Episode #35 Recruiting in Government Contracting 

Announcement: Broadcasting from Fairfax, Virginia, you are now listening to the Highlight Cast.

Victoria Kruemmer: Okay. Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Highlight Cast. My name is Victoria Kruemmer . I am the marketing manager here at Highlight. And today I welcome our recruiting lead, Matt Dotson, and our director of people and culture, Fiona Sityar . So welcome to the show, both of you. Hi. 

Matt Dotson: Hi, Victoria. Hi, Fiona.

Fiona Sityar: Hey team, happy to be on. As recruiting for any industry becomes more and more important and, you know, has more and more challenges, we, uh, wanted to have both of you on just to discuss the current landscape within GovCon and Some of the opportunities that people have to engage with our teams. So diving right in what sets GovCon apart from all the other subsets in the tech industry. And what are some of the benefits of working for a GovCon versus. You know, some traditional tech organizations. I think government contracting in the tech industry has obviously some unique opportunities as well as challenges. Um, one, I think the ability to collaborate is a lot more prevalent when you’re working on programs and trying to find teaming partners. And uh, in the back office as well. So there’s a huge people aspect to it, but obviously there are also intricacies around government procurement regulations and things around all of these rules that we need to follow. So in a sense, there’s also a higher level. Barrier to entry if you will. 

Matt Dotson: Yeah, it’s not like It’s not like exclusivity in any way, right? But like it’s also a lot smaller than it looks from the outside and When I’m talking to folks who are maybe coming from the, um, you know, the, the public side, the civilian side into a government contract, um, I, I just like to tell them, like, once you’re in, like you’re in, uh, the more government orgs that you’re trying to work with down the line in your career, they’re going to be looking for experience, you know, supporting other Gov, uh, agencies, uh, wherever, whatever side of, you know, a company’s portfolio you might be on. Um, once you’re in like the contracting network, the GovCon network, like Everyone kind of knows each other or at least knows the space that you’re working in. So even if I’m meeting someone for the first time, I’m familiar with the agency that they’re supporting, or even just like one of the big companies in that area. And, um, it’s already like, we’re, we’re, we’re already, we’ve got a cadence where we’re already on like almost a first name basis of, okay, I know what you do. You know what my company does. So. Let’s figure out how we can work together from here. Um, I feel like that’s, that’s where like the smaller network comes into play.

Victoria Kruemmer: Yeah, for sure. I think on my side, what really resonates with me of what differentiates GovCons from other industry within technology is the mission focus of all of our agencies and all of our customers. When you’re, you know, addressing a GovCon most of the time, ours are directly You know, benefiting citizens at the end of the day, um, in one way or another, and ultimately, all of those government agencies are going to feed back into, you know, all of our livelihoods and all of our day to day operations in one way or another, whether it be, you know, protecting stateside or, you know, helping promote health or insert mission here kind of thing. Um, So Matt, this one’s specifically for you. So how do recruits find a role and what are you guys looking for?

Matt Dotson: So, I mean, there’s, it’s as simple as, well, the simple answer is short. Just go on a website, look at job postings, engage, engage LinkedIn, go to career fairs. Um, but really it’s, it’s direct interaction with people that are working on the staffing side is going to be the most helpful way to, to break into things. Like we’re going to a career fair at George Mason university. Um, the week of September 28th, uh, and a lot of the questions that we get from graduating students are, yeah, I want to get into government contracting, but how, or I, you know, I want to work in software development for, for USCIS. I want to work at, you know, U. S. Agency for International Development. How can I break into that space? And, and when you’re talking to someone that works in staffing in that world, they know All of the pieces of the puzzle, you know, they’re going to be able to share with you. It’s, it’s a recommend that if you want to work in the tech space in this area of the government, um, that you have this type of certification because a lot of them, they require, you know, CompTIA security plus or something like that. Um, and I’m not saying that everyone who wants to work in GovCon needs that. But talking to individuals, um, that know the ins and outs of all these requirements is, um, you know, the, the best way to fully round out your resume and your experience going into something, cause it could be as simple as, you know, earning a certification on a summer break so that as you’re a fresh graduate, You’ve got one leg up on all the other applicants to an entry level job, um, with a government customer, or if you’ve been working for some time and you want to break into, you know, the field a little later in your career, um, you can sit down with someone like myself or another recruiter at highlight, um, and we can take a look at your resume and match exactly, you know, we can find a path for you and show you exactly how you can get to where you want to be. A lot of times it might even be. Like suggesting a particular title to be looking for. Someone says, I want to be a developer working in this field, or I want this kind of title in my career. They might be calling for additional experience, but here’s a title that you can be looking for to get you to that space. Um, just opening up, uh, you know, the eyes in, in, in the job search world. Um, that’s, that’s the, the easiest way to do it. But then obviously, you know, keeping an ear to the ground, attending these events. There are plenty of GovCon related job fairs in the area. There are, you know, tech specific ones. There are, um, like diversity specific ones. There are networking groups for women, for minorities, uh, for veterans, for recent graduates, for people with this type of certification, for people with clearances. Um, so really doing research, you know, figuring out. What your background is and then finding a job fair that that suits that background and you’ll meet gov con employers through that as well.

