Workforce

DHS set for new wave of IT hiring

stylized professionals

The Department of Homeland Security is finalizing plans to implement an IT and cybersecurity job fair it hopes will draw candidates from nontraditional sources. The agency is also seeking the authority to hire workers on the spot.

Although the department has not yet set a firm date or location, DHS CIO Luke McCormack told FCW the event will be held in the Washington area in June or early July and that details would be finalized in the next week to 10 days.

Speaking at an April 28 Industry Day hosted by FCW sister publication Washington Technology, McCormack said DHS has more than 1,000 IT and cybersecurity jobs to fill.

He added that the fair is being tailored to attract talented IT professionals who might not have considered DHS or even the federal government as an employer. Officials want to dispel the perception that the government is a forbidding place to work that's further complicated by long hiring and other processes.

Although DHS has had help with technological development and innovation from agencies such as the U.S. Digital Service and the Government Services Administration's 18F, McCormack said it needs more in-house IT professionals to move forward with its DevOps and agile development efforts.

"We're having to get creative in how we're getting that skill set," he added.

Although DHS opened an office in California's Silicon Valley in 2015, it's also looking across the country for IT talent, including the high-tech corridor in the Washington, D.C., area. Indeed, the IT/cybersecurity job fair could become a mobile activity. "We'd like to meet them where they are," he said.

McCormack stressed that those 1,000 positions will only be filled when officials find the most qualified people. "We want to find the right talent to fight the fight," he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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