With Job Website, Spy Agencies Try to Reach Younger Applicants


The intelligence community’s new website includes a “job exploration” function that tells high school students how to get involved in government work.

Intelligence agencies are trying to keep their workforce current, and hoping to reach young job applicants where they are: on the Internet.

The intelligence community -- a term for the 17 separate intelligence-related government groups -- recently unveiled IntelligenceCareers.gov, which lets users search and apply online for analytical jobs based on their individual skills. High schoolers and undergraduate students can also search for internships and other work opportunities.

Intelligence agencies have recently been testing out new approaches to hiring. In one case, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency hosted a Twitter town hall in 2014 in an effort to drum up interest in an internship program, answering questions and disseminating short videos.

At the SXSW conference and festival in Austin, Texas, a mecca for young technologists and entrepreneurs, intelligence community officials this year sought to present those agencies as welcoming and open to LGBT talent.

"Without diverse thinking and unique perspectives, we will fail," Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Stephanie O’Sullivan said at that event. "We need every bit of the diversity of talent, skills and insight of the workforce. Not only because it is imperative for our work, but because it is a reflection of who we are.”

Intelligence agencies’ needs include familiarity with geospatial imagery, signals, and foreign language analysis, among other fields.

The job site "will feature capabilities that will not only improve the job seeker’s experience, but will also increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IC recruiting and hiring efforts,” ODNI spokes Charles Carithers wrote in an emailed statement.

ODNI did not respond to Nextgov’s request for clarification on whether the new career site was launched specifically with young applicants in mind and if it was in response to any broader hiring challenges.