Recruiting Contractors During a Pandemic

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Kent Hansen

Hanover, MD, 19 October 2020

As a contractor, we have overcome many obstacles through the years to find the perfect job. We have conquered government shutdowns and sequestrations, and just when we thought we had seen it all, we now are battling a pandemic. Every time something challenges us, we become more and more flexible in finding a new job or staying in a role that has not been the ideal fit. The last six months have needed us to go above and beyond anything we have overcome before. We now have to treat each day as a new day and a new opportunity to learn how to weave our way around our work and family obligations until we achieve a new normal.

As a recruiter, I have had several prime contracts open over the last six months wanting to bring people on board. Unfortunately, I’ve had very little chance to fill those spots. The government continues to be shut down and positions haven’t been in the office full time. Clearance processing is taking longer for reinstatement, not to mention upgrading a clearance. Companies are doing different things to try to bring people on board, but with the lack of ability to transfer a clearance, it has been challenging.

Many of the candidates that I chat with are nervous about going into a new work environment. Candidates wonder what their new office setup will be, what social distancing will look like, and whether or not people are enforcing masks and practicing the recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines. Positions reporting to work have also been all over the place. Some contracts have been on a 50/50 schedule or a hybrid of remote and in person. A few contracts have been working on rotating shifts. Luckily we have some flexible contracts to let people get their hours in.

It is always nerve-wracking to move onto a new position, but I understand that now even more than ever. I am talking to many candidates for future contract awards. The government is starting to get back to where we were before March but it is going to take a bit more time before we are 100%. My advice to anyone looking or waiting for a new contract is to be patient, keep an open dialogue with leadership. In the meantime, I’d love to talk to you about the opportunities we’re working on! Check out our job postings or reach out to me via email at

At Onyx Point, our engineers focus on Security, System Administration, Automation, Dataflow, and DevOps consulting for government and commercial clients. We offer professional services for Puppet, RedHat, SIMP, NiFi, GitLab, and the other solutions in place that keep your systems running securely and efficiently. We offer Open Source Software support and Engineering and Consulting services through GSA IT Schedule 70. As Open Source contributors and advocates, we encourage the use of FOSS products in Government as part of an overarching IT Efficiencies plan to reduce ongoing IT expenditures attributed to software licensing. Our support and contributions to Open Source, are just one of our many guiding principles

  • Customer First.
  • Security in All We Do.
  • Pursue Innovation with Integrity.
  • Communicate Openly and Respectfully.
  • Offer Your Talents, and Appreciate the Talents of Others

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