AAW – Sources Sought – ACQ STEM Recruitment

Sep 11, 2020 | Sources Sought

The MICC-FSH is issuing this sources sought synopsis as a means of conducting market research to identify potential sources having an interest and industry technologies available to support/provide outreach, marketing, and recruitment activities that target military and civilian STEM populations to effectively increase the Army’s inventory of a highly skilled Army Acquisition Workforce )AAW). There are eight overarching objectives the contractor must achieve to support the Army DACM Office’s efforts.  

The result of this market research will contribute to determining the method of procurement, if a requirement materializes. This requirement will be set-aside for Women Owned Small Business, 8(a) Direct Award. Multiple awards may be made.  Telephone inquiries will not be accepted or acknowledged, and no feedback or evaluations will be provided to companies regarding submissions.

DISCLAIMER

THIS SOURCES SOUGHT IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THIS IS NOT A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP) TO BE SUBMITTED. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A SOLICITATION AND SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A COMMITMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT. RESPONSES IN ANY FORM ARE NOT OFFERS AND THE GOVERNMENT IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO AWARD A CONTRACT AS A RESULT OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. NO FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE TO PAY FOR PREPARATION OF RESPONSES TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. ANY INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY RESPONDENTS TO THIS TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY.

PROGRAM BACKGROUND

The Army’s Office of Acquisition Career Management (DACM) is a direct reporting entity to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, responsible for providing oversight compliance of the Army Acquisition Corps (AAC) and the 40,000+ strong Army Acquisition Workforce. DACM Office supports the Army’s Acquisition Corps to include its program executive offices in the areas of human resources, resource management (manpower and budget), program structure, and acquisition information management.  The DACM Office ensures a highly capable, agile, adaptive, and professional Army Acquisition Workforce is in compliance with the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act as well as the Army’s initiative on Talent Management.

The US Army is improving how it manages the talent of its workforce by implementing a talent management initiative that strives to improve how it acquires, develops, employs, and retains its people, which is overall designed to enhance readiness and maximize its human potential in support of a more capable future force. 

As part of the talent management initiative, the Army DACM Office is also enhancing its career management program to better manage military officers and civilians of the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW).  The program includes recruitment, education, training and development opportunities to advance the AAW’s competency and professionalism.  A critical component of this effort is recruiting new acquisition members, which requires identifying, informing, and managing potential candidates with high performance-potential, especially those educated in STEM.  This ensures the AAW possesses an adequate population of technically skilled and experienced personnel throughout its enterprise who can effectively lead and resolve the most technologically challenging acquisition programs for the US Army.

REQUIRED CAPABILITIES

The Government requires a contracted capability to provide outreach, marketing, and recruitment activities that target military and civilian STEM populations to effectively increase the Army’s inventory of a highly skilled AAW.   There are eight overarching objectives the contractor must achieve to support the Army DACM Office’s efforts.  The intent of this Sources Sought is to assess the state-of-the art of the technology available in Employment Placement Agencies that could be applied to meet this requirement.

The Government envisions a solution for AAW that meets the following operational and program requirements:

  1. Conduct Outreach & Engagement of Targeted Populations, with an emphasis in STEM Educated Candidates: Outreach activities shall be performed at civilian job fairs and military training or professional events.  For civilians, this entails traveling to academic institutions and professional forums to enhance recruiting efforts for potential interns programs or experienced professionals.  Additional recruitment activities extend to targeting and engaging civilian STEM groups through career or industrial conferences.  Types of military events will include initial occupational training for army officers, advance career activities designed to enhance career choices, and participating in professional forums in support of cadets who possess STEM education. Additional recruitment- support activities may extend to coordinating with functional authorities such as the Army Recruiting Command to facilitate the direct commissioning for highly qualified civilians. Subsequent engagement efforts will be required to follow-up on prospective officers/cadets or civilians leads.  This objective is designed to increase the talent capability of the Army Acquisition Corps. 
     
  2. Establish Conference Support and Maintain Recruiting Booth:  As required, the objective for this task is to plan, organize, and provide onsite logistical assistance for large recruiting events or conferences held at various locations within the continental US.  The contractor shall acquire booth space, design displays/supporting material, and provide other typical functions associated with recruiting conferences. During ROI Analysis each quarter, the contractor shall identify lessons learned and provide analysis and recommendations to improve its marketing/engagement strategies, processes, and systems. 
     