Victoria Kruemmer: Yeah. And to that point, do you have any tips on what to look for when you’re kind of trying to narrow the field of what role you really think you’re well suited for? 

Matt Dotson: I mean, look at job postings that that are desirable. Um, and then try and match your resume to that job posting because most of the time, you know, if you if you’re starting out in a particular field, even if it’s just a certain technology or a certain space, maybe you’re working in like global development, humanitarian aid, and you want to want to go into State Department looking at job postings within these organizations. Seeing how your resume speaks to those and then, and then tailoring them to, uh, to best fit. I mean, we’ve held plenty of, um, of resume workshops at highlight. Um, and, and oftentimes, you know, myself and other recruiters are on calls with people helping them format their resume for For the appropriate job that they’re looking for. Um, you know, it’s really comparing like the industry norms in, in that particular field. Um, and, and then also that helps you recognize what you might need to get to add to your resume to make you, you know, the best candidate for the job. 

Victoria Kruemmer: Yeah. You touched on it a little bit earlier. Um, when you were talking about qualifications and certifications, what are some of the ones that people should really be researching and honing in on for these types of roles?

Matt Dotson: So a lot of times in like the software dev world or in, you know, like information security, um, they’re looking for like D I D O D I A T, um, certifications. And it’s as simple as a running a Google search and seeing the chart that’s on their website to see, you know, which ones match to what level. Um, so oftentimes, you know, we’re asked to find people that have. network plus or security plus or C. I. S. A. C. I. S. S. P. Um, in the information security world, those are, those are the top ones. And I mean, right now, as of September, uh, of this year, we’re looking for folks with those exact certifications. Um, you know, I think everyone kind of has their eye on P. M. P. Like just starting out their career. But there are places that you can start before having to go through like the rigorous program of earning your PMP to kind of set you up for other opportunities that will then make that easier for you, uh, in the long run. Um, and then, you know, if you’re currently employed. Looking to get involved in groups like act. I act walking away from, you know, graduating their associates program. Um, not only is that, uh, you know, assert or a, um, an accomplishment on your resume on your profile, but it’s also an in, you know, in a new network of people. That’s a pretty tight knit group. That will then be able to kind of usher you into other spaces of, yeah, earning different certs or getting experience in this one particular area, whether it might be like a fellowship or like a part time opportunity whilst you’re supporting another org.

Fiona Sityar: Yeah, I think Matt touched on this earlier as well, but to the surprise of nobody, I think we’ve seen, obviously, a similar thing. Super huge increase in, um, a focus on digital transformation. So obviously technology skills driving demand for those with expertise in the tech. World and obviously emerging technologies. So as new things come out, I’m learning as much as you can on those new things. And then obviously pairing these skill sets with clearance requirements that really further increases the complexity when, when job hunting, especially in Gulfcon, but clearances are, and will continue to be crucial and obviously obtaining a clearance from scratch can be time consuming. So those candidates with active clearances are going to. Continue to remain in high demand.

