Maryland space, trying to get those software engineers.

View all Leidos positions on ClearedJobs.Net

In regards to location, remote and hybrid roles are very rare in the Maryland space, because they need to be in the SCIFs for the most part. But we do have remote and hybrid opportunities in the Virginia division.

What to Expect in the Hiring Process

After someone applies for a position, the next step is building a rapport and a relationship with the recruiter. Sometimes you have to interview with the customer, whichever government agency that is. After that, we do clearance processing and the clearance transfer. And if they accept the role, onboarding is next.

In this space, that process can take some time, especially if you’re not cleared or if you have a different clearance. But if you’re fully cleared for the position, that process might take a month, or a month and a half.

Candidate-Recruiter Relationships are Key

The process can be daunting, but your recruiter is there to walk you through it. Beyond screening you, we’re also going to give you tips for when you meet with the program manager and the customer. We’re the ones negotiating your salary, sign-on bonuses, extra PTO, and things like that. So we definitely want to have a candidate-recruiter relationship, because we’re the ones walking you through the whole thing.

I’m your first line of defense, and I’m here to help you get the job. There’s something in it for both of us – for me to get you on board, and for you to have a great career here at Leidos.

The Importance of Networking on Both Sides of the Table

I recently had a candidate in the onboarding process that I had a good rapport with, and he referred four other people to me. We’re hiring two of them. So, networking is invaluable. No matter how big this company is, we still like referrals. So building that rapport with our candidates is important to us too. If we’re responsive, relatable, and reliable, those three Rs help bring more candidates. It’s really that simple.

To get in touch with Lilla and her team you can email [email protected] or visit


  • Ashley Jones

    Ashley Jones is ClearedJobs.Net's blog Editor and a cleared job search expert, dedicated to helping security-cleared job seekers and employers navigate job search and recruitment challenges. With in-depth experience assisting cleared job seekers and transitioning military personnel at in-person and virtual Cleared Job Fairs and military base hiring events, Ashley has a deep understanding of the unique needs of the cleared community. She is also the Editor of ClearedJobs.Net's job search podcast, Security Cleared Jobs: Who's Hiring & How.

    View all posts
This entry was posted on Monday, July 31, 2023 4:43 pm

Leave a Reply

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

Notify me of updates to this conversation