Cleared Candidates in Plain Sight!

In the cleared space, finding cleared talent is an obvious challenge. So, we go to our job boards, LinkedIn, and favorite social media pages to find candidates that list clearances on their resume or profile.  The only problem with that is you may be missing out on candidates who don’t mention that they have a clearance anywhere on their profile or resume. If you only pursue candidates who explicitly tell you they have clearance, then you are recruiting the same people that 99% of recruiters in the cleared space are going after.

So, what if you could source cleared talent without them telling you that you are cleared? Well, you can, and I’m going to show you some tactics that you can use to infer that candidates have a clearance.

One way that I find cleared talent is by using internal intelligence (touch base with your Project managers, Program Managers, or Business Development folks for incumbent capture intel) to find out contract names that infer clearances, such as the TS/full Scope Poly Contract called “Eagle Alliance.”

This contract supports the Fort Meade customer, so if you find a LI profile or resume the references “Eagle Alliance,” then you have found someone with a TS/Full-Scope Poly.

You can use the following LI X-ray string to pull profiles of IT talent that mentions Eagle Alliance, which is a TS/Fullscope Poly contract.  If you are looking for system administrators, now you have over 500 possible results if candidates who have the kind of clearance you are looking for.

Search String: “system administrator” “eagle alliance”

What if you don’t have a contract name to identify possible candidates?  Another trick that I like to use is to use Indeed to search for other companies looking for cleared talent in a specific location that I’m looking to find people.  Again by inference, I’m able to create a list of companies hiring whatever level of clearance that I’m seeking. I can then use that intel to target current or former employers of that company to identify possible candidates for roles.

I’ll use “Software Engineer’ with a “TS/Sci” in the greater St. Louis, MO area as an example on the Indeed platform to identify other companies hiring cleared “Software Engineers.”

When I input the following string: (“software designer” OR “software engineer” OR “software developer” OR “software programmer” OR “software specialist”) AND (“top secret clearance” OR “ts/sci” OR “ssci” OR “full scope poly” OR “ci poly” OR “lifestyle poly” OR “yankee white”).

I come across several companies looking for cleared “software Engineers.  Click here to see results

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I can then search within LinkedIn, LinkedIn Recruiter, build a LI X-ray string, use Hiretual, Seek Out, natural language searches, Profile or Bio search,  or even resume searches to identify cleared “Software Engineers” who have or currently work for Marathon TS, Booz Allen Hamilton, Northrup Grumman, GEOdata IT, Freedom Consulting Group, etc.

Using a basic natural language search with a few of the companies, I was able to identify profiles of cleared “Software Engineers” without targeting LinkedIn through an X-ray search. Example: (“software designer” OR “software engineer” OR “software developer” OR “software programmer” OR “software specialist”) (“SOSI” OR “Booz Allen Hamilton” OR “Marathon TS”) (“i work” OR “I worked” OR “i am a”). Using this natural language search string, I came up with a few “Software Engineers” who currently or have worked for companies that work on cleared contracts.

You can also use a LI X-Ray variation to identify the LinkedIn profile of “Software Engineers” who work at the companies mentioned above with profiles on LinkedIn. Additionally, you can utilize peer regression to identify people like the profiles you find through your LinkedIn search string.

String: (“software designer” OR “software engineer” OR “software developer” OR “software programmer” OR “software specialist”)  (“SOSI” OR “Booz Allen Hamilton” OR “Marathon TS”) (“i work” OR “I worked” OR “i am a”). Additionally, you can conduct an x-ray search on the same companies to find personal web pages for developers working for the same companies: (“software designer” OR “software engineer” OR “software developer” OR “software programmer” OR “software specialist”)  (“SOSI” OR “Booz Allen Hamilton” OR “Marathon TS”) (“i work” OR “I worked” OR “i am a”) -job -jobs -template -sample -example -recruiter.

The point is, with some additional research to gain intelligence on contract names for cleared contracts or competitor companies who hire cleared talent, you can open up your talent pool! No longer will your results be solely focused on resumes, bios, and profiles that contain clearance information. You’ll use inference to reach out to more candidates who “possibly” have the clearance you’re seeking. So, find companies in your area who are hiring cleared talent and utilize your profile, link, x-ray, and file-type searches to uncover more cleared talent!

Happy hunting!

Junius Currier is Technical Sourcing Team Lead at Chenega Corporation, an Alaskan Native government contractor providing innovative solutions for federal, DOD, and commercial customers worldwide. He has spent the last several years recruiting and sourcing in the cleared space. Previously, Junius spent several years recruiting and sourcing in the industrial and commercial construction engineering space as a Sr. Talent Acquisition Specialist for ColonialWebb, a Comfort USA company. 

Junius has numerous recruiting certifications from AIRS (ECRE, ACIR, CIR, CSMR, CSSR, PRC, CMVR, CDR) and is a SourceCon Academy graduate and possesses an Open Source Intelligence certificate from Ulster University. Junius is passionate about the Talent Acquisition and Sourcing community and enjoys networking, contributing, and mentoring others passionate about the profession.