Matt Dotson: Also, uh, one, one more piece of experience that really just came to mind is, you know, a lot of people don’t know what types of internships to, to look for. Um, and you know, there are plenty of internships out there where you’re just kind of a general intern. Um, you know, you might be doing office support one day, you might be helping HR with something the next day, but, but searching for specialized internships, like ones that we have at highlight can be really helpful to grow, you know, your resume, um, and, and, and build your, your career in the industry, like looking to work in business development, working in a contracts office, something that is like government customer facing, um, to give you that, uh, That experience of working with those groups and then, you know, you can hit the ground running when you find your first opportunity, or even just familiarity with, uh, with, with a particular customer, um, and then going to work for them on the contract side can be, can be really helpful.

Victoria Kruemmer: I want to circle back really quickly, just for folks that. Maybe new to the industry. Um, could you give some more insight into the clearance process or really what the different levels mean when they are doing that research?

Matt Dotson: Sure. I think the biggest, um, uh, difference in, in cleared work, a lot of people have questions about is, you know, like a sponsored department of defense. Clearance versus a suitability clearance with Homeland Security or a public trust with, you know, a civilian organization. So, um, most of the time, if you’re taking a job that requires a public trust level clearance, um, if you don’t have that, that doesn’t disqualify you. Uh, and that can be tricky about some job postings, but when you’re applying to work with the public trust, um, that, that public trust is held through the organization that you’re going to be working at. It’s not. Assigned to you and you will carry with it. You’ll, you’ll carry it with you, you know, to, to any other company, any other org, um, it’s just specific to that org. So if you’re interested in working at small business administration and the requirements include a public trust, um, you’re potentially eligible for that. There is a screening process. You know, there’s a background check. They’ll check things like criminal background, um, potentially like a credit check, financial backgrounds. They might need to verify us citizenship. Yeah. It varies for every government org as well. So it could be different at NIH versus small business administration, which is why I encourage people to apply to any type of job that calls for that. And when you speak to a hiring manager or recruiter, they can tell you exactly what the background check is going to cover, um, compared to, you know, a department of defense secret clearance, uh, or a top secret clearance, or even a, a top secret SCI clearance. Um, that’s something that, that requires sponsorship. Through your company, um, and will be active as long as you’re using it in a job that requires it. Um, so a lot of people don’t understand, uh, that once they are separating from a position that requires their active clearance, they have 24 months to go somewhere and keep that clearance active, otherwise it goes away and you would have to start that whole process over again. Um. But also, once again, encouraging folks to apply to opportunities, um, and see if it’s, you know, an active requirement or if it’s something that they’re willing to submit you for. Um, and a lot of times you can look for jobs specifically that, that state, they’re going to sponsor you for a clearance, which is a really valuable opportunity because once you’re a cleared candidate, it opens up doors that were closed previously. Um, it becomes, you know, even more, an even smaller group. Of, of candidates that can be considered for a role, um, because of the sensitive nature of whatever it is they may be working on. Um, so it can be a little tricky to get your foot in the door. Um, a lot of times if you’re working somewhere and you know that your company sponsors clearances, um, I encourage people to, to go to their manager, um, or, or go to someone in leadership and say, I’d like to break into the cleared space. How can you help me get there? And the answer might be placing you somewhere else so that they can process you for a clearance or keeping you billing on one program while they process you for another. And then you have the opportunity to be mobile to other programs from there.

Victoria Kruemmer: Yeah. So, um, building on that qualification piece and certifications, how often do you all see, um, the need for platform specific, You know, knowledge and expertise, and we’re talking like AWS service now on the tech side, and then obviously on more of our mission sides, you know, more of those Microsoft office skills and so on. Can you speak to that? 

Fiona Sityar: I think government contracting encompasses so, so many different skill sets. I know at highlight alone, there’s such a variety. So I would say one. It depends on the agency that the work is supporting and what their needs are at the moment. Um, two, it depends on what’s happening in the world, right? Um, with supporting the U. S. Government and Victoria, you hit the nail on the head earlier with The impact to national security and citizen services. Um, it’s, it’s going to depend. Uh, there are obviously specific things like you had mentioned with AWS, um, and the other. But Matt, do you have any thoughts? I mean, you 

