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August/September 2011

Diversity/Careers August/September 2011 Issue




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Diversity In Action

CACI expects to bring in another 4,000 techies

Recruiting diverse candidates and building a strong diversity outreach program is top-of-mind at the defense contractor, its president says


You can make a direct impact on the country's future if you work for defense contractor CACI, says Bill Fairl, the company's president of U.S. operations. Not only is this fifty-year-old company looking for self-starting techies who engage in out-of-the-box thinking, but more than ever diversity is playing a key role in recruitment, Fairl says.

CACI provides professional services and IT solutions in defense, intelligence and homeland security, as well as IT modernization and government transformation. Its services and solutions help federal clients provide for national security, improve communications and collaboration, secure the integrity of information systems and networks, enhance data collection and analysis, and increase efficiency and mission effectiveness.

The company works on enterprise IT and network services; data, information and knowledge management services; business system solutions; logistics and material readiness; C4ISR solutions; cyber defense solutions; integrated security and intelligence solutions; program management; and systems engineering and technical assistance (SETA) support services.

Fairl is an engineer by training. In the past few years he's put in mentoring programs to build diverse technical leadership from within the company. He's also increased the emphasis on recruiting college talent at minority-serving institutions, and welcomed the new generation with an internship program.

"This is a very competitive environment for skilled technical and administrative people, and then you layer security clearances onto that," Fairl says. "One reason we're really interested in diversity is that we want access to all the best talent out there!"

CACI expects to increase its 13,700 employees by another 4,000, Fairl says. With the U.S. government operating under fiscal constraint, it becomes more important than ever to hire folks who can deliver cost-cutting and innovative technology solutions, he adds.

"We like to keep a nice mix of people around here," Fairl says: some who know the military inside out, others with a civilian technical background, and more who are simply innovative and interested in solving critical problems. Some jobs require an immediate security clearance; others allow CACI to bring in the likely people and then get the clearance process started.

A top qualification, Fairl says, is a passion for positive change in the government. For example, the military considers some 600,000 potential entrants each year; CACI came up with a technology-based screening system to prevent unnecessary travel costs by weeding out those who don't qualify early in the process.

Another clever techie at the company improved the safety of soldiers in the field by devising a biometric analysis of people approaching a checkpoint. "We developed the pilot program," Fairl says, "and now there's a big development effort under way."

Recruiting diverse candidates and building strong diversity outreach is top-of-mind at CACI, Fairl says. "The guiding principle is to hire the very best people out there. We don't want to shut ourselves off from any talent pool; we've been figuring out how to create pipelines into new pools."

CACI is working on its relationships with SHPE, NSBE and SWE. Fairl has spoken at an Asian American conference, and CACI is also recruiting at HBCUs. "We generally tend to hire fairly experienced people here, but now we're also funding some intern positions," Fairl says.

The internships target new grads and people headed to grad school who are focused on technical careers, and "We have a cyber solutions lab that's also supporting internships," Fairl says. The company works with George Mason University (Fairfax City, VA) on its early identification program for promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Three years ago CACI set out to hire thirty-five disabled veterans, and it has significantly exceeded that goal, Fairl says. The company does outreach through the Wounded Warrior program, and "We're gaining a reputation that we're very serious about this," Fairl says.

CACI has a "mobility board" that lets employees look at openings around the company. There's also CACI Fellows, a mentoring class for up-and-coming leaders. "CACI is building its own talent pool of diverse future leaders," Fairl says.

The company has some informal resource groups, like the Women's Management Team, and an employee advisory group to help find ways to move likely people into management and leadership roles.

CACI has an employee assistance program to help with work-life balance and a childcare facility at its new Chantilly, VA campus. Flextime can be available, if it makes sense for the person's job.

Many CACI people volunteer in their local communities, Fairl says. He's personally involved with FIRST Robotics, and excited about a company venture with the National Capital Area Junior Achievement to encourage financial literacy among middle school students.

D/C




CACI
www.caci.com

Headquarters: Arlington, VA
Employees: 13,700
Revenues: $3.15 billion in 2010
Business: Provides professional services and IT solutions in defense, intelligence, homeland security, IT modernization and government transformation

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