National Security & Defense - USA

Transforming the way brands recruit national security & defense talent for their tech teams.

Some things require specialist expertise and industry knowledge, and with an accelerating skills shortage coupled with an ever increasing clearance shortage, we are set up to deliver just that.

Whether it’s partnering with globally leading private sector companies or directly with government bodies across the country, we deliver a bespoke recruitment service with the kind of care, attention and integrity that the National Security & Defense industry demands.

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Our NS&D solution

  1. About Us

    The ever growing skill shortages, the accelerating clearance shortages, complex clearance eligibility rules and transfer rules, the secrecy and mystery surrounding security cleared roles…

    Building on 10 years of technical recruitment experience, Searchability National Security & Defense was conceived to solve these challenges.

    Our consultants are true specialists in technical recruitment as well as being security clearance experts and they live and breath the National Security, Space, Government and Defense world.

    Whether you’re a software developer looking to move into a security cleared career or a small or global organization looking for advice on recruiting security cleared talent, our consultants are here to help.

  2. Sourcing the unfindable

    Searchability NS&D specializes in sourcing the unfindable. We have spent years building multiple robust networks of highly cleared professionals who trust us, the clients to which we present them to, and the process.

    We are currently the lead supplier of security-cleared professionals into the biggest private sector Defense and Space clients the globe has to offer, alongside disruptive SMEs, and DoD direct.

    Some things require specialist expertise and industry knowledge, and with an accelerating skills shortage coupled with an ever-increasing clearance shortage, Searchability National Security and Defense are set up to deliver just that. Whether it’s partnering with globally leading private sector companies or directly with government agencies across the country, we deliver a bespoke recruitment service with the kind of care, attention, and integrity that the National Security & Defense industry demands.

  3. Sectors we specialise in

    Our multi-award winning recruitment strategies cover a wide variety of tech sectors across the USA, UK, Europe & Australia these range from:

    • Software Engineering
    • Systems Engineering, Integration & Test Engineering
    • Payload
    • Data Science & Big Data Engineering
    • Enterprise, solution & Technical Architecture
    • Cyber Security & Information Security
    • Project & Program Management
    • Business Change & Analysis
    • Space Engineering
    • RF & Electronic Warefare
    • Cloud Platform & IT Infrastructure
    • Signal Processing & Sonar

Meet the NS&D team

  • Chris Hopley

    Director

    UK, USA, EU - DevOps & Cloud, NS&D
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  • Will Roebuck

    Director

    UK, USA - NS&D
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  • Cheryl Jones

    Head of People and Culture

    UK, USA, EU, AUS - NS&D, The Searchability Group
    View details
  • Dominic Barbet

    Lead Consultant

    UK, USA - NS&D
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  • Jacob Whiteway

    Lead Consultant

    USA - NS&D
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  • Erica Davis

    Finance Manager

    UK, USA, EU, AUS - NS&D, The Searchability Group
    View details
  • Lewis Hayward

    Senior Consultant

    UK, USA - NS&D
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  • Francois Antoine

    Recruitment Consultant

    USA - NS&D, Searchability
    View details

Join the NS&D team

Apply now

With market leading employee benefits including wellness hours, monthly celebrations, trips abroad, amazing commission scheme, life assurance, childcare vouchers, flexible hours, car allowance, Microsoft surface pro, iPhone and much much more! Discover a career with Searchability’s National Security Defence team.

Looking for a role?

Looking to move into a security cleared role but you don’t know what opportunities are out there, what work you’ll be involved in, what the work / life balance will be and don’t understand the clearances, the processes and the eligibility criteria are?

Submit your CV
  1. We're here to help!

    Already hold a security clearance don’t know what other prosects there are, you’re worried about protecting your clearance in a career move and want to make sure your start date and clearance transfer dates align?

    Our consultants are true experts and work with some of the most innovative, forward thinking and cutting edge companies in the space and can truly offer guidance, advice and a shoulder to lean on to make sure you have a seamless journey to the next step in your career!

Making clearance clear

  1. What is security clearance and why is it required?

    Security clearances are official certificates which provide a level of certainty that an individual has been deemed trustworthy to have trusted access to sensitive information. There are different levels of security clearances, each of which grant trust and access to different levels of sensitive information and environments. Security clearances are in place and are required to ensure that the USA has protected itself from a range of threats which include foreign hostile intelligence bodies, organized crime groups, security threats and other external pressures.

