Staffing Solutions at USAID
Building Capacity with Specialized Staffing
CTP drew upon its staffing, capacity building, and program management knowledge to support LAC’s mission in making the Western Hemisphere a more peaceful place. Along with our implementing partner IBTCI, who has been providing services to the government for many years, we filled positions across LAC’s portfolio. CTP made strategic hires who were familiar with the function of USAID to ensure success on the project. This recruiting was largely based on our ability to effectively vet candidates and find the right person for the job. CTP’s onboarding process and ability to retain personnel were also chiefly responsible for the success of this contract.
CTP applied our specialized staffing expertise to support LAC’s mission to help to make the U.S. and the Western Hemisphere more peaceful, secure, and prosperous by strengthening the capacity of government and private sector entities. LAC responds to critical development challenges in the region and manages a portfolio of high-profile programs in sectors such as citizen security, democracy and governance, economic growth, health infrastructure, environment and energy. CTP assisted the LAC Bureau in supporting personnel needs based on new priorities and filling specialized personnel requirements. Specifically, CTP drew upon our extensive staffing, capacity building, and program management expertise to fill specialized roles across their portfolio covering some 13 field offices, 4 regional programs and the Washington LAC Headquarters.
CTP was awarded this work alongside our implementing partner, International Business & Technical Consultants, Inc. (IBTCI). IBTCI has been providing monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, and capacity building to the government for thirty-three years. Based in Washington, DC, IBTCI is ranked as one of the top twenty USAID contractors and they have extensive experience working in conflict areas.
The recruiting and hiring process plays an important part in identifying the best candidates, and successfully filling each role. CTP staffing begins by establishing a thorough understanding of the position requirements. To ensure success in this task, CTP made a strategic hire of a well-established USAID practitioner, to serve as the team lead, who was intimately familiar with the operational realities within USAID. This hire and his expertise improved the agility of our recruitment team, because CTP was able to quickly use his background to establish and distill the key needs of each position and build an effective recruitment plan.
CTP created well-written position descriptions that were deployed throughout our recruitment channels to attract qualified and quality talent. In addition to the many industry-standard recruitment platforms, CTP marketed positions to specialized groups to attract candidates with clearances. This external effort was complimented by CTP’s internal systems, which rely on a mix of applied experience to vet candidates and technology solutions to automate filtering.
Finding the Right Fit
CTP has impressed the client with our ability to rapidly address contract hiring requirements. Since CTP is a small, boutique firm, we pay very close attention to each candidate that we interview. To differentiate our recruitment process from other firms, CTP maintains a single point of contact throughout the entire process so that hires have a sense of continuity during the recruitment experience. In an effort to distinguish ourselves and attract quality talent, position descriptions are clear and well written, the posting is shared across hiring sites, and substantial time goes towards screening and vetting, and interviewing, to hire the best. CTP filters through the legitimacy of each person’s experience — does the candidate just use buzz words on their resume or are they actually the right fit? We also look at how their unrelated experience might fit into the potential new role. CTP is currently in the process of establishing a recruitment portal, inclusive of an Applicant Tracking System and Automated Onboarding, which allows us to compete with larger players.
Execution and Sustainment
To successfully execute a staffing contract, we must recruit, onboard, and place candidates in a timely fashion. As staff retention is integral, CTP draws upon its mature onboarding process to ensure the candidate’s first interaction with their new employer is a positive one. During onboarding, we balance relationship building with process adherence to ensure a quality fit and tight integration with our corporate culture. We know that onboarding is the opportunity to introduce our company mission, culture, and values which we take seriously. This process ensures that new hires are quickly brought up to speed and have all the necessary information to do their jobs. It is important to CTP that everyone feels like they are a part of the corporate family no matter their position.
In support of this contract, we hired a thirty-year USAID graduate as a senior leader who joined our International Security Programs (ISP) Group. CTP headquarters has filled all vacancies quickly and we have netted positive results in hiring high-quality, cleared, and Spanish-speaking personnel. To provide long term support for this contract, there are expected to be twelve to fifteen positions inclusive of program and administrative support, program analysts, administrative analysts, and communication and outreach. Short term technical support may be required in the field on an as-needed basis. In terms of larger metrics for the project, the startup deliverables have all been executed. The semiannual report is also in progress to indicate that all performance metrics are met.