We look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, we experienced an increased emphasis on big data, insider threat, merging technology with health care, and the internet of things, among others.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the Beltway for insight on the direction they see the government contracting community heading in 2018. Topics discussed include M&A activity, public/private sector collaboration, cloud computing, the incoming millennial workforce in defense/IT/health care, talent retention, and more.
Next in the series is ManTech International Corp. Chief Human Resources Officer Jeff Brody, who’s tasked with the development, implementation and execution of the company’s human resources strategies supporting annual business objectives and its long-range strategic plan. Here are Brody’s insights:
Building Human Capital for 2018 and Beyond
Supporting customer requirements comes natural to government contractors. However, a key ingredient to successful customer engagements lies in the ability to attract, retain, develop and motivate human capital. On the surface, this appears easy enough. But one challenge of crucial importance to the national and homeland security of the nation persists: the security clearance backlog.
Security clearances are difficult to acquire for those who have not worked in the industry. Potential newcomers to the industry can wait patiently on the sidelines for a clearance — in many instances up to 500 days — or take their skills to other industries.
This challenge will continue to be a significant issue for the GovCon space in 2018. It is amplified because the skills that are critical for federal government customer support are in high demand by and can be transferred to other industries. For example, the automotive, health care and banking sectors are just as apt to hire software developers and cybersecurity experts as the GovCon space.
A related top-of-mind issue: ensuring a strong talent pipeline today to supply next generation of GovCon leadership. Some characterize this process as the ascension of millennials as baby boomers retire. Whatever the label applied, it is critical to preserve and build on the knowledge, skills and capability (the industrial base) that will ensure the nation’s security needs and services in the years ahead.
Let 2018 be the year that new talent can more rapidly enter the GovCon space in the spirit of supporting our nation’s most critical near-term needs, innovating to stay ahead of emerging threats and defining future capability to service public interests.