  2. APPLICATION PROCEDURES

    When a military member requires a Security Clearance for their assignment or job, they’re directed to fill out a Security Clearance Background Investigation Questionnaire using the Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing system (e-QIP). This system, part of an e-government initiative by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), lets applicants securely enter, update, and transmit their investigative data to their agency or security office for review.

    Access e-QIP below, which houses all security investigative forms. Through an interface with the Joint Clearance Access and Verification System (JCAVS), authorized requesters can electronically send investigation requests (SF 86), avoiding mailing, if they have the appropriate JCAVS user level (2, 3, 4, 5, or 6) and permission from their Security Management Office (SMO) account manager.

    e-QIP replaces the Electronic Personnel Security Questionnaire (EPSQ). For CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET Clearances, provide five years of information; for TOP SECRET Clearances, provide ten years. False information on a Security Document is a violation of federal law (Title 18, United States Code, Section 101) and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Penalties may include fines, imprisonment up to five years, reduction in rank, pay forfeiture, confinement up to five years, and a dishonorable discharge.

    The SF-86, page 10, authorizes the release of any information to Security Clearance Investigators, including sealed, juvenile, expunged, and medical records. Once you complete the questionnaire, it goes to the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), responsible for verifying and conducting the background investigation, tailored to the required access level.

  3. What determines approval or disapproval?

    DCSA doesn’t make security clearance decisions; it collects information. Each military service has its own adjudicator authority, which decides clearance approval based on service-specific standards and Adjudicator Guidelines.

    Predicting clearance denial is challenging, as it varies case by case. Adjudicators assess qualities like honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, and financial responsibility. In cases with significant issues, they may request further investigation, evaluations, or drug assessments. Final clearance denials require review by a higher authority, such as a branch chief.

    Recent legal changes can lead to clearance denial in specific situations, like convictions with imprisonment over a year, current drug use or addiction, mental incompetence, or dishonorable discharge. Exceptions can be authorized in meritorious cases by the Secretary of Defense or relevant military department secretary.

  4. How long does the process take?

    The time it takes to receive a security clearance varies based on factors and the level of clearance. In general:

    • CONFIDENTIAL or SECRET clearances typically take 1 to 3 months.
    • A TOP SECRET clearance may take 4 to 8 months, and sometimes over a year.

    Several factors can extend the investigation duration, such as:

    • Living or working in multiple locations, including overseas.
    • International travel history.
    • Relatives who lived abroad.
    • Complex background information requiring further investigation.

    If your technical training involves classified information, you may perform non-classified tasks while awaiting clearance. In some cases, you may attend non-classified training sections during the clearance application process.

  5. Are polygraph (lie detector) tests required?

    Polygraph use in the Department of Defense is governed by DoD Directive 5210.48 and DoD Regulation 5320.48R. It is mandatory for certain agencies and access programs, and may be used with consent to resolve serious derogatory information. Adverse action based solely on polygraph results requires high-level approval due to national security concerns.

    Polygraphs can also supplement investigations of federal felonies, unauthorized disclosure of classified information, acts of terrorism, or at the subject’s request for exoneration. DoD regulations specify examination procedures, including question review with the individual, relevance to the inquiry, and validating questions. Probing personal thoughts, beliefs, or irrelevant subjects like religion or politics is prohibited.

  6. What levels of security clearance are there?

  7. Confidential

    Confidential clearance will be applied to information in which the unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security.

  8. SECRET

    Secret clearance will be applied to information in which the unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.

  9. TOP SECRET

    Top Secret clearance will be applied to information in which the unauthorized disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.

  10. TS/SCI (Top Secret with Sensitive Compartmented Information)

    TS/SCI will be applied to special categories for classified information that has been deemed particularly vulnerable.

    Sensitive compartmented information (SCI) Intelligence sources, methods, and processes. An SCI clearance is assigned only after the candidate has been through the rigors of an SSBI (Single Scope Background Investigation) and special adjudication process for evaluating the investigations. These may require unique requirements and clearance process.

