Contact BOOST and let us help find your next unicorn!
Contact BOOST and let us help find your next unicorn!
Contact BOOST and let us help find your next unicorn!
BOOST was founded to support GovCons as they get to the next level. After reinventing the wheel many times and banging our heads against numerous walls, we have learned what works and what doesn’t. We love working with executives who want to see their organization grow and who value advice from those who have “been there, done that.” We want our small clients to outgrow us. We want our large clients to use us when they need us and then call us back for the next project. We want you to sell your business for the multiplier you want. We want you to be successful.
The definition of a unicorn is a mythical beast that looks like a horse with a horn projecting from its forehead. However, in this context, we’re talking about the ever-elusive purple unicorn; something that is highly desirable but difficult to find or obtain. In the recruiting world, companies are always looking for the purple unicorn, but is this reasonable? Unfortunately for the hunters, the answer is no.
Of course, every employer would like to check off every box on the “requirements for the job description” section. Yet there are very few individuals (if any) who would match every job description perfectly.
As a recruiter, here are a few pointers on how to come close to finding the unicorn:
• Review the job requirements. This step is the most important. You will want to be sure that you have captured everything that the person will need to do as well as any specific knowledge, skills, and abilities or KSAs.
• List the requirements from most important to least important. By ranking the requirements, it provides good insight into what are the “must-haves” and “need to have” for the role. Of course, we want it all, but there is no perfect person or job out there where everything will match 100% of the time.
• Be sure to know the difference between what you want and what you need. Having too many requirements and expecting the individual to have all the KSAs is unreasonable. By knowing what you want versus what you need, you are in a better position to identify where compromises can be acknowledged to get closer to the individual that would best fit in the organization.
• Be willing to compromise on the KSAs. In some roles, especially for the high-tech positions, certifications are key. We have found that in some cases, years of experience can be swapped out for certain certifications. In addition, by knowing where you are willing to compromise you will open up the target candidate pool to find those diamonds in the rough.
• Hire not only for KSAs but for cultural fit. When considering hiring someone, make sure that the person will fit into your corporate culture as well as function within the team. We cannot stress enough that making the wrong hire can be extremely costly to the bottom line. It is estimated for a role that is considered mid-career it can cost an organization upwards of $50,000 or more. That is a lot of money and time that has been invested in hiring someone who doesn’t “fit” the company.
As mentioned, hunting and hiring the purple unicorn can be difficult if near impossible. There are a multitude of factors to consider such as cultural fit and understanding what is really needed to do the job. When we are hunting the unicorns, we use the mentioned bulleted items to open up our candidate pool to find that diamond in the rough because he or she, just might be the purple unicorn hiding in plain sight.
If you’re looking for purple unicorn search support, let us know! BOOST functions as a boutique recruiting firm, with customized, targeted recruiting efforts for your billable positions, C-suite or corporate positions. Give us a shout, [email protected]
The following is the first in a two-part piece discussing the challenges and strengths of being, hiring and working with military spouses.
Military Spouses are among the most dedicated groups in our nation. It is not easy to understand or imagine their struggle as one half of a highly dedicated and honorable partnership.
I recently watched a show about a military attachment where there was local unrest about a war. A military spouse (mil spouse) stood up to the protestors outside of a prominent military base, and asked why they weren’t supporting their troops?
The leader of the protestors asked something to the effect of “how do we know that the troops even support fighting this war.” The mil spouse responded, “how do we know you have a sense of honor?”
In that one question, she hit a very pertinent nail on its head.
Why do mil spouses make great employees? Honor.
They have it and that same honor is instilled throughout their families. Honor is the backbone to many of the desired features of a “model” employee. From there you can include the characteristics of someone who is reliable, trustworthy and has a good work ethic. These are highly marketable and employable qualities.
Here’s the challenge for mil spouses:
Here is a solution:
This challenge is surmountable! Do they have skills they can do from anywhere? Simply because they have a license in one state does not mean they are doomed when the PCS (permanent change in station) orders arrive. Consulting is a viable career option that adds schedule flexibility.
BOOST provides back-office support services such as accounting, bookkeeping, contracts, and recruiting. While our niche is GovCon, it can be learned by the “right” type of employee. One that is willing to work for the knowledge. Based on the criterion we search for, a mil spouse could be a fantastic addition.
For spouses lacking skills in back-office services, there are a variety of programs to assist with career advancement. A specific program that teaches GovCon back office skills may not readily exist there may be an opportunity for a non-profit to boost mil spouse employment.
*For Example See MyCAA at military.com that describes tuition assistance for spouses of
E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2 and O-1 to O-2 members.
May is a time of year where we shed off the drab winter blues and look forward to the warmth of springtime. May is also a time for college graduation and students hoping to start a career in their primary field of study. It is estimated by The National Center for Education Statistics that roughly 2.8 million students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2019. For employers this is an untapped market of bright, new talent; however, most of these individuals will not have enough on-the-job experience to qualify for jobs in their field of study. That begs the question, how do you as a small business, tap into this talent pool knowing that these graduates may not have internships or relevant job experience?
Here are a few tips to navigate the waters of the Green Graduate:
BOOST knows GovCon HR and recruiting and how to incorporate new graduates into your staff We function as a boutique recruiting firm, with customized, targeted recruiting efforts for your billable positions, C-suite or corporate positions. We also help companies build a culture where employees want to work. If you need HR or recruiting guidance email [email protected]
BOOST LLC is thrilled to announce that the team is growing.
Please give a warm welcome to Avantika Singh!
She will be supporting BOOST’s clients with her specialties in government cost/price volume expertise, strategic pricing expertise, price to win, financial model development, financial analysis, federal contracting, metrics/measurement reviews, forecasting and more.
