Dogwood has depth of experience in finding and placing cleared personnel, for both Department of Defense and civilian agency projects (as well as state and local governments). Let us put our expertise, as well as our robust database of talent, to work for you!

What is Security Clearance Recruiting / Executive Search?

Security clearance recruiting & executive search is highly specialized. In addition to ensuring candidates meet the technical, organizational, and budgetary requirements for open position, it also ensures the same candidate either hold an active clearance appropriate to that role- or in some cases (depending on requirements) that the candidate can be easily granted a clearance appropriate to the role. While most executive search firms are focused three-dimensionally on prospective clients for open roles (technical, organizational and budgetary requirements), we have to be just as well focused on a vital fourth dimension- the availability and viability of the appropriate security clearance!

According to Dogwood’s Jeff Bowler (CFCM, CPCM), EVP of Capture & Recruiting (and our Assistant Facility Security Officer), “We have a deep network of cleared contacts – cleared professionals who don’t advertise their clearance status and are not found on the typical resume boards. Our cleared contact “Rolodex” has been developed  for over 20 years in the government talent acquisition and subcontracting space – it’s deep in candidates, and wide in professions). Chances are, we know someone we can call who has the requisite clearance, experience, and certifications to qualify for any position working under government contracts.”

Candidates for cleared roles must be far more qualified than non-cleared personnel; not only do they need to hold the requisite skills and experience to perform the daily duties of the position, as well as fit into the company (and agency) culture, they also must hold the needed credentials to gain access to classified information and even classified workspaces. The steps involved for finding cleared candidates are highly competitive; oftentimes top candidates are already working and/or have been given multiple job offers by your competitors. Combine this with tight project budgets and you begin the understand the challenges of what we deal with every day for our clients. We work hard, we work smart, and we follow procedures that we’ve refined over the past twenty years.

The Challenge Of Hiring Cleared Talent

Available talent in this competitive landscape is the challenge- there is a high demand for these roles, especially as the clearance requirements become tougher (Top Secret vs Secret clearance requirements vs IRS cleared and badged personnel, for example.) The talent pool for cleared candidates is both limited, thus making cleared positions increasingly harder to recruit for. Other challenges include the government’s limited availability at times to grant new clearances, no matter the demand.

The most in-demand positions are in IT and managerial roles, such as information systems security officer, network engineer, program or project manager, systems administrator, AWS Cloud engineer, ERP engineer, database engineer, or subject matter expert. But virtually any job can require a clearance.

The good news is that we know how to speak to cleared personnel. We know what they want, what they need, what they’re looking for, the kind of roles they want, and we have the ability to check their clearances in the system and verify their statements. We know how to present companies and opportunities to these superstars to gain their interest in you, and help you to bring them on to your team.

Types Of Security Clearance

So for those new to this, when it comes to authorizing public sector employees to access sensitive information there are four main types of Department of Defense clearances:

  • Confidential– The basic level of clearance given to most military personnel. This classification’s information would likely cause some damage to national security if leaked.
  • Secret– Disclosing information at this level would cause serious damage to national security.
  • Top Secret– Information leaked at this classification would cause grave danger to national security.
  • Top Secret with additional stipulations – (SCI, “Yankee White”, lifestyle polygraph, etc)
  • Other cleared positions, such as IRS or DHS cleared personnel.

Whether you are a federal contractor, a corporation or a not-for-profit, put our many years of expertise in this area to work for you. We invite you to contact our EVP of Capture & Recruiting Jeff Bowler, CFCM, CPCM (who also serves as our Assistant Facility Security Officer):, telephone (703) 738-6002, or Ross Statham (Managing Director):, telephone (703) 991-8285.