  3. Coordinate with Stakeholders and Army Centers: As designated, the contractor shall effectively coordinate with stakeholders as well as Army Activity Training Centers, which are essential to increasing the talent pool of the Army Acquisition Corps. Given the breath of the army’s talent management program and the authorities of other stakeholders, organizational cultures and systemic/traditional practices could challenge efforts to implement engagement and marketing procedures; or execute a website design plan.  As such, comprehending applicable guidelines and authorities (as dictated by army regulations, policies and directives in paragraph, XII), establishing an awareness of enterprise stakeholders and understanding their institutional uniqueness are necessary to synchronize and execute the terms of this SOO.  In addition, contract familiarization by an in-depth process-.review, staffing research, shall be conducted during the first 90 days to fully understand the applicable guidelines (as listed in paragraph, XII).  The goal is to implement proactive staffing procedures that encounters minimal procurement or policy obstacles in delaying the contract functions of identifying, informing, and tracking qualified candidates with potential in joining the Acquisition Corps.

 

4. Execute a Marketing Strategy:    Consistent with the guidelines of Army Enterprise Marketing,  the contractor shall develop marketing materials / informational materials (brochures, pamphlets, or leaflets) that will visually and verbally convey a valued proposition that elicits excitement about opportunities within the Army Acquisition Corps.  Materials and specific marketing campaigns will be used to attract a diverse pool of talented candidates, with special emphasis on those educated in STEM.  These materials / campaigns shall be free from government jargon, and should aid the competitive recruitment efforts in a technologically advanced market.  As part of its Marketing and Engagement plan, the contractor shall execute desired campaign elements including, but not limited to, the creation of media plans and the development and execution of media buys and associated materials, recruitment support materials; multimedia; and public relations efforts.  In addition, a social media strategy  shall be developed to outline an approved approach  in expanding candidate outreach.  This will enable better access to a target population .  This social media strategy and the marketing and engagement plan are subject to approval by the COR.  The contractor shall implement this effort on behalf of DACM Office  from start to finish, requiring no additional workload to DACM Office, other than approving plans and analysis; or approving plans as dictated by this SOO.

  1. . Utilize electronic tools to enhance recruiting and marketing efforts:

    1. Coordinate the Development, Usage and Maintenance- of an Informational Website: The objective for this task is to work with designated website developers or requirements managers from the Talent Management Office or the Army Enterprise Marketing Office (AEMO) in developing and maintaining an informational web-portal that serves as a clearinghouse for all relevant acquisition career information, collects relevant data to enable traffic analysis, and provides a repository, where candidates may submit questions and express interest.  The contractor shall coordinate a design or capability that is consistent with all army branding and messaging strategies in support of the Army’s Talent Management Initiative and the AEMO.  Website information shall elevate the Army DACM Office’s visibility in search engines by including key industry words, and expanding phrases that may include archaic or limiting governmental language.   In addition, the contractor shall provide website analytics on a quarterly basis.
    2. Leverage social media platforms to connect with potential candidates:

      1. Youtube  
      2. Twitter 
      3. Instagram
      4. Facebook
      5. LinkedIn
  • Create Candidate Personas
    Establish candidate character profiles of targeted populations in demand.  Understanding personality traits and desired skill levels will aide acquisition cultural assessments and competency objectives.  This will require analysis and prioritization, which will also enhance engagement strategies.
     
  1. Enhance Outreach through Candidate-Leads and Follow-ups: From the information and feedback from engagement and marketing efforts, the contractor shall utilize on-line media to engage a targeted populations and generate leads as potential candidates who seek information.  This may include, but is not limited to job postings, email drops, and resume search listings all related to the informational website.  The contractor shall provide an annual recruitment/outreach plan that includes military academies, ROTC sites, Cadet Advance Training events, Basic Officer Training Events, Company Grade Officer Training Events, as well as civilian job fairs where STEM candidates likely exist. This plan is intended to recruit STEM candidates from the junior officer ranks as well as civilian students with high leadership potential.   This effort should establish the initial gateway to facilitate candidates in becoming members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. 
     
