Interview with a Recruiter, Wendy Johnson, D.A.T.A.

Posted by Rob Riggins

Wendy tell us about yourself and your company

I wear many hats at D.A.T.A., but my primary functions are Recruiting and serving as the company FSO. I’ve been with the company for eight years.

Why do I want to work for D.A.T.A.

D.A.T.A. is a small woman-owned company based in Vienna, Virginia. We’re a bit fanatical about our employees. We are committed to making D.A.T.A. a great place to work and we work hard to keep our employees happy. Why? The reason is simple — we focus on taking care of our employees so that they can focus on taking care of our clients.

D.A.T.A. is very supportive of our employees, we offer a great benefits package and we stress a family environment. We’re not a body shop or slot-filling company. Our employees are not just numbers. We stay in contact with our employees and want them engaged with D.A.T.A., and we want to make them feel like we’re here for them.

Our employees are our greatest asset!

Tell us about the D.A.T.A. hiring process       

If I see a strong resume on ClearedJobs.Net I contact the individual, usually through email because I extend an invitation for them to come in and interview and discuss a future with D.A.T.A., as well as complete a brief pre-screen questionnaire to get an idea of what type of opportunity they are interested in, current clearance level, why they are leaving their current position, and so on.

After the interview, I try to extend a contingent offer within 24 hours if I’m interested.  Once they sign off I then put them forward and submit their resume to our prime, and they submit to the client. If the client is interested, they contact back through the chain and then set up a direct interview.

We then wait for a formal selection if the client is interested and has selected our candidate.

What types of cleared positions do you fill     

We fill IT and Intelligence Analyst positions. We’re always looking for all types of developers, software engineers, systems and network engineers, and systems and network administrators, from one year’s experience to over 25 years’ experience. With those more seasoned candidates who have over 25 years of experience, it is beneficial to have had some hands-on experience with more recent technologies or have supported some of our government clients for several years.

We source a lot of our IT and Intel candidates  through ClearedJobs.Net and employee and candidate referrals.

What type of certifications or training can you recommend for someone looking to get a job with your company            

PMP, CISSP, Scrum, C&A or ITIL, just to name a few

What are the toughest security cleared positions for you to fill and why          

Developers! Because of the level of clearance required, the community is small and they tend to be a little harder to find.

Right now I’m looking to fill a position for a Watson Systems Engineer as soon as possible. It’s a tough position to fill because the individual needs skills beyond being a systems engineer. There are minimums for years of experience for different skills required and the applicant must meet those requirements.

We also have an ongoing need for Intel Analysts. The challenge with those positions is the applicants must hold a FSP.

What do you see security cleared job seekers doing wrong that you want to tell them to stop doing     

It is completely understandable that no candidate wants to “put all of their eggs in one basket”. However I have seen candidates submit to several different subs on the same contracts, just to make sure that their resumes are getting to the customer. I think that over saturation of the individual for the same positions but from different companies can sometimes be more damaging than helpful.

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

Don’t apply for a job if you don’t meet the qualifications.

Just as you wouldn’t want 30 headhunters calling you about positions you’re not interested in, think of the reverse. Stick to what would be a great fit for you. When sending me your resume in reference to particular positions that we have open, I would rather you apply and focus your resume on giving me 150% on one position vs 10% on 15 positions. You need to meet at least 80% of the requirements for a job.

Please pay attention to the required clearances when submitting your resume to posted positions. Applicants must have the clearances required in the job description – please don’t submit your resume if you know you don’t have the clearance or your clearance has expired. If you don’t meet the requirements and don’t meet the level of clearance….then don’t submit your resume.

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

I still see people putting their social security number on resumes, their spouse’s name, their kid’s names.

And email addresses. I’ve seen some doozies! No one wants to hire a professional person that uses an email such as [email protected] as their email address. Think about it when you’re looking for a job. You have one chance to make a first impression. Create a professional job search email.


This entry was posted on Monday, February 11, 2013 10:00 am

2 thoughts on “Interview with a Recruiter, Wendy Johnson, D.A.T.A.”

Leave a Reply

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

Notify me of updates to this conversation