ExecutiveBiz announced its recent selection of the 2017 Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiters.
ExecutiveBiz spoke to senior leaders at some of the GovCon sector’s most notable firms to find out whom they turn to when they need to fill an executive position. In our conversations, those GovCon leaders offered us the names of 10 executive recruiters they believe “you need to know.”
Jacqueline Arends, co-lead of Spencer Stuart’s Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Practice, has been named as a recipient of ExecutiveBiz’s 2017 Top GovCon Executive Recruiter award.
Ms. Arends specializes in board services and CEO succession planning searches. With over 20 years of senior-level Washington, political and U.S. government experience, Ms. Arends is an invaluable member of Spencer Stuart’s team.
Arends served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and defense secretary from 2001 to 2003.
In this capacity, she advised the U.S. president on executive appointments at the departments of Defense, State, Energy, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security as well as nominees at the CIA and NASA that need Senate confirmation.
She also worked as a lawyer at law firm Kutak Rock and defense lobbyist at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand.
Arends is also a member of the Supreme Court Bar, the District of Columbia Bar and the Maryland Bar.
ExecutiveBiz had the opportunity to catch up with Arends and ask for her perspective on some of the challenges, considerations and best practices executive recruiters and candidates ought to keep in mind.
ExecutiveBiz: What is the single biggest challenge you face in finding qualified talent in the government contracting marketplace?
Jacqueline Arends: Finding qualified talent in the government contracting marketplace is not difficult; that is what we do. Although my team is small, they have fantastic research capabilities. I am a big proponent of mapping the universe that is applicable to each client and each search. To ensure a methodical and comprehensive approach, we use a two-pronged strategy, combining thorough target company “mapping” in addition to leveraging relationships. relationships.
ExecutiveBiz: What are the top three items candidates take into consideration when accepting a new position.
Jacqueline Arends: Candidates typically take into consideration the level of the role and whether it moves them forward in their career; reporting relationships and team; and compensation.
Candidates probably should take into consideration the following: Culture, and whether they fit and are comfortable within the new culture; professional growth and the opportunities could be available to them in the future; and evaluating whether they have the right capabilities and experiences to be successful in the role.
ExecutiveBiz: What advice would you give the smaller companies who are competing against the larger companies for talent?
Jacqueline Arends: Smaller companies can be quite attractive. In a smaller company, top talent tends to have greater ability to serve on and interact with the senior leadership team. Opportunities to lead corporate initiatives are greater in a small company.