The business of selling services to the U.S. government is arguably the world’s largest talent competition. In an industry worth billions of dollars each year, thousands of companies compete to provide highly-skilled personnel to the government, at the lowest price possible under razor-thin profit margins. For positions requiring security clearances, for which the current unemployment rate is nearly zero percent, the ability to attract and hire talent is central to overall business performance. Throw in the challenges of set-aside programs, teaming partners and compliance requirements, and producing the talent to compete for and win new business can be overwhelming and frustrating. But it is the daily reality of government contractors.
Even with the pressure to win new government contracts, talent acquisition and business development often fight a tug-of-war on priorities. Filling jobs on sold business has to be a priority for talent acquisition because it produces revenue on an immediate basis. However, if you don’t build a sales pipeline, you won’t have the business to sustain revenue or retain valuable employees.
Between talent acquisition and business development there is a lot of interdependence, but the tug-of-war tendencies should be replaced with a relay-race mentality. Teams should have a cohesive, pass-the-baton objective that fosters a smooth transition throughout the proposal cycle. The bid and proposal cycle can be long, but strategic processes can help determine viability of the opportunity, uncover strengths and weaknesses, generate intelligence within candidate pools, and lead to a smooth, confident proposal, as opposed to chaos and missed opportunities.
Talent acquisition and business development teams must learn to work smarter, not harder in the world of federal recruiting. For talent acquisition to continue to increase its value to the business, the ability to drive more opportunities into the sales pipeline essentially draws a line from talent acquisition efforts to revenue.
Implementing an optimized approach
The first step to driving better internal collaboration when hiring federal contractors is to adopt a single platform that enables all stakeholders to combine their data, learn from it and leverage it to improve your company’s growth and profitability. An industry-specific solution, such as Avature GovCon, confronts the conundrums of government contracting by empowering you to apply processes that better align different teams and providing increased visibility into all available information.
Minimizing the internal “imperfect information” situation will automatically bring you many benefits. But investing in technology that helps all stakeholders visualize this data in real time can truly help you win more contracts, achieve breakout performance and maximize profits. With this in mind, Avature GovCon gives those responsible for federal contractor recruiting the ability to assess performance and project status in one quick glance thanks to a powerful reporting framework. You can create custom dashboards for advanced analytics and tailor them to meet the needs of individual stakeholders.
Keeping top talent keen
One of the key challenges facing talent acquisition teams is candidate engagement. Proposal cycles for federal contracts can be anywhere from three months to two years, so TA professionals have to be prepared to keep the right candidates engaged for the long-term. But with so much on their plates, how can they dedicate time building relationships with top talent on top of their day-to-day activities?
With the right technology, powerful engagement workflows can be set up to help you build and manage candidate pipelines. Once you’ve considered the experience you want to deliver and have configured the steps to turn this into a reality, TA teams can focus on the most pressing activities, safe in the knowledge that automated actions will keep candidates warm in the background. Avature GovCon also allows both business development users and recruiters to set up reminders to nurture specific candidate relationships, ensuring that top talent doesn’t slip through the cracks.
Transforming recruiters into agile marketers
Recruitment marketing tools, such as personalized email campaigns, will help you get ahead in recruiting government contractors by keeping the best candidates interested over time. You could send them job marketing emails, candidate surveys or project update newsletters on a predefined basis, as well as asking them periodically to update their current employment status. Make sure you invest in a platform that allows you to flexibly utilize branded templates to communicate with your audience. To take your engagement campaigns to the next level, ensure that the tool you decide to invest in allows for superior segmentation so you can tailor communications accordingly.
Though there are many independent recruitment marketing tools available in the market, there are numerous benefits to investing in an end-to-end solution, such as Avature GovCon, that provides this functionality as well as a highly-configurable CRM. Most notably, you won’t have to deal with costly integrations that often require continuous maintenance.
Winning federal contracts is a highly competitive business that requires a cohesive team effort. Under significant pressure, and without adequate technological solutions in place to drive collaboration, internal tensions build and it’s almost impossible to optimize your approach. By investing in a specialized tool designed to tackle the challenges of federal contracting, you can transform the way you win bids by creating an intuitive and collaborative system for all stakeholders.