Matt Dotson: hit the nail on the head. Obviously it’s, it’s customer specific. It’s based on the needs of the contract. Um, it kind of goes back to, if you’re, you have your eye on a particular side of the government that you want to work for, or even just a particular technology that you want to take to any government agency, um, doing research into what are the companies that are really spearheading efforts in this area. Um, if I want to work at. You know, you want to work for the Department of Defense somewhere or Department of Homeland Security. Maybe you want to work at USCIS, um, finding the companies that are present in those areas, um, you know, who’s got the big contracts, uh, who’s got the specialized contracts in a field that I’m particularly interested in. Um, and, and then figuring out. Yeah, exactly. What platform to be learned on from there? Um, because it can vary, you know, anywhere you go and sure. Yeah, it’s, it could be ServiceNow, Salesforce, AWS, um, Oracle database administration, uh, there’s, it’s different every time, you know, when you’re looking at job postings, you know, we have such a diverse, um, portfolio of work on our website with our job postings. Um, so, but, but it’s all out there. I mean, you can find it through LinkedIn. Um, maybe you’re interested in a particular company. You go through the company, you look at their postings, you see that all of the work that you’re interested is kind of focused around this one government org. Um, and then there’s your, uh, and there’s your literature to study if you will. Um, and then you can seek out, you know, maybe obtaining that, um, being certified in that platform or taking a course or just an entry level position where you can be taught the ropes of that technology, uh, to then take it and run with it. 

Victoria Kruemmer: Um, I know for me, I am always scouring LinkedIn for press releases and so on about new work that people are a great trigger for our team also to see what other jobs are, you know, out there. Um, so. With that being said, what are some of the best ways for recruits to engage and connect with Highlight?

Matt Dotson: Well, for starters, we’re actually hosting a bring a friend event, um, happy hour at, uh, Banditos in University Mall in Fairfax, which is right around the corner from our headquarters. That’s on Thursday. September 28th from 4 to 6 p. m. It’s following a George Mason career fair that we’re going to be a part of. Um, that is just an immediate way to, uh, get involved, get FaceTime with, uh, members that highlight, um, myself, Fiona, uh, other members of headquarters, as well as the opportunity to meet some of our like contract employees, even project managers that are on the ground, they’re doing the hiring. For their programs. Um, we’re always trying to host, you know, open houses at headquarters or elsewhere, um, to connect with folks, uh, engaging with us on linkedin, figure out where highlights going, you see that we’re attending women in technology in november, um, make plans to meet us at the booth. You’d be surprised how often, um, people come up to us at events like that. And they say, Hey, you know, I’ve been following highlight and I came here for you. Cool. Or I saw you were on the list. Once I registered for this fair, I did a lot of research. And now I want to talk to you all and, and learn more about what it’s like to be an employee owner in the government contracting world. Um, so any, any company that you’re interested in, but specifically with highlight, follow us, figure out, you know, where we’re involved. And then, um, don’t be afraid to, to engage in any of those points.

Fiona Sityar: Yeah. And I think not to toot our own horn, but we’re all very friendly people. So highly encourage you to reach out on LinkedIn as well. We’re happy to engage. I know we have an open door policy internally, but. I accept that externally as well. 

Victoria Kruemmer: Yeah, I’m sure we would gladly invite anyone to engage with any of us on this line. But also, you know, any of our leadership on LinkedIn just be like, Hey, I’ve been looking at your company. Yeah, I know you have this role available. Can you give me some more information regarding it? Or, you know, point me in the right direction of something that might better suit my skills and so on. Yeah, absolutely.

Matt Dotson: And if you’re unable to attend, you know, uh, an event in person or one of our virtual events, even just submitting your information through our portal is, um, is really beneficial. We’ve got an AI Job matching portal where you can submit your resume on our website, and it will match that resume to open jobs that we have and encourage you to apply directly through there. And then once your, your resume and your information is in our talent system, um, it’s accessible by anyone working on the recruiting team and anyone, you know, in leadership as well. Um, so when we’re running searches, uh, we’re finding your qualifications and we’re reaching out to you. The first place that we go when we have openings is our. Our internal talent portal. Um, so continuing to revisit the page, see what opportunities are out there. Um, update your resume as needed to, um, or even, uh, change your resume in the system because you’ll be given a login and you’re able to do that. Um, you know, that’s a more indirect way of. Of engaging with us, but it’s putting your information in front of the people who are doing the hiring at the company. 

