Managing 155 offices and 23,000 employees demands that an organization has two fingers firmly on the pulse of trends in talent recruitment. It doesn’t take long to find out that scalability issues and attrition are hidden costs that can offset operational and tax savings in a hurry.

Such is the case at CACI, which for more than 58 years has been providing information solutions and services in support of national security missions and government transformation for Intelligence, Defense, and Federal Civilian customers. To support its continuing growth in the highly dynamic federal marketplace, the company made a strategic decision to establish a Shared Services Center (SSC) prior to 2018, considering more than 50 U.S. cities for a single operation to centralize many of its functional areas that were seeing growth, such as payroll, purchasing, contracting, information systems, human resources, financials and security.

The new location would allow the company to invest more resources in its growth, while also focusing on enhancing the employee experience to positively impact talent recruitment, employee engagement and retention. But instead of focusing solely on business costs, CACI emphasized a location that would allow it to fill 300 positions in six months, as well as reduce employee turnover.

“When you look at shared service centers, most companies focus on cost,” said Bryan Jester, CACI Senior Vice President, Shared Services Officer. “But much of our CEO’s mandate was to establish a center in a location that could enable scalability of growth. We needed to immediately find the right people, with the right capabilities. It was equally important to have a workforce that would continue to grow with CACI.”

Other factors in the decision included suitable real estate, cost of living, and partnerships with state and local governments, but talent recruitment and retention reigned supreme.

“The analysis we did was not only about availability of the workforce, but the ability to hire people with the right capabilities in volume, quickly,” said Jester.

A big concern for the firm is what losing a person can mean to its other employees who rely on the SSC for their paychecks, financial processing and purchased goods and services, among other things. CACI needed employees that would stay with the company long-term and needed a location where it could create a strong pipeline to help with its growth. The more they looked, the more their focus turned to the Greater Oklahoma City Region.

“The war for talent is real everywhere,” continued Jester, who had faced hiring challenges elsewhere in the U.S. “But in Oklahoma City, there’s a more stable workforce that tends to not move between jobs as much.”

Following the national search, CACI chose Oklahoma City in March of 2018, a place it was familiar with due to its existing footprint supporting customers at nearby Tinker Air Force Base and the FAA. Since launching, CACI has been able to hire and develop the talent it expected to find in Oklahoma City. After its initial ramp up, the company grew an additional 20% from February 2019 – May 2020.

“I’m able to fill positions here in about 12 to 14 days, while in other areas, it takes about 35 to 65 days,” he said. “People are attracted to companies that show growth and value, and invest in their employees’ development and well-being. People also tend to stay in their positions longer when they have a good place to work and where their management can show them a path to move forward, that will reward their talent and contributions.”

“We’ve certainly accomplished that with our SSC.”

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This article is brought to you by the Greater Oklahoma City Partnership, which works closely with business and community leaders to grow existing industries, recruit new companies and develop an active entrepreneurial environment, resulting in quality job creation and a diverse economy for the 10-county region. To learn more about Greater OKC, visit greateroklahomacity.com.

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