New Series: Want To Be GovCon Executive Of The Year?
WashingtonExec, in partnership with the Fairfax Chambers of Commerce, kicked off a new series profiling government contractors nominated for the 9th Annual Greater Washington Government Contracting Awards. Interviewed nominees include small, mid-size and large “Executive of the Year” as well as “Contractor of the Year” finalists. The winners will be announced on November 1st at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner.
This quick bi-weekly series asks nominees direct questions as to how they achieved success and notoriety in the GovCon community.
Today we will hear from Bill Mixon, President and CEO of USIS. USIS is nominated for “Contractor of the Year” in the greater than $300 million division.
WashingtonExec: Obtaining top talent in the private sector is fierce. How does your company not only draw top talent, but maintain it?
Bill Mixon: USIS has a strong track record of attracting and retaining employees in the cleared marketplace. Our staffing model has proven successful because it is scalable, flexible and responsive to program timeframes. We rapidly deploy dedicated recruiting resources to meet the deadline-driven environment of government contracting. To do this, we use multiple sourcing channels that help us create Talent Pipelines for our clients. These range from internal programs, such as employee referrals and employee transfers, to traditional and non-traditional based solutions such as social media.
Having a dynamic, focused staff and innovative programs allows USIS to maintain and retain best in class employees. USIS is a service organization and our Talent Management Strategy is critical to ensure customer satisfaction through our product – our people. This strategy strengthens our leadership bench, while creating interactive developmental opportunities for our employees. Our framework leverages state-of-the-art technology, social media, formal and informal learning to continue our passionate pursuit of achieving our strategic goals that align employee development with USIS talent management investments and long-term planning.
USIS Campus, our learning management system (LMS), allows access and oversight of our employee learning at times convenient for our employees and their supervisors. USIS Global learning provides employee learning opportunities in areas such as leadership, functional knowledge and business knowledge. Our immersive learning environments—which include classroom, web conferences, on-demand conferences, self-directed training—create a continuing education learning environment tailored to employee desires and business needs.
WashingtonExec: In your opinion, how does a company stay nimble when it is in a period of large growth and expansion?
Bill Mixon: What we have done to successfully advance our business is basically a two-pronged approach. Externally, we keep our eyes on customer needs, talking to them about what we can do to assist them and what they need to be successful. We also carefully watch the marketplace and competitors, working to learn and capture insights from what we hear and see. Internally, using the information gathered through external discussion and observation, we have created a collaborative environment that brings the right people to the table to create the solutions that our customers need. There are no secret formulas or magic bullets so we concentrate on this process day in and day out.
WashingtonExec: People always talk about corporate culture, but what is something that your company purposely focuses on to create the ideal company culture?
Bill Mixon: We focus strongly on integrity…integrity in everything that we do, in how we are known in the markets we serve, and in our relationships between one another inside our company and outside. It’s not just compliance. We turned it up a notch when we recently announced the launch of the USIS Core Values Initiative. This initiative also coincides with the formal release and affirmation of our corporate and employee Standards of Conduct.
We intentionally chose integrity as the root of our corporate name and identity because we firmly believe it is critical to our business success and the highest aspiration we can achieve, from both a personal and professional perspective. Admittedly, integrity can mean slightly different things to different people. At USIS, we believe it requires all employees to exercise honesty, fairness, and respect in their day-to-day dealings with everyone—from fellow employees to customers to the countless others touched by our professional business and duties.
It is also fundamental to living our Standards of Conduct that USIS employees understand and follow the laws and regulations governing our business. Understanding the environment in which we operate helps us mitigate risks and avoid conflicts of interest. In the end, it helps us succeed as a company and as human beings.
WashingtonExec: How has the tightening of the lending market impacted you?
Bill Mixon: Frankly, the tightening of the lending market has not impacted USIS that much at this time. USIS’ focus is on organic growth opportunities that will expand the solutions and services we provide federal customers leveraging several areas where our business has federal market leading characteristics, such as a national footprint of accredited field investigators and security training and staffing. Across the USIS business lines, we are also working on taking our operational performance to the next level, creating efficiencies without overall personnel reductions so we can continue to demonstrate to our federal customers that our internal processes create great value for them.