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Inside a space communications company’s approach to hiring hundreds of tech workers

With about 300 openings, LGS Innovations is holding its own career fairs.

Job seekers mingle at NET/WORK DC 2017. (Photo by Tajha Chappellet-Lanier)

With about 300 job openings, LGS Innovations is in the midst of a big hiring push.

There are plenty of web-based components to the recruiting effort such as social media emphasizing creativity and transparency. Still, leaders of the Herndon, Va.–based tech and research company that does about 90 percent of its work with the federal government also want to meet candidates face-to-face. That’s why they’ve been holding their own in-person career fairs, such as an event on a recent Friday at its Herndon headquarters.

The company, which originated inside Bell Labs and was acquired by a private equity group in 2014, has one speciality in wireless communications. LGS worked with NASA to provide long goal communication in space, as well as NOAA to improve spectrum sharing across satellites. The company also works in cybersecurity. CEO Kevin Kelly said it looks to invest profits back into research and development. With new work coming in and technology being developed, the company is doing lots of hiring. Positions in software development, cybersecurity and RF engineering are among those that they want to fill across locations. Along with the recent event in Herndon, where Kelly said about 60-70 candidates were expected, similar career fairs were held in Denver and New Jersey. It also has offices in Chicago and High Point, N.C.

With lots of positions open, LGS wants to get “as many technically astute people as we can in one location,” Kelly said. LGS approaches the career fair as an invitational. Candidates can indicate interest online, and then often have a phone interview prior to the event. As many of the roles include a security clearance, there is also a pre-screening process. Once inside, there are chances to meet team members from across different parts of the organization and learn about what’s happening. It’s a chance for LGS to provide a look at how it operates, as well as meet the candidates.

“The fun thing about the market that we’re in is it’s a great job market,” Kelly said. “We like having the opportunity to showcase the unique culture we have for innovation.”

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