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24 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 would like them to work. With FPGA design, you can get into the aerospace and defense space 100% and go for it. If a company gives you the chance to come on without a clear- ance, take that job. Shaughnessy: I've heard that getting clearance can take a year or so. Rousse: Yes, and there are different levels. There's interim clearance, secret clearance, and top-secret clearance. I work as part of what's called the Strategic Recruiting Center, which is a very niche part of Aerotek that allows us to have exposure to opportunities across the U.S. I have direct eyes on roles in Virginia, Florida, New York, Colorado, etc. If someone says, "I want to get back to my family in New York," I can say, "I have direct connections to people in New York." We have ongoing visibility everywhere. Shaughnessy: You're based in North Carolina Rousse: Yes, we're based in Cary, North Caro- lina, and our corporate office is in Hanover, Maryland. Shaughnessy: Do you see any differences regionally? Is it easier or harder to place cer- tain job skills in one area or another? Rousse: Geographically, people from Upstate New York are coming here. The areas around Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester are a little bit tougher. I see a lot of pickup in the defense space in Colorado, Virginia, and Maryland. In North Carolina, the defense space has not been as tapped into as much, but Virginia; Maryland; Washington, D.C.; New York; Colo- rado; and Florida are picking up. It's the C/ C++ systems engineering. I see a ton of hard- ware design roles for some of the bigwigs in defense contracting. Shaughnessy: It has been a long time since I've seen anybody at a trade show carrying their résumé around. With 4% unemployment, when customers come to you, do they want to make a lateral move? Rousse: It's a combination of a lot of things. I don't have a ton of people reaching out to me because people have jobs. Not only do they have jobs, but these companies are fighting to keep them, to make sure the work environment is a good one so that they don't want to leave. People have jobs, and then their employers are working to make it a happy place to work. When I reach out to someone who's pas- sively on the market, I try to give them insight into the market and find out what their dream job or ideal situation is. Even if they're content right now, I offer to keep an eye out. I'll build relationships with people who aren't looking. Someone might say, "I want to get into medi- cal devices," so I'll look for that, and when something comes up, I reach out. For the most part, the market is good right now. Shaughnessy: You say good, but it seems like, from your perspective, you would call it bad. Rousse: For me, it's bad (laughs)! It's about getting smarter with the way that you recruit because you can't put your sales hat on, make 50 cold calls, and put the numbers to the game; it's about going to industry events, getting to know people, and remembering their faces, what they asked for, and what they need. There's a trust factor there. If someone is super happy in their job and making good money, why are they going to jump for you who represents a job they may not trust? That's a huge part. Shaughnessy: The devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. Rousse: Exactly. Counter-offers are another huge thing we see. If someone's passively on the market, and they get another job, if their If a company gives you the chance to come on without a clearance, take that job.

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