By: Helios on December 22nd, 2015

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What Options Do Government Contractors Have When Staffing for RFPs?

Talent Acquisition

A question I have been asked by business owners and executives of rapidly growing contractors is, “who do you turn to when you need to respond quickly to a proposal?” What are the options available to GovCons who need support in recruiting for proposals?

Proposal recruiting has a unique set of challenges.  There are direct costs associated with responding to an RFP and if done properly the payoff for an organization can be high.  

What Options Do GovCons Have When Responding to RFP Staffing Needs?


  1. Do you have an internal team who can manage the recruiting? 
    Many corporate recruiters feel like they have a lot on their plate and are juggling the needs of many hiring managers at any given time. The idea of dropping all of their existing priorities to work on a proposal may seem unrealistic to them.
    Many larger government contractors hire contract recruiters to focus exclusively on the proposal and capture efforts  to avoid disrupting the revenue stream from recruiting for funded roles. Many rapidly growing government contractors do not have this luxury.  In some cases, the capture team is tasked with helping out on proposal recruiting efforts.
    Where do you turn if you do not have the internal resources necessary?
  2. Do you work with a staffing firm to help with contingency recruiting? You may have a staffing firm that helps you out from time to time with contract-to-hire roles and placements.  You could approach them about enlisting their help with proposal recruiting. One factor to consider is few staffing firms will work on a proposal contingency.  If you have one that will help, understand that their priorities may also be on fully-funded roles.
  3. Do you have a network of contract recruiters? Some organizations turn to external, contract recruiters(s) to help them when they need support. If you have a great network of trusted/vetted contract recruiters you can call on a moment’s notice, this may be a good option for your firm.
  4. Work with a recruitment consulting firm that has GovCon expertise.  I'm slightly biased here because that's what we do here at Helios.   Whether it is one recruiter or an entire team, our model is flexible to scale up or down to meet a clients’ needs.  Recruiters are certified and professionally trained to handle both cleared and non-cleared recruiting efforts with short deadlines. And as a small, certified woman-owned business supporting the federal government and government contracting clients, you will have the certainty knowing we understand the industry.

Here at Helios, I have worked with a variety of clients on proposal efforts which have varied in a number of roles, timing, and clearance levels. Some of the work has been on a two to three-day turn-around while other assignments have been longer term engagements to respond to multiple proposals.  These clients typically had some form of internal recruiting support, but when it came to recruiting for proposals, they did not have the internal capacity to respond to these efforts.  I was able to work with the capture and PM teams for the proposal efforts freeing their internal resources to continue to focus on recruiting for funded roles and internal hires.

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