  11. TS/SCI w/CI (Top Secret with Counterintelligence)

    A Counterintelligence polygraph is necessary for certain positions that require access to highly sensitive information related to the national security of the US, and our allies.

  12. TS/SCI w/FSP (Top Secret with Full-scope Polygraph)

    A full-scope  polygraph is necessary for certain positions that require access to highly sensitive information related to the national security of the US, and our allies.

    (Full Scope / Lifestyle (FSP, FS, LS, Lifestyle Poly)

  13. Be honest

    With all these clearance checks, it is important to be as honest and open as possible. The process isn’t designed to look for the perfect citizen, but just to judge a persons trustworthiness and risk to assets and as such, any concealed information could jeopardise the chances of passing a security check.

Looking to Hire?

  1. How we partner

    At Searchability National Security & Defense we value every client and ensure growth through delivering market knowledge and professionals that you will not find with any other partner. We strive to be different as a recruitment partner, looking to be an extension of your team and processes, delivering tailored solutions for every client to deliver the best possible service for you. This includes:

    • New client onboarding process to immerse ourselves into your brand and define preferred processes
    • Complimentary market insights for your vacancies
    • Continued advice and support from National Security and Defense recruitment experts
    • Range of recruitment packages to suit your needs
    • Extensive network of security cleared candidates
    • Market leading tools to promote your vacancies and engage potential candidates
    • Candidate care service to ensure consistent high standards of experience
    • Option for targeted paid advertising to increase brand awareness for your organization
  2. Scalability / Hybrid RPO options

    For organizations looking to scale their tech teams, whether it’s 5 new hires or 100 new hires, our Scalability and Hybrid RPO solutions are the perfect solution. A Scalability / Hybrid RPO subscription is managed by Searchability expert recruiters, but allows you to unlock a myriad of added value services to help you meet your scaling objectives including:

    • Strategic employer brand support
    • Targeted recruitment marketing
    • Enhanced recruitment resource
    • Fixed monthly costs
    • Money back guarantee*

NS&D USA Case Studies

Testimonials

Take a look at some of our testimonials for our National Security & Defence employers...

Contact us

We have worked in partnership with Searchability for the last few years and the service they have provided has been excellent. The candidates are spot on and well prepared and the consultants understand the roles extremely well. We use Searchability to not only source candidates for us on hard to fill roles but as trusted advisers regarding the Top Secret cleared candidate market. They have proven to be a great addition to our supply chain.

In a candidate scarce and highly specialized market, the team at Searchability are an essential supplier to us and Northrop Grumman. The key to their successful partnership with us is very much down to communication and initiative. They have proven that they know their core industries and the candidate base, which allows for them to provide us with valuable market intel, which we can then use to the benefit of the whole recruitment cycle.

Working with Searchability has been an excellent experience because of the reliability and incredible efforts from their company in helping NCIM Groep find suitable candidates for our NATO client. The communication has always been very positive and effective which has resulted in successful placements of candidates from Searchability at NATO. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Searchability

I inherited the relationship with Searchability when I was hired by a Defense & National Security prime to support the business through exponential growth. Over 2 years, Searchability proved to be our best performing recruitment partner by every metric. The Internal Recruitment Team had a challenging targets, Searchability proved to be a key partner that helped us deliver phenomenal headcount growth, filling many difficult requisitions along the way. I found their overall delivery to be excellent and wherever there was an opportunity for improvement Searchability adapted quickly. Most impressive was Searchability’s performance on our niche technical roles and the market intel provided helped us overcome some major challenges. Searachability are a trusted external partner to our internal team and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Our Proud Achievements

Best Online Candidate Experience Award

2023

Best Use of Online Recruitment Award

2023

Bronze award from Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)

2023

Level 1 Disability Confident Employer

2021

Global Recruiter - Best Employer Brand

2021

Best Small Companies to Work For in the UK

2021

3 Star Employee Engagement

2020

Creative Online Marketing Award

2020

Best use of Mobile

2018

Marketing Star of the Year

2018

Personality of the Year

2018

Technical Innovation Award

2018

Best use of Online Recruitment

2017

Best use of Mobile

2017

Best Tech Digital Team

2017

Best use of Mobile

2016

Best Tech Digital Team

2016