The best entrepreneurs are smart people who come along with viable strategies to meet real market needs. Ginger Groeber, founder of Exfederal.com, saw a lack of efficient and affordable tools to align public sector experience with private sector contracting opportunities. After years of experience as a civilian in the Department of Defense as well in the private sector, she created her company (www.exfederal.com) to help contractors access experienced military and other government workers interested in exploring opportunities in the contracting industry.
VSB: Ginger, what is exfederal.com and what prompted you to launch the website?
Groeber: Exfederal.com is a website that provides a place for people looking for federal contracting jobs to be matched with companies who need to hire qualified applicants to work on their federal contracts. There are two major parts to the website, job posting and applicant database.
The website was developed because as a federal contractor, I knew that it was difficult to find qualified applicants to support federal contracts. There wasn’t a single place to find qualified applicants.
Coming from a military family and having personally spent 26 years in the civil service in Department of Defense, I know how many highly qualified people there are who want jobs. There is a huge need on the contracting side for applicants who have the same experience that has been gained by being in the military, as a civil servant and working in support of government contracts. I think that this huge base of experience needs to be refocused to continue to support the government. I want to provide a place that helps those looking for jobs and a recruitment source for companies who contract with the government.
VSB: Senior military leaders preparing to transition out of military service may be weighing the pros and cons of federal vs private sector opportunities and may even be considering launching out on their own. How can tapping into exfederal.com’s resources help them explore their options?
Groeber: They can search on the exfederal.com website for vacant positions. The jobs posted on the website are all in support of federal contracts. They can apply directly to the company that posted the vacancy. In addition, exfederal.com gives applicant the opportunity to indicate whether they would like to work full-time, part-time or in a temporary capacity. This allows transitioning military or civil servants who aren’t sure they want to commit to a full-time position to be considered for part-time or temporary assignments. Companies know when they are searching for someone in exfederal.com to fill a part-time or temporary contract support position, that this is also what the applicant is interested in working. This kind of immediate connection provides options and saves a lot of time in the recruitment process.
VSB: I often hear smaller contractors complain about what they see as a “chicken and egg” issue of wanting to go after federal contracts, but if successful, having to try to quickly supplement their staffs to deliver the work. Does exfederal.com provide a cost-effective way to quickly match talent for smaller contractors as well?
Groeber: Exfederal.com is the perfect solution for smaller contractors (as well as large contractors). As a small contractor myself, I was always faced with trying to find staff to support contract requests. Exfederal.com provides a capability for small businesses to post job vacancies, for a relatively low price, connect with social media sharing of the vacancy and search a database of applicants who have been asked to provide information specifically targeted to highlight their past federal experience.
VSB: What is the process for transitioning military leaders interested in finding opportunities through exfederal.com and is there a fee involved?
Groeber: There is no fee for transitioning military. Our philosophy is that no applicant should pay for their resume to be considered. At exfederal.com, they need to take no more than 20-30 minutes to document their education and experience in our virtual resume format and make their resume available to a whole host of government contractors. They can also browse the posted vacancies and apply directly with the company that has the vacancy.
VSB: Any other advice you’d like to share with transitioning senior military leaders?
Groeber: The single biggest piece of advice I can give transitioning senior military leaders is to ask them to think about the type of work they want to do and highlight that in their resume. I’ve seen too many senior military resumes that include titles such as “manager.” They need to indicate what they were managing that they want to bring to the private sector market. If they managed information technology programs, then build the resume around the kinds of programs, budget levels, staff numbers, breadth and scope of the programs. In DoD, we ask our senior leaders to manage large expansive programs and unless they take the time to craft their resume with the private sector market in mind, they begin to look like a jack of all trades but master of none.