June 2012 Edition - Emergency Communications...
Re:SourcesThe Road To The FutureGrowing A U.S. Federal Presence
By Bert Sadtler, President, Boxwood Executive Search + Contributing Editor
These are extremely challenging times for employers who need to acquire top level talent as well as for those seeking a career change. Today, companies economics compel them to re-assess their talent needs in order to remain competitive and drive growth. The satellite communications industry is ripe with new opportunities. Employers are challenged with making a great hire. For the candidate, finding an opportunity can sometimes be a rather difficult proposition.
To assist with career searches, we asked Bert Sadtler of Boxwood Executive Search to respond to readers questions regarding the processes of recruitment and hiring as well as how Companies can retain crucially-needed talent. Boxwood is located in the Washington, DC, region and has success in senior level recruitment in satellite communications, government contracting, and within the intelligence community. Boxwood also provides a consulting solution for the analysis and improvement of the employers current recruitment process. If you would care to submit a recruitment, hiring, or retention question for Bert to answer, please email your question to BertSadtler@BoxwoodSearch.com.
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Our European based company is focusing on expansion into the U.S. Federal Government Sector, which will include recruiting critical talent who will be responsible for driving revenue and growing our U.S. presence. What are your suggestions for a successful outcome?
SATCOM Hardware Manufacturer
My compliments to you and your company for your expansion efforts. During these challenging economic conditions, some companies are in retreat mode from the U.S. market. Their retreat opens up opportunities for organizations with agility, the creative ability to deliver solutions and expansion into the U.S.
When considering approaching the U.S. Federal Sector Marketplace, you have probably included the following considerations:
– If your company is selling directly to the U.S. Federal Government, have you met the necessary foreign owned requirements?
– Through your planning efforts, have you determined that you want to be targeting Prime Contract Awards?
– Has your company secured a license to hunt also known as a GSA Schedule?
– If applicable, have you obtained a security clearance?
– In the event you have determined it is better to walk before you run, perhaps, your initial focus will be as a Sub-Contractor or to sell your product to companies who hold a Prime Contract.
– Sub-Contractors and re-sellers fall into a competitive and cluttered marketplace with difficulty in directly interacting with the Federal Government Customer.
Once you have determined your internal structure, how do you attract critical talent capable of delivering results?
The most desirable talent includes people who know the target U.S. market, are known in that market and are delivering results. They will respond to recruitment initiatives that motivate them and that they can relate to.
This is the point where identifying with the U.S. culture becomes critical. Non-US based companies have a different cultural that works well in their country. It may not translate as well in the U.S. If you are committed to penetrating the U.S. Federal Government Marketplace, thought should be given to the U.S. culture.
The recruitment campaign for critical U.S. talent should include seeking technically qualified professionals who have chemistry with their leadership. It should also include a compensation program reflective of a U.S. performance-based model.
Critical talent in the U.S. is accustomed to compensation that includes a base salary plus a performance based bonus. Some compensation models in non-U.S. countries are more heavily weighted on a fixed salary and a limit on total earnings.
To truly attract game changers and top tier talent, the compensation model should be adjusted to be more in-line with the U.S. marketplace. For example, develop a compensation model with a base salary of 60 percent of total target earnings and 40 percent in a performance-based bonus. There should be no cap or limit if the employee is so exceptional that they can exceed the desired targets.
Remember, the sales cycle in the U.S. Federal Government Marketplace can be one to two years. Since goals and results cant be initially measured in revenue, it may be more productive to develop a Phase 1 / Phase 2 approach.
The first phase would focus on Best Practices and the completion of defined tasks which will lead toward a revenue stream. The bonus would be awarded to the employee upon the completion of the defined tasks. The second phase would be implemented once a revenue stream has been established and the bonus would be tied to revenue goals.
I hope you have found this to be helpful.
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