There is a new player in town in the growing market for services that help professionals with government experience find jobs in the contracting industry. Led by a mother-daughter team, Exfed aims to disrupt the landscape, currently dominated by staffing firms, Deltek, and Indeed.com by being the first to present private-sector government contracting job listings, with a simple and elegant user interface on the web.
The site is the brain child of Ginger Groeber, former Deputy Under Secretary of Civilian Personnel Policy at the Department of Defense (DoD) and her daughter, Emily Coates a Fleishman-Hillard alum with a serious set of user interface (UI)/user experience (UX) design skills.
Ms. Groeber has over 30 years in federal human resources, nine of which were spent at the Department of Defense overseeing the civilian personnel program that employs 700,000 defense workers in over 90 countries. She then transitioned into the private sector, serving as Vice President of Human Capital at Lockheed Martin.
While Ms. Groeber successfully transitioned to the private sector, it was no thanks to the existing tools for aligning public sector experience with private sector opportunities. “There are so many Federal contracting jobs out there, but not one comprehensive place to find them without road blocks of usability, price, or the right talent pool,” she said.
It was from this experience that Ms. Groeber identified the need for a new tool that more seamlessly melded to the two worlds; contractors who want to hire experienced government personnel and experienced government workers looking for opportunities in the contracting industry.
Enter Ms. Groeber’s 26 year old daughter Emily Coates, an experienced UI/UX-er that has worked on some serious NYC-based startups, including a stint at Sonic Notify and time developing mobile apps at Densebrain.
Together they took Ms. Groeber’s idea and are turning it into reality. Exfed launched in February 2012 and plans to go into private beta in Jun. 2012. The site already hosts a sampling of job listings from power firms like SAIC and Deloitte, benefits no doubt of having a leader that has already broken into the “old boys club” of the defense contracting industry.
While Ms. Groeber acknowledges the advantage she has with 30 years of experience in federal human resources, she doesn’t believe that her high-level connections are the key to their value proposition. According to Ms. Groeber, traditional contracting job sites charge job seekers for access to postings. Exfed’s model flips this around, charging contracting firms fees to post their job opportunities and giving job seekers free access to postings displayed in a simple, sleekly-designed user interface.
When a job seeker visits Exfed, they go through a three-step profile creation process that highlights their experience, clearance level, certifications, and other relevant information. Once fully registered, job seekers gain access to a dashboard that keeps their favorite job postings as well as tips and reminders aimed at helping them achieve success.
The process is similar for employers seeking to use the service. For the first 30 days of Exfed’s private beta, employers will be free to post job openings at no cost and conduct unlimited searches of the job seeker database. They then plan to enter a public beta where employers will begin having to pay to post jobs and access job seekers.
Exfed is working on a progressive pricing model that will include different price points for small and medium sized contracting firms as well as more expensive and robust options for enterprise clients.
By late summer, Ms. Coates hopes to have a full site launch that boasts a few hundred high-quality job postings at small, medium and large sized contractors and a user base of several thousand uniquely qualified job seekers. “We’re trying to find a good balance that will offer all users a slice of what they want to see, big and small, and make their experience the best it can be,” she said.