Security Clearance Jobs

Outsourcing Intelligence Jobs

National Public Radio’s Marketplace program ran an interesting story recently on how private industry is stepping up to the plate and taking over many intelligence jobs for the government. Overall, its a good read.

The most provocative line from “intelligence guru and former spy Robert Steele” is as follows:

“Contractors are being given contracts where they claim to have thousands of people with clearances and language skills that don’t actually work for them. And then they turn around and hire away government employees for their clearances, or they provide people who don’t speak the language properly, all in order to make a buck. That’s simply wrong.”

Mr. Steele’s first line is dead-on correct. Many contractors claim to have the cleared talent to fill a contract, when in reality they only have a resume – not an employee. Look at the number of job postings that say “contingent on contract award”. That is some fine print you really don’t want to gloss over.

With regards to providing people that “don’t speak the language properly,” on this point I’d disagree. Contractors that supply the wrong personnel or unqualified personnel are taking a huge risk with their government client. I’d wager that Steele’s line is a hypothesis and not based on a specific event.

Furthermore, he makes it sound like “making a buck” is a nasty thing. The defense industry is a business, plain and simple. Granted, these aren’t folks turning out coat hangers here – but capitalism is the American way.

Comment Archive

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    I quite simply don’t apply for jobs that are on contingent contracts. Big waste of time in my opinion, and I’ve gotten burned in the past.

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    I moved from a job with the government to a government contractor because I was tired of all the red tape and hoops I had to jump through for a serious promotion and raise. Now, with my permanant position with the federal contractor, I’ve had consistent promotions and pay raises that are equal to defined goals and successes in my job. Much better.

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    I had a friend being pursued by a contractor (the contractor was one of the big names in defense contracting) that had his resume submitted on a proposal before they had even interviewed him! They got his resume from an online source and used it in a bid, and *then* they called him to come in for an interview.

    They didn’t win the contract in the end anyway. If they did, this fellow could have probably just about named whatever salary he wanted in response.

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    I agree no one should lie on a proposal about people who would actually work on the contract and the qualifications that the workers possess.

    I can speak for all the young, cleared workers in the DC area that we will continue to “try to make a buck” because housing prices are rediculous. I have a coveted clearance, and a coveted job, and I will continue to hop between jobs to be able to buy a house and support a family.

    If you have a clearance, demand top dollar, and tell an interviewer beforehand that you will not interview if they may give you a contingent offer. There will be companies out there who will give you an offer and find a fit for you later.

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    As a govt. worker with TS, Q clearances. I’m don’t what career moves to do ? Should I take a contracting job and make more $ or stay with the Gov. make appx. 41k per yr. I don’t want to get laid off after leaving the Gov. job. I have a B.S degree in Business and spend several yrs in the Military, and have 9 yrs. with the Gov. in administration. (I guess I’m should be making more. ) I was told that with the Dems running the house and senate that contractors will be cut and will have to lay off most of their workers. The cost of living in the DC metro area is very crazy and hard for the average Joe.

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    Gov Worker,

    Forward your resume to me at [email protected] and I can get you an interview with my current company (a major contractor).
    Job security is just as good with a contracting company. I never hear about anyone getting fired or laid off if they have a clearance. I only hear about people job hopping because the demand is so high. There is absolutely no reason to stay in a government job when you could be making atleast double your current salary with a contractor.

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    Given the increased demand for cleared and experience personnel, I’d like to offer my services to prime contractors thru a subbing arrangement with my SDVO small business. I’m a principal systems engineer, 16 years of military weapons engineering experience. Contact [email protected]. Cheers!

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    Also, avoid any contractors that are subs on the contract. You will have to jump through an additional hoop, and that is being interviewed and ok’d by the prime also, which will take another month.

    How many people out there have been offered jobs with clearance requirements lower than your current clearance? Don’t take those, as the contractor is only giving you an empty promise that they will try to maintain your high level clearance.

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    From Contractor – “If you have a clearance, demand top dollar, and tell an interviewer beforehand that you will not interview if they may give you a contingent offer. There will be companies out there who will give you an offer and find a fit for you later”

    In my opinion, this is bad advice.

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    Contractor – I’d like to know what company you work for? I have read a few of your threads and they are mostly misleading to the general audience. In particular you said on 11 DEC “Job security is just as good with a contracting company. I never hear about anyone getting fired or laid off if they have a clearance” This is 100% wrong.

    I’d like to know where you work? Just because you have a clearance, doesn’t mean you won’t get fired. Ever hear of budget cuts? Well, I have heard of MANY people being laid off with a clearance.

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    I will not disclose what company I work for, however, of the two companies I have worked for, their policies have been to not fire or lay off anybody. When contracts run out, people are put on overhead for months at a time until they find another contract for them. Maybe I have not heard of any cleared workers getting fired or layed off because myself, my friends, and their friends have only worked for large companies.

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    Hello all,

    I am an Executive Recruiter looking for a Senior Engineer with Secret clearance for a government contractor(my client). It is a Net-Centric Systems Engineering role that pays six figures up to around $135k.

    If anyone is interested please reach out to me at: [email protected]

    I look forward to talking with those whom are interest. And of course this role is base in the VA/DC area

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    Hello all,
    I am a recent college graduate and I landed an entry level position at a company that supports DOD contracts. I’m pretty lucky to have found this job and that they went through the process of giving me a clearance (from what I’ve seen and heard, most contract companies won’t even hire you without one). However, I have recently found out that the company I am working for is a flat company in which any room for improvement or promotions is unrealistic. As of now I am trying to relocate into the DC area in hopes to really jump start my career. I recently received a contingent job offer from a company up there based on whether they receive the contract award, and when I spoke to the recruiter who conducted the interview, she stated that the position will start in December. It is now February and I have yet to hear back. Is this common? I am fairly new to the government contracting world and would like to know if I should just move on.

    Thank You