New Web site seeks to connect contractors with former federal workers


Ginger Groeber is pictured in her home office where she works with Emily Coates and Merv Doucet. (Evy Mages/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
July 29, 2012

When companies win a new government contract, they typically need to staff up — and fast. But Ginger Groeber, a former human resources official at the Pentagon who now consults for contractors, saw no easy way to do that.

Taking matters into her own hands, she has founded Exfederal.com, a Web site designed to efficiently match government contractors with workers with federal government experience.

After retiring from the Defense Department after 26 years, Groeber took a human resources job at Lockheed Martin and later established her own consulting company.

“I was always amazed at how hard it was to find people who have federal experience,” she said.

Contractors, in particular, often need to hire quickly; she said companies may win a contract and need to provide staff within weeks.

Groeber designed her site — which is being beta tested and expected to move to full operation in September — to solve that problem. Potential hires can upload their resumes, which then are searchable by specific experience, whether it be a military background or previous work for a particular agency.

All of the elements are searchable by employers, but candidates themselves can also browse the site and apply for listed jobs. While individuals pay nothing to upload a resume or search for jobs, companies that use the site pay to post job openings and to search the database.

Groeber is allowing some companies to post for free while the site is in development, and she is recruiting people to post resumes. So far, Exfederal, which is based out of her Fairfax home, has about 500 resumes in its database and three full-time employees.

She hopes to eventually expand her site to be more useful to federal agencies.

Still, Groeber is just getting started in a competitive world of targeted job sites. ClearanceJobs.com, for instance, provides federal contractors and agencies a way to search for candidates with coveted security clearances.

The site, which opened in 2002 and was later purchased by careers Web site provider Dice Holdings, has 478,000 registered job seekers and is expected to have half a million by the end of the year. At any one time, ClearanceJobs.com has about 7,000 job postings, though, according to Evan Lesser, managing director of the site, many employers do not post jobs and simply search resumes.

Mark Marcon, a senior equity analyst covering human capital services at Robert W. Baird & Co., said niche job sites have gained traction in recent years.

“There’s been fragmentation within the job board category ... so we’ve seen a number of more specialized job boards,” he said, noting that these focused sites can be more efficient for recruiters and employers. It “typically ends up being less expensive to advertise on a more nichey site ... both from the perspective of the absolute dollars that you spend to place the ad combined with having to sort through fewer responses.”

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