Victoria Kruemmer: Awesome. So my last, you know, serious question in here. So what are some of the current roles that we’re looking for and people should engage with?

Matt Dotson: So I think I mentioned earlier, we have a pretty diverse portfolio of work, um, which is why it’s so fun to recruit for highlight. Um, you know, we’ve got, uh, like digital transformation work. We’re, we’re seeking individuals that are database administrators. They might, might need experience working in Oracle or, uh, post gray or something like that. Um, and then we also look for, you know, program based, um, Analysts, policy analysts, program analysts supporting state department. We also hire fully remote DevSecOps software engineers and developers, um, who are supporting USCIS on a program that is. Ensuring that people get their passports on time, um, managing, you know, a, a giant software program, um, and, and the maintenance of that program. So, uh, that’s just, you know, a couple examples of the work that we have at highlight that, you know, we’re constantly looking for those qualified individuals. And we incur encourage current employees to make referrals, but also people who might be on the fence, looking for a new opportunity. Asking them to make that jump and give highlight a call and talk to myself or one of our recruiters who can help them help get them to the door.

Fiona Sityar: What I’ll also add to that is just due to the very nature of the work we do, that list of open roles changes almost daily. So an opportunity that may not be available today may pop up for you in the next week, month, or year. Six months, whatever it may be. So I always encourage people to keep looking, keep us, keep us on your one of your as one of your open tabs. And who knows the opportunity may be available to you.

Matt Dotson: Yeah, we have a general application on our website, aside from all of our current postings, which, you know, just tells us you just want to come work for highlight, or you want, you’d like to be considered for something down the road. Um, once it meets what, what you were looking for. Um, that’s something that I always like to make sure people know is, is sure our jobs as recruiters is we have to find someone that fits this position, but on the other side of that is. We’re working with candidates who we want to, you know, have joined the company and become employee owners alongside us. We want to find the best job for them. Um, so it’s a lot of working with candidates directly to find their best fit that meets their needs. They want to work in this location. They want to work with this particular technology. They have a goal of achieving this title in five years. So this is where we’re going to have them start.

Victoria Kruemmer: So I have two final questions for you all kind of rounding out the whole episode. I know we talked a lot about all of the different ways to get into GupCon, all of the research. So for both of you. What makes Highlight different from the other GovCon employers? 

Fiona Sityar: So I know for me being intimately familiar with the process, the concept of being an employee owned company in government contracting or in general, um, is such a unique opportunity for our employee owners to, to be a part of. There is this shared success that they, um, are contributing to where. Your accomplishments are my accomplishments and it’s all rising tides lift all boats, right? So I think we’re all in it to win it and want each other to succeed and that’s a huge game changer for me.

Matt Dotson: Collaboration is the first word that comes to mind.

Um, we’re, we’re very collaborative. organization. And what I mean by that is all of the teams are constantly, you know, they’re taking different points of views. They’re taking different skill sets, different preferred tools and, and kind of melding it all together. Um, it’s, it’s really nice to be working in a place where you can bring an idea to the table and not only are you, um, That you’re not just listened to you, you’re really heard and understood. And then action is being taken. Um, I, I love that, you know, amongst my team members, um, we have recruiters who have been doing this for over 20 years and they’ve been doing it at big companies, small companies, big companies. And they have tools that they think are useful tools that they would, you know, rather not use. And they can take that and, you know, bring ideas and strategies into our department. Um, and then we have someone who might just be starting out and they want to take a, you know, they want to take a course or be certified in a certain area of recruiting, learning something from that and bringing that to the table as well. And all of us hearing each other, combining these strategies, um, and allowing for, you know, For room to work and grow and try new things. A lot of times it can be kind of difficult if you’ve been working at a place long enough or just, you know, this team has existed long enough that process is in place and this is how we do things because that’s just how it is because this seems to make sense on paper. Having the opportunity to speak up and present new ideas and try and act on them from there to improve the team or, or, you know, make the process more efficient, comfortable, whatever it may be is, is really valuable. And I see that not just in my recruiting team, but in every team at the company.

Victoria Kruemmer: Awesome. So my final question, I know both of you have worked to highlight five years. Why do you like working at Highlight? What’s kept you, you know, a part of the team? 

