Seventeen years ago, Evan Scott decided to focus on what he really loves, recruiting, and create ESGI, a firm that specializes in the federal contracting business.
Although he had spent the previous 21 years building an executive search firm primarily in the commercial sector, Scott thought that the post 9/11 world provided a unique opportunity. Companies around the world would want to sell solutions to the federal government, but there was limited talent that understood the complexities of the federal government and how it operates.
This presented an opening for ESGI to help clients recruit executives that understood how to work with federal contractors. Companies often complain that executive searches take too long. By specializing in the federal contracting market, ESGI is able to dramatically reduce the time it takes to find top talent.
“The D.C. market enjoys almost 100 percent employment so recruiting through traditional methods such as employee referrals, web postings and the old boy network would not always yield results,” said Scott. “This is where the opportunity for a more proactive and aggressive approach is effective.” Networking and reputation are extremely important in such a closed and competitive environment.
Soon after 9/11, an organization was formed called the Homeland Security Defense Business Council. This group was started by several prominent CEOs from Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Unisys, Accenture, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed Martin. Their mission was to bring private sector expertise to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during its formation. These leaders wanted a bipartisan venue where senior government officials felt safe to share their challenges, knowing this group was not there to sell them anything. To this day HSDBC, a non-partisan group in the DC region continues to works closely with DHS and DOJ to help meet their mission goals.
Because Scott attended several of HSDBC’s early meetings, their leadership asked him to recruit valuable leaders around the beltway. The effort was so successful that ESGI was, and to this day still is, the only executive search firm nominated as a member. Several years later, Evan was appointed as chairman of membership for the council, a position he still holds.
ESGI defines itself as a fast-moving, strategic boutique search firm. The firm takes a swat team approach to every assignment and positions are filled quickly and without compromise. The firm tends to be contacted by hiring managers and HR leaders who have a critical position they need filled fast. Based on how a recruit is performing one year into the job, ESGI has a 90 percent success rate. “That is the secret sauce and what good recruiting is all about,” said Scott.
During his career, Evan has recruited professionals in virtually every role from Board of Directors to Corporate Officers. Scott has been voted as a Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiter in federal contracting for the third year by GovCon.
ESGI has handled clients who work with all branches of government including the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, and Department of Defense. The searches ESGI handles are a very good indicator of where the private sector thinks the government will spend money.