We took some time to get Avantika’s thoughts on the following:
Three pieces of advice for growing govcons:
What/Where is the best resource for growing your network?
The best resource for growing the network for me has been word of mouth referrals as a consultant. When you do good work, people trust you and recommend you, so person to person or business to business referrals have been my biggest resource.
What is your “hot take” for finding success in your industry?
It is important to make mistakes. You don’t learn if you keep winning. Yes, it’s obviously great to win, but making mistakes and losing on a few bids gives you the best experience for long-term success.
What is the most surprising experience you’ve had working in the govcon community?
What surprised me in this industry when I first started was how close-knit and small it really is, despite having large behemoth companies and small mom and pop shops. It seems like the same usual suspects intersect at various points, and it’s a very good community overall. Reputation actually matters, don’t burn bridges, and collaboration is the way to go…even with competitors.
As we start into the last government fiscal quarter, it is feast or famine time. Some have hit the beaches, getting some much-needed R&R and family time. Some are heads-down in proposal mode, worried about when the next one will hit. Others are in purgatory, the stretch between proposal submission and proposal award, with their fingers crossed thinking about the to-do list should they win.
All in all, summer is notoriously a time for going all out or taking off in the federal space. The battle rhythm is hard to hit. Here are some key points to consider, if only for your sanity.
Before you disconnect for a bit- get everything in order to jump back in well-rested and energized. If you find you’re a little light on recruiting or pricing preparation, let BOOST know. We’re happy to jump in and have a conversation with you to see where you can tighten up and delegate when possible. Email[email protected] and let’s talk.
BOOST is excited to announce the launch of our new strategic pricing initiative, designed to support your proposal pricing needs and provide Price to Win strategy that incorporates all back office functions. We want you to win work, grow and succeed. Strategic pricing can get you there.
Pricing impacts absolutely everything in an organization. If you haven’t been thinking about it strategically, or have just relied on your accounting shop to pull together a spreadsheet, you are going about it all wrong.
Here’s what I mean:
Proposal Team –
Absolutely everyone in an organization is impacted (directly or indirectly) by the pricing strategy that you employ on the bid. It goes without saying that to start, you’ve got to win. But the need to win MUST be tempered with the above impacts. Winning a poorly priced bid for headaches in execution is NOT worth it. Do not fall into the trap of “must win at any cost” mentality. It can wreck culture, margins and reputation.
For all the above reasons, we are extremely excited to announce our strategic pricing shop. We’ve got 10+ senior pricers that cover practically every agency, who have won billions. As we push towards fiscal year end, utilize professionals who can help you think through all of the above and win.
Soon proposal season will be upon us…along with writer’s block, visions of past performances dancing in your head, cost volumes, long nights and lots of coffee. But, the most enjoyable of all is resumes, sourcing, contingent offer letters and recruiting.
Government contracting recruiting is not like commercial recruiting. The talent pool is small, the salaries are low, the lists of qualifications are long and the skill sets are specific. Proposal recruiting is its own version of fun with key personnel, vague requirements and candidates who get cranky when they hear you are recruiting for a proposal.
Whether recruiting for a proposal or a funded job req, the usual question is whether you recruit with in-house recruiters or if you utilize an outsourced recruiting firm (or individual recruiting consultant). There are several pros/cons to consider when outsourcing:
Pros of Outsourced Recruiting
Cons of Outsourced Recruiting
There is no right/wrong answer when it comes to determining how you will conduct your recruiting. Both insourced and outsourced offer benefits and advantages. Outsourcing costs more, but allows you to focus more efforts on different areas (proposal writing, business development, etc.). If you have the staff available, insourcing can save costs and give you more control over the recruiting process.
BOOST and Apertus Partners are conducting a workshop through the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce GovCon Initiative on May 31st at 8:30 on Recruiting in the Intelligence Community. Come join the discussion on recruiting challenges, case studies of successful internal recruiting from a local GovCon, the price of recruiting and recruiting diverse candidates in the Intel space. Ross O’Rourke from IC-1 Solutions will present on his company’s experience with internal recruiting in the intelligence community and Dat Nguyen, a BOOST recruiter, will speak on his experience with diversity recruiting in the intel space.
As we head into the second half of the government fiscal year, do you find yourself looking at contractors who are on a winning streak and asking, “why do they keep winning?” What is the secret sauce? They don’t (at least from an outsider’s perspective) seem to be doing anything differently. Their service offerings aren’t different than others. They are winning with new clients, so it can’t be incumbent insider intel. They aren’t the cheapest on the block, so they aren’t low-balling their bids to buy their way in. Are they just lucky? Or is it well deserved?
For those of us who work in GovCon all day, every day, we start to pick up on who will be successful and who will die on the vine. Those that are winning have some of the following qualities:
With a few wins, the leadership strives for more, recruiters have an easier sell to candidates, employee referrals go up, teaming partners start to line up. There is something about being a winner in this town that makes folks want to work for or with the company.
Throw in a little luck and timing, and that’s how you get the GovCon Swagger. At least until the re-compete.
While you may need to define some of these pieces for yourself, BOOST can assist with the prioritization and delegation of your most important tasks. We specialize in accounting, contracts, HR and/or recruiting. Pick one, two or a combination of all four to free up your work time to become a proposal machine. Send an email to [email protected] and let’s discuss how you can get started.
GSA: Schedule 738X GS-02F-007GA
NAICS: 541219, 541611, 541612, 541618, 541990, 561110, 561499, 611430
Email: [email protected]
Address: 12110 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 600, Reston, VA 20190