Matt Dotson: You’ve worked here longer, Fiona, so you can go first. 

Fiona Sityar: Okay, sounds good. Uh, so for me, I think what’s really kept me here has been the people and the relationships I’ve been able to form, not just from a managerial perspective and the opportunity for that has been presented to me, but also the day to day interactions that I’ve had, not just within my team, but to Matt’s earlier point with people across the organization and other teams, it’s just been a comfortable place to work. I get along with the people I work with. I enjoy coming to work with these people. Um, and I don’t know how rare that is, but I think that it’s A unique working environment here at highlight. 

Matt Dotson: Yeah. Comfort’s a huge word for me as well. And I think that the biggest source of my comfort working at highlight is like the trust. Um, there’s trust amongst everyone at the company. Um, and it kind of goes back to that collaborative mindset that I mentioned. But, um, you know, if you’re working with someone, two different departments are working on the same exercise. There’s, there’s a trust of, I know, you know how to do what you’re doing. And I know how to do what I’m doing. And we both believe in each other and that we know that we’re going to find the solution on this. Um, you know, and, and it’s, that’s, I think that’s a really big deal. Um, when you are maybe working with someone in senior leadership. And there is an immediate task or just something urgent, or it could even be, you know, inconsequential, but, but the knowing that you’re trusted to get the job done, um, and not being micromanaged, um, not being doubted, uh, that really. That takes you way farther and it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a better motivator. Um, and you’re just, you’re happier at work and I think you’re more successful. Um, because if, if people around you, maybe they’re, they’re your senior and there’s your senior by quite a bit. They, they are showing you that they trust you and your ability. You know, that gives you the confidence to execute whatever it is you’re trying to get done.

Victoria Kruemmer: Thank you both. So that’s all I have for today. So thank you both Fiona and Matt for joining us. Um, thank you everyone for listening to the highlight cast to keep up to date with everything highlight news and activities. Follow us on LinkedIn, uh, visit our website, check out the careers page. Um, I hope you all tune in for the next episode. We hope to see you at Bandito’s next week on the 28th. Our next episode will be in celebration of Employee Ownership Month and we’ll be discussing employee ownership in the federal landscape. So thanks and see you on the next episode.

The views and opinions expressed in this episode are those of the hosts and do not necessarily reflect highlight technologies and or any agency of the U. S. government.

Fortune Media and Great Place To Work Name Highlight to 2023 Best Workplaces in Technology List, Ranking No 15


Fairfax, VA — Great Place To Work® and Fortune magazine have selected Highlight for the 2023 Fortune Best Workplaces in Technology™ List. This is Highlight’s 2nd time being named to this prestigious list, this year coming in at 15th place. Earning a spot means that Highlight is one of the best companies to work for in the country.

The Best Workplaces in Technology award is based on analysis of survey responses over 162,000 current employees from Great Place To Work Certified™ companies in the tech industry.

“Highlight is focused on ensuring technology delivers meaningful impact to our clients, a core tenet of our Hi-Way methodology. This recognition is a testament to Highlight’s developers, engineers, data scientists, and subject matter experts who build, deploy, and maintain government-focused technical solutions every day.” said Highlight CEO Aarish Gokaldas.

The Best Workplaces in Technology list is highly competitive. Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determines its lists using its proprietary For All™ Methodology to evaluate and certify thousands of organizations in America’s largest ongoing annual workforce study, based on over 1.3 million survey responses and data from companies representing more than 7.5 million employees this year alone.

Survey responses reflect a comprehensive picture of the workplace experience. Honorees were selected based on their ability to offer positive outcomes for employees regardless of job role, race, gender, sexual orientation, work status, or other demographic identifier.

“Congratulations to the Best Workplaces in Technology,” says Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place To Work.“These companies know that it isn’t the industry — but the company — that determines the employee experience. By putting people first, they are reaping the rewards: higher levels of performance, innovation, and customer experience.”

Fortune congratulates the Best Workplaces in Technology,” says Fortune Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell. “Creating a vibrant workplace culture that draws the best talent in technology is vital for the success of the leaders in this highly competitive industry. It is also what’s needed to ignite innovation and deliver best-in-class performance.”

