Workforce

Defense Digital Service looks to retool tech recruitment

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The Pentagon is getting upscale with its tech recruiting efforts in a new pilot program that aims to give candidates the "white-glove" treatment from application to job offer.

Defense Digital Services was tapped "to recruit non-traditional technical talent," including computer scientists, user experience designers, and product managers, through the Civilian Hiring as a Service Pilot Program, according to a FedBizOpps request for information dated Feb. 1.

The program is expected to provide a "white-glove" candidate experience to hire tech workers from industry and every level of government through constant engagement and communication with prospective candidates, understanding DOD agencies' hiring needs and recruiting qualified and passionate workers that "live online," and assessing current workforce experiences.

"There is a place for technologists to help define the mission of national defense, but we have to show up," said DDS chief Chris Lynch on Twitter. "We at [DDS] see this as the first step in making the mess of federal hiring far easier for tech people to join."

Once launched, DDS will lead the effort, while a vendor handles job marketing, hosts events, conducts candidate testing and prescreens candidates.

The request did not specify how many positions the pilot is expected to fill but indicated the effort was to "meet the department's needs as cyber warfare moves to the forefront."

Responses to the RFI closed Feb. 8. The service contract would last from March 1 through April 30, 2020 and comes with two one-year option periods that extend from 2020 to 2022.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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