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Executive Mosaic’s Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiters for 2016

Executive Mosaic's Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiters for 2016 - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Patrick GrayEvan ScottEric JosephNalini PerkinsCheryl Bedard

Phoebe HendersonPaul DinteRob McHaleJohn MarthJackie Arends

The government contracting industry experienced a robust period of mergers and acquisitions that reshaped its composition in 2015 and continued executive transitions between companies. As companies merge and new identities enter the market, some businesses face a challenge to fill vacant leadership positions.

From time to time, GovCon firms of all shape and sizes turn to executive recruiters to help fill leadership roles. ExecutiveBiz asked leaders at the largest contractors to find out who they most often reach out to in the executive recruitment field to identify the Top 10 GovCon Executive Recruiters for 2016.

Several of our selections also offered their input to ExecutiveBiz on current trends and activity to watch in the GovCon recruiting marketplace.

Patrick GrayPatrick Gray has been with ADG Northwind for five years and serves as a partner and managing director of the Northern Virginia office.

Prior to ADG Northwind Gray spent seven years with Korn Ferry as a client partner and five years with the US Army as an intelligence officer.

His primary experience is in the Aerospace, Defense and Security Sectors across a variety of executive functions

ExecutiveBiz: How do you see recruiting firms helping contractors in building their workforce?
Patrick Gray: Mid-market, often private equity backed government contracting firms look to retained executive search firms to help enhance the value of their investment through targeted executive hires.
These often take the form of a growth-oriented CEO, experience CFO or senior business development executive.Recruiting firms have access to and relationships with the candidate pool and are able to bring forward high quality candidate slates and assist the hiring managers in making the best decision based on the available candidate pool.

Evan ScottAlmost sixteen ago Evan Scott was one of the founding partners at ESGI. Since then he has built a company that specializes in the federal contracting business.

Some of his clients include companies such as: Xerox Federal Solutions, SRA International, ASRC Federal, Morpho Detection, CAP Gemini, SAIC, CACI, PAE,and Dell Federal Solutions.

Prior to ESGI Scott spent twenty-one years with Howard Fischer Associates in a host of leadership positions.

ExecutiveBiz: How do you see recruiting firms helping contractors in building their workforce?

Evan Scott: Most agree that qualified executives for a critical position are likely employed when you are searching. In federal contracting we are enjoying almost zero unemployment.

Thus, when you are interested in filling a key position these executives might not be accessible through social media sites, internal recruiters or employee referrals. This talent must be actively identified and pursued.

Hiring company should feel that engaging a third party to represent their company demonstrates to the talent pool the importance of the position. Company should agree that this approach offers the best chance that an executive who is not actively looking will be open to a meeting.

Finally, it is generally accepted that when it is time to extend an offer and conduct references, a third party is the most effective resource to employ increasing the percentages of success. Most hires fail at this stage based on a number of factors.

When retaining an executive search firm you must be convinced that the investment will yield the best results. When you hire a professional who is focused on helping you hire the right talent that will perform over the long term, the investment in retaining a reputable executive search firm is a sound business decision.

Having critical positions remain open for an unreasonable period of time or worse, making a hiring mistake is more costly that any recruitment fee.

Eric JosephEric Joseph is partner with Heidrick & Struggles in the Washington DC office. He has been with the firm for over eighteen years and currently serves a member of the global technology and services practice and is sector leader for the services practice.

Prior to joining Heidrick & Struggles Joseph spent five years as an associate partner with Perspective Technology Corporation and four years with Accenture as a senior consultant.

ExecutiveBiz: How do you see recruiting firms helping contractors in building their workforce?

Eric Joseph: The most sought after talent for our clients at the highest levels are passive, and at times, even resistant to making moves. They’re not actively looking; they don’t take calls from recruiters they don’t know; and frankly need a lot of persuading to become interested in an opportunity.

What’s more, top candidates are used to getting multiple offers. Current relationships matter and the ability to create compelling offers to persuade in-demand talent matters even more. Top recruiters invest a high proportion of their time maintaining relationships, keeping them current, and really understanding the competitive landscape.

Nalini PerkinsNalini Perkins is managing partner with Lochlin Partners in the McLean VA. office.

Perkins brings more than 20 years of experience in the recruitment of senior executives for organizations across the nonprofit, healthcare and public sectors, both domestic and international.

Prior to joining Lochlin Partners, Perkins spent more than a decade working as an Executive Director of the Nonprofit Sector at Russell Reynolds Associates.