Highlight’s Previous Great Place to Work Achievements

In 2023, Highlight was recognized as

#35 on 2023 PEOPLE®’s Companies that Care List

#28 on 2023 Best Medium Workplaces List

In 2022, Highlight was recognized as

#2 in Fortune Best Workplaces for Women™ 2022 (Small And Medium)

#10 in Fortune Best Workplaces in Technology™ 2022 (Small And Medium)

#16 in Fortune Best Medium Workplaces™ 2022

#33 in Best Workplaces for Millennials™ 2022 (Small And Medium)


About Highlight 

Highlight Technologies (“Highlight”) is an award-winning, employee-owned, ISO® 9001, ISO® 20000, ISO® 27001, ISO® 44001, ISO® 56000 certified, CMMI-DEV Level 3, and CMMI-SVC Level 3 appraised federal contractor that provides Digital Government and Mission Support services across the federal government. Highlight delivers federal loan services, grants management, strategic communications, international development, conference and event support, program management, administrative support, agile systems development, DevSecOps, data management and analytics, cloud services, web services and automation services to National Security and Intelligence (DHS, DoD, State, DOJ, IC), Health IT (USAID, NIH, HRSA), and Citizen Services (FCC, EPA, GSA, HHS, SBA, Education) agencies. For more information, visit www.highlighttech.com

About the Fortune Best Workplaces in Technology List

Great Place To Work selected the Best Workplaces in Technology by gathering and analyzing confidential survey responses from more than over 162,000 employees from Great Place To Work Certified companies in the technology industry. Company rankings are derived from 60 employee experience questions within the Great Place To Work Trust Index™ Survey. Great Place To Work determines its lists using its proprietary For All™ Methodology to evaluate and certify thousands of organizations in America’s largest ongoing annual workforce study. In the last year, 1.3 million survey responses were received, representing the work experiences of 7.5 million employees. Read the full methodology.

To get on this list next year, start here.

About Great Place To Work
As the global authority on workplace culture, Great Place To Work brings 30 years of groundbreaking research and data to help every place become a great place to work for all. Its proprietary platform and For All™ Model helps companies evaluate the experience of every employee, with exemplary workplaces becoming Great Place To Work Certified or receiving recognition on a coveted Best Workplaces™ List.

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About Fortune
The Fortune mission is to change the world by making business better. We achieve that by providing trusted information, telling great stories, and building world-class communities. We measure performance by rigorous benchmarks. And we hold companies accountable. Our goal is to make Fortune a force for good through its second century and beyond. For more information, visit www.fortune.com.

Highlight Named a 2024 Elev8 GovCon Honoree

Fairfax, VA – Highlight Technologies has just been recognized as being among OrangeSlices’ 2024 Elev8 GovCon honorees.

The Federal GovCon sector continues to be one of the most complex and competitive marketplaces in the world, and the consistent and long-term winners of today and tomorrow are those companies that understand they must not only bring to the table efficient and effective solutions, but also a corporate culture that demonstrates their own excellence, making them a beacon for talent, for partners, and for clients.

The list represents a select list of federal government contractors who have been identified as #DoingItTheRightWay based on outstanding results in several key areas:

Good Partner – in ways that go above and beyond to provide support, mentorship, engagement, to collaborate, and that bridge the divide, building one successful team to deliver for their client.

Growing Your Talent – with a focus is on what is best for the individual.

Philanthropy – that is driven by its team, by its focus, and by what is happening the world and communities it works in.

Exemplify Innovation – and are guided by principles that understand the status quo is not enough and they must demonstrate they are doing more and doing better.

Industry Engagement – that includes multiple aspects including mentorship, giving of time or services, sharing of intel, and will involve people from across the company and be driven by a desire to give back.

Inclusive and Diverse – finding ways to have those voices heard, for combining those personalities on shared efforts for the betterment of all involved.

Sustainability Practices – demonstrating that everyone must do their part and they have identified and defined ways they can #dobetter for themselves and their government clients.

Investment for the Sake of Betterment – putting money behind their commitment to improving the work environment and experience for both internal teams and as it relates to customer delivery.

