ExecutiveBiz spoke to senior leaders at some of government contracting's most powerful firms to find out whom they turn to when they need an executive position filled, and compiled the 10 recruiters you need to know.
To get a sense of their positions on government contracting, we asked the recruiters for their take on the current state of the industry and where they see it going in the future.
What is your take on the current state of the government-contracting field?
“Although the government is watching the budget, the government will always have a budget. Government contracting will always be around. Our concerns are which way will the budget swing, what types of programs will the budget move forward, and who will win the contract. The country will always require defense programs. We will constantly need to improve technology. Cyber will take a more important role as the world goes more wireless. The war against drug trafficking must still be fought. USAID in developing countries continues as a strong program for many organizations in various forms. Companies are trying to get spending under control. This means cutting costs, and the easiest way to cut costs has always been to cut the salary budgets. In other words, either reduce your workforce or reduce what you pay your people. Some organizations have tried a combination of these. In various companies, we have seen a trend toward ‘de-layering’ titles. When this happens, many times the individuals keep their salaries, but drop to a lower bonus potential with the title drop.”
Do you have any predictions for the future of the business?
“Cyber technology is a huge area for the future and will continue to grow. Americans will look to our government to protect us from cyber terror, from cyber espionage, from cyber crimes. As wireless technology continues to grow and expand in myriad ways, and more and more information is stored and transmitted electronically, it is ever more critical to protect information from theft. Healthcare and information integration is another large push for the future. People want to go from one doctor to another and not have to repeat or overlap information, drugs, etc. Federal contractors are working to build an integrated database between all healthcare providers and their multitude of systems, which will communicate with each other and yet still protect identities and privacy. The future connects to the past, with some changes. We still have to concentrate on our strengths; i.e. build for the military, do environmental remediation, do military planning and construction, provide IT services, R&D, satellite and space, etc., and find ways to protect our country more effectively and with lower cost of life to do so.”
What sets your practice apart in the field?
“Vermillion Group recruiters believe the job isn't done when the person has accepted the position. The federal contracting team continues to track candidate and employer satisfaction throughout early transition hurdles, which may appear even in the most solid of hiring processes. The firm’s recruiters maintain an attitude the company can rely on. We build partnerships.”
Are there any recommendations you can make to executives looking to enhance their personal brand?
“Today’s executives in the federal contracting world must have a strong reputation for knowing the players from both the industry side, as well as the government side. To be effective, executives need to have a reputation for integrity, and their integrity must extend downward through organizations. The true leaders are able to communicate to all levels within their organizations and understand what happens at each of the levels. The executives who stand out have a vision and a philosophy, which those around them buy into. Because of their particular functional roles, executives today are involved in groups with peers where they can discuss issues and trends that other executives in their organization may not face. For example, a federal services group will share through organizations or social and professional networks giving members an advantage on current information.”