January 12, 2021

How to Overcome 4 Major Hurdles to Successfully Sourcing Cleared Candidates

Imagine if we categorized industries into different track-and-field events based on the roles they recruited for. 

Recruiters in the retail, construction, and hospitality industries would participate in sprints, since those roles have the shortest time to hire. On the flip side, recruiters in industries that require security-cleared candidates would participate in long-distance hurdle races. Why? The process of sourcing cleared candidates contains many hurdles that recruiters have to surmount. 

Some of these hurdles include sourcing securely, smaller talent pools, hidden clearances, and more. Fortunately, there are recruitment tools and practices that organizational leaders can leverage to successfully clear these hurdles and source security-cleared candidates. Not only will these tools help companies clear said hurdles, but with the right tools, organizations will be able to beat their competition to the finish line.  

Hurdle 1: Sourcing Securely

Spot the irony in this situation: recruiters sourcing security-cleared candidates on unsecured platforms. Unfortunately, this is a common hurdle that prevents recruiters from successfully completing their sourcing tasks. It’s important to select sourcing tools that are extensively secure via security compliances, such as OFCCP, GDPR, SOC2 Type I and II, CCPA, EU-US Privacy Shield, and others. Once your sourcing tool is secure, you’ve successfully cleared your first hurdle. 

Hurdle 2: A Limited Talent Pool

In 2017, there were believed to be a little over 4 million individuals holding eligible security clearance, around 25 percent of whom had Top Secret clearance. With the talent pool being so small, organizations need tools that reach as many of these candidates as possible. Fortunately, Hiretual possesses the largest database of 3.7 million security-cleared candidates from niche online platforms, job boards, and even your own ATS/CRM.

Unfortunately, there are some candidates who are unable to publicize their clearance levels. In those situations, recruiters have two options. They can rely on their judgment and analytical skills to locate these hidden candidates by considering organizations, locations, and skills that are often associated with cleared candidates. Or, they can use recruitment technology to help them analyze organizations, locations, and job titles that might imply security clearance.

For example, with Hiretual’s Security Clearance Inference, recruiters can gain confidence in their candidate searches, knowing the technology automatically identifies whether a candidate resume contains past or present experience with government agencies and employers that require clearance. As one recruiter from Cherokee Federal explains, “My clients want candidates to have all this experience within a job description, but would also prefer someone who already works at DOS versus working for DHS, for example. The [Security Clearance Inference] is super helpful because it shows you the agencies they’ve worked at in a profile, and that’s important.”

Hurdle 3: Sourcing With Specificity

For some recruiters, especially those running sprints, it’s not difficult to find decent candidates in a broad search by manually scrolling through profiles until stumbling across the select few who might actually catch the hiring manager’s eye. Unfortunately, recruiters sourcing cleared candidates can’t do that, because their potentially qualified candidates tend to be a little more discreet and harder to find.

With an already limited talent pool, recruiters should arm themselves with the right tools and technology support to conduct searches that home in on specific criteria in a scalable way. When it comes to AI recruitment technology vendors like Hiretual, we help recruiters polish the accuracy and depth of their searches with intelligent filters that analyze profiles for previous job experiences, employers, or keywords that allude to a specified security clearance. Hiretual provides an industry-leading 12 AI Security Clearance filters, including SCI, US Agencies, Confidential, and Top Secret. With these filters, paired with access to the largest talent pool of cleared candidates, recruiters will increase the quality of candidates they find while decreasing the time it takes to find them.  

Hurdle 4: Keeping Track of Candidates

Once you’ve cleared the hurdles of sourcing securely and finding cleared candidates from a large talent pool with the help of features and filters, you want to make sure you are organized with candidate engagement. Given the difficulty of finding these candidates, you don’t want to risk losing track of them, not properly engaging with them, or having them lose interest in your organization. For this reason, it’s important that your tech stack allows all recruiters on your team to stay on top of all your ongoing conversations and the metrics needed to continuously improve and optimize the candidate engagement process. 

I’m sure many of us have experienced being contacted by more than one recruiter from the same company with the same message. At times like this, candidate interest in the position drops significantly. Fortunately, recruitment technology today comes with all sorts of intelligent functionalities to keep recruiters from spamming candidates who have already been contacted or have already replied to your outreach.

Additionally, recruitment metrics help you keep track of the relevance of your target audience. Your team might be running a sourcing task based on a job description that has always worked before, but you might realize you’re not getting the candidates you want. Clearance recruiters like to use Hiretual’s market insights feature to stay up to date with talent pool trends and conduct analysis on competitors or other agencies within their geographic footprint. During this analysis, you may realize that some of your requirements or outreach templates aren’t the most suited for your candidate needs at the moment. So what do you do? You optimize accordingly. Ultimately, your sourcing tool should be as multifaceted as the role you’re sourcing for. 

Winning the Race

If organizations want to clear the hurdles of recruiting security-cleared candidates, it’s important that they know what hurdles to expect. Once these obstacles are identified, then recruiters can take steps to implement products and practices that will allow them to successfully source security-cleared candidates. 

To find the best tool for sourcing cleared candidates, learn more about Hiretual here

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Hiretual is an AI-powered recruitment software that functions as a candidate data engine to centralize all recruiting efforts for hiring teams big and small. Hiretual integrates with 30+ applicant tracking systems to drive real-time data synchronization and scalability in an organization's tech stack. Experience fast and simple AI sourcing across 750+ million profiles on the open web, build personalized engagement campaigns with extensive market insights, and rediscover old profiles in your database with intelligent data enrichment.
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