NEWS + ADVICE
Interview with a Recruiter, Stacy Forster, Leidos
Stacy Forster, Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist/Sourcer at Leidos, shares information about the current state of job search and recruitment.
How has the pandemic changed recruitment?
We’ve seen fewer and fewer new candidates posting resumes since the pandemic. I think people seem hesitant to make a change—they’re more reluctant. They worry, if I jump ship from this job, is the pandemic going to cause the company to shut down or consolidate that program? So because we’re seeing fewer new candidates, we’re digging deeper into our candidate pool. It’s something that we already do, but we’re having to go further back to pools of people from years ago, or talking to people we’ve either hired or spoken to in the past, and tapping into their networks.
Also, most interviews are being done remotely right now. If someone has to come in, they’re in a secured area where they’re not near anybody, but it’s mostly virtual. Leidos has a COVID playbook in place and safety precautions in effect. There’s Lysol and hand sanitizer, and you have to wear a mask in the facilities. We want our employees to feel safe when they go in and we want candidates to know this as well.
Safety is important to us, so we’re continuing to have virtual events. Leidos has implemented their own virtual events, making them a little smaller and more program-specific. What’s nice about these smaller events is we’ve been able to get managers to participate so candidates get to speak directly to the hiring managers. They’re able to learn more about the program and really get a feel for what’s going on.
When I participate in a virtual Cleared Job Fair, I talk to a lot of different candidates. Oftentimes I’m not working on that position directly, but I ask what job number you’re interested in. Give me an idea of the type of work you’re looking to do and I will make sure that your information and resume is put in front of somebody who is specifically working on the position that you’re most interested in.
What’s not so new in job search and recruitment?
We still recommend that you apply for jobs. Leidos did not slow down. We are hiring. We had to take a step back while we refigured how we were going to work through this pandemic, but it didn’t take away from the jobs. We’re always putting our jobs online so we encourage people to apply.
We have multiple opportunities and we’re still winning new business, so that has not changed. We’re optimistic for the future. We’ve acquired a couple of companies so we’re continuing to grow and expand just as we had prior to the pandemic – we just do things a little differently.
How should job seekers apply for positions at Leidos?
We encourage people to go to our careers page, look for a position that may align with their experience, and plug-in in some keywords. We also have a chatbot implemented now, so when somebody is interested in a position it gives them the opportunity to speak directly with one of our recruiters.
Keep in mind that if a job says a polygraph is required, you need to have one. Or if it requires Java experience and you’ve never used Java a day in your life, don’t apply to the position. Again check-in with our careers page and hopefully speak to one of the recruiters, which is a really nice option that Leidos has put in place. If you opt in to say, “I’d like to chat with a recruiter,” that recruiter is going to be able to give you additional information about the position or they’re going to be able to send your resume to the recruiter working on a different position that you might be interested in. So it’s a good way to network, get to know Leidos, and possibly the recruiter working on the opportunity.