These characteristics were defined as being drivers to Elev8 GovCon and provide a major competitive edge, to include in higher levels of employee and customer engagement and loyalty which translate into higher growth and profits. The companies recognized above, and the leaders guiding these teams forward, understand what it takes and are models of #doingittherightway.

“We are proud to be recognized as a 2024 Elev8 honoree, especially because it is based on inputs from our employees and partners. As an employee-owned company, our culture and role as a good corporate citizen motivates our employee-owners to continuously create value for our customers, and Elev8 really captures and honors that ethos,” said Highlight Vice President for Corporate Strategy & Development Ashley Nichols.

The official announcement is available here.

About Highlight: 

Highlight Technologies (“Highlight”) is an award-winning, employee-owned, ISO® 9001, ISO® 20000, ISO® 27001, ISO® 44001, ISO® 56000 certified, CMMI-DEV Level 3, and CMMI-SVC Level 3 appraised federal contractor that provides Digital Government and Mission Support services across the federal government. Highlight delivers federal loan services, grants management, strategic communications, international development, conference and event support, program management, administrative support, agile systems development, DevSecOps, data management and analytics, cloud services, web services and automation services to National Security and Intelligence (DHS, DoD, State, DOJ, IC), Health IT (USAID, NIH, HRSA), and Citizen Services (FCC, EPA, GSA, HHS, SBA, Education) agencies. For more information, visit www.highlighttech.com.

About OrangeSlices AI

OrangeSlices AI. Playful Name. Serious about Democratizing Data and Disrupting the GovCon Competitive Intelligence Market. The core mission for OS AI is to identify, share and create timely, actionable and responsible information and data products, tools and resources that 1) are accessible to all organizations and their teams, small to large; 2) will assist Federal government and Industry IT and consulting leaders to more effectively identify and engage with each other; and 3) shine a spotlight on those leaders and companies that are #doingitright.

Highlight Names Director of Technology and Innovation, James “Jim” Eselgroth

Fairfax, VA – Highlight Technologies has hired James “Jim” Eselgroth as its new Director of Technology and Innovation.  Mr. Eselgoth is an accomplished technology and innovation leader with over 28 years of experience driving digital transformation and organizational change. In his new role, he will focus on implementing emerging technologies and innovation initiatives that drive business value.

Mr. Eselgoth joins Highlight from RIVA Solutions as VP of Data & Analytics and Chief Data Officer, where he led the corporate data and analytics vision. At RIVA, he also led the Innovation Solutions Center, where he led innovative solution development for internal and external stakeholders. Prior, he served as Deputy CTO at Definitive Logic. Mr. Eselgroth is a US Air Force veteran where he served for twenty-three years.

“Being a part of the Highlight team enables me to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I am honored at the chance to help improve the experiences of our employees, clients, and the missions we support,” said James “Jim” Eselgroth, Highlight Director of Technology and Innovation.  

Mr. Eselgoth was selected for his passion for leveraging technology to help organizations improve their mission and business outcomes and his proven track record of delivering innovative solutions, executing mission objectives, and exceeding customer expectations.

“Jim brings a notable history of standing up successful innovation labs,” said Aarish Gokaldas, Highlight Chief Executive Officer. “I could not be more excited to have him in front of ours, as well as leading the charge to mature our HI-WAY delivery methodology, Mission at Scale framework, and Software Factory offering.”

The addition of the Director of Technology and Innovation position is the latest example of Highlight’s commitment to exceeding our customer’s expectations, ensuring compliance in the ever-changing federal technology landscape, and implementing impactful innovative solutions.

About Highlight: 

Highlight Technologies (“Highlight”) is an award-winning, employee-owned, ISO® 9001, ISO® 20000, ISO® 27001, ISO® 44001, ISO® 56000 certified, CMMI-DEV Level 3, and CMMI-SVC Level 3 appraised federal contractor that provides Digital Government and Mission Support services across the federal government. Highlight delivers federal loan services, grants management, strategic communications, international development, conference and event support, program management, administrative support, agile systems development, DevSecOps, data management and analytics, cloud services, web services and automation services to National Security and Intelligence (DHS, DoD, State, DOJ, IC), Health IT (USAID, NIH, HRSA), and Citizen Services (FCC, EPA, GSA, HHS, SBA, Education) agencies. For more information, visit www.highlighttech.com.