Earlier in her career Perkins worked as an Associate at Heidrick & Struggles and at Human Resource International.

ExecutiveBiz: How do you see recruiting firms helping contractors in building their workforce?

Nalini Perkins: We are typically called into an organization in a time of leadership transition. As such we work with boards and senior staff to best understand what kind of leader is needed at a specific moment in an organization’s lifecycle. We typically take a very deep dive into an organization and work with leadership to share what we learn in our due diligence efforts.

Often times we are also helping to shape the profile while also providing a perspective on the market today. It is a partnership without question and often times the profile shifts based on what we learn.

Cheryl BedardCheryl Bedard is a principal with The McCormick Group in Washington DC metropolitan area.

She joined the firm in 1999 after fifteen years of experience in accounting and operations within the public and private sector.

She regularly represents candidates transitioning from government to the private sector, as well as key executives in the public sector market.


ExecutiveBiz: How are recruits looking to search firms for help in entering the Government Contracting industry?

Cheryl Bedard: Candidates, especially those transitioning from the military or the government, often need guidance in understanding the priorities and expectations of private sector companies.

They often benefit from advice on how to articulate the contribution they would make, the accountability measures they would held to and what level of compensation would be fair and competitive.

Candidates also look for help in understanding the different cultural environments at various firms.


Phoebe HendersonPhoebe Henderson has been part of the cybersecurity, defense and intelligence team at ZRG Partners for almost one year.

Prior to joining ZRG Henderson was a partner at ADG Northwind, managing partner at Benchmark Executive Search, and vice president at Dahl-Morrow Intl.

Henderson brings experience in the Commercial Technology (IT, Hardware, Software, Solutions), Healthcare, Aerospace & Defense, Intelligence, Satellite and Construction/Engineering markets for public, private, and private equity backed companies.

ExecutiveBiz: How do you see recruiting firms helping contractors in building their workforce?

Phoebe Henderson: Recruiting firms can help in a number of ways. For example, at the most senior levels, firms can work closely with leadership to identify needs and shape requirements in order to build up or build out the executive team.

We are also a strategic resource when designing new market penetration or market expansion plans as we have the ability to map the talent pool and help design compelling compensation packages to attract market leaders.

There are truly a number of ways recruiting firms can add value, speed and efficiency when building an organization.

Paul DintePaul Dinte serves as the founder, chairman and CEO of Dinte Executive Search, an executive search firm located in the Washington, D.C.

Dinte was previously the global chair for IIC Partners, of which Dinte Executive Search is a shareholder.

Prior to that role, he served as vice chairman for Americas at IIC Partners between 2007 and 2010.

He also held the roles as a partner at Morgan & Banks, senior manager for the New York office of BDO Seidman, international business strategist for Warner Bros. Entertainment Group of Companies and manager of global assurance for Sydney and London at KPMG Peat Marwick.


Rob McHaleRobert McHale has served as a senior client partner at Korn Ferry since he joined the Los Angeles-based executive search company in 1998.

In this capacity, McHale works with technology-focused commercial and government clients to help them scout general management, sales, marketing and technical talents.

He also previously served as an executive several other corporate headhunters that are based in the U.S. and Australia.

Before he joined the recruitment industry, McHale worked at Camrus Publishers and helped start a Washington magazine business.

McHale started his career as an account executive for London-based human resource and advertising firm Sloangate.

John MarthJohn Marth is a founding partner at executive search company The Marymont Group and has more than three decades of experience in human resources and senior executive staffing.

He founded the company in 1997 and has since worked with companies such as Northrop Grumman, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Rolls-Royce, EADS and ITT Corp. on executive placements.

He previously worked at ITT Corp. as HR director within the company’s telecommunications and electronics sector.

Marth has also held senior HR roles at Sun Chemical Corp., American Broadcasting Company and Inmont.

Jackie ArendsJacqueline Arends serves as a consultant at executive search and leadership consulting firm Spencer Stuart.

She oversees Spencer Stuart’s government relations team responsible for senior-level executive searches in the federal government and co-leads the firm’s aerospace, aviation and defense practice.

Arends served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush and defense secretary from 2001 to 2003.

In this capacity, she advised the U.S. president on executive appointments at the departments of Defense, State, Energy, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security as well as nominees at the CIA and NASA that need Senate confirmation.

She also worked as a lawyer at law firm Kutak Rock and defense lobbyist at Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand.

Arends is also a member of the Supreme Court Bar, the District of Columbia Bar and the Maryland Bar.


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Written by David Smith

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