  2. Tracking and Analysis: The effort to track and analyze website traffic trends and potential leads of various candidate populations are key in determining how much value is being reaped in achieving the objectives in this SOO.  As assessments are conducted, strategies, methods and procedures should be recommended for adjustment, accordingly to achieve optimal results.  To enable this effort, the contractor shall develop flexible plans and meaningful metrics, (subject to approval by the COR) that can measure effectiveness of performance at periodic progress reviews (see section 6, Deliverables).
     
  3. Provide a Project Manager: The contractor shall provide an experienced individual to manage contract execution and serve as the single point of contact for all performance.  The Project Manager shall be available to the COR via telephone between the hours of 8:30 am through 4:30 pm EST, Monday through Friday, and shall respond to requests for discussion or resolution of technical problems within 48 hours of notification. 
  1. KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

To effectively meet the stated objectives, key knowledge requirements are necessary to decrease the learning curve created by the complexity of the Army Acquisition Corps and the requirement to interoperate with the functions of army-level staff elements.  The requirement of this key knowledge is further indispensable by the numerous policies and regulations, coupled with a need to effectively coordinate with parallel activities. Therefore, the contractor is required to possess the following knowledge or experience:  

        1. An understanding of Army Acquisition career management Program
        2. Understanding on  Army Acquisition Civilian Workforce
        3. An Understanding of Army Officer Accessions
        4. Understanding on how the Army is designed
        5. Understanding on the Army Human Resources Programs and Systems
        6. Understanding of the Management of Army Officers  
        7.  Recruitment strategies 

5. Utilize electronic tools to enhance recruiting and marketing efforts:

 a.Coordinate the Development, Usage and Maintenance- of an Informational Website: The objective for this task is to work with designated website developers or requirements managers from the Talent Management Office or the Army Enterprise Marketing Office (AEMO) in developing and maintaining an informational web-portal that serves as a clearinghouse for all relevant acquisition career information, collects relevant data to enable traffic analysis, and provides a repository, where candidates may submit questions and express interest.  The contractor shall coordinate a design or capability that is consistent with all army branding and messaging strategies in support of the Army’s Talent Management Initiative and the AEMO.  Website information shall elevate the Army DACM Office’s visibility in search engines by including key industry words, and expanding phrases that may include archaic or limiting governmental language.   In addition, the contractor shall provide website analytics on a quarterly basis.

b. Leverage social media platforms to connect with potential candidates:

1. Youtube  

2.Twitter 

3. Instagram

4. Facebook

5. LinkedIn

c. Create Candidate Personas
Establish candidate character profiles of targeted populations in demand.  Understanding personality traits and desired skill levels will aide acquisition cultural assessments and competency objectives.  This will require analysis and prioritization, which will also enhance engagement strategies.

6. Enhance Outreach through Candidate-Leads and Follow-ups: From the information and feedback from engagement and marketing efforts, the contractor shall utilize on-line media to engage a targeted populations and generate leads as potential candidates who seek information.  This may include, but is not limited to job postings, email drops, and resume search listings all related to the informational website.  The contractor shall provide an annual recruitment/outreach plan that includes military academies, ROTC sites, Cadet Advance Training events, Basic Officer Training Events, Company Grade Officer Training Events, as well as civilian job fairs where STEM candidates likely exist. This plan is intended to recruit STEM candidates from the junior officer ranks as well as civilian students with high leadership potential.   This effort should establish the initial gateway to facilitate candidates in becoming members of the Army Acquisition Workforce. 

7. Tracking and Analysis: The effort to track and analyze website traffic trends and potential leads of various candidate populations are key in determining how much value is being reaped in achieving the objectives in this SOO.  As assessments are conducted, strategies, methods and procedures should be recommended for adjustment, accordingly to achieve optimal results.  To enable this effort, the contractor shall develop flexible plans and meaningful metrics, (subject to approval by the COR) that can measure effectiveness of performance at periodic progress reviews (see section 6, Deliverables).
 

8. Provide a Project Manager: The contractor shall provide an experienced individual to manage contract execution and serve as the single point of contact for all performance.  The Project Manager shall be available to the COR via telephone between the hours of 8:30 am through 4:30 pm EST, Monday through Friday, and shall respond to requests for discussion or resolution of technical problems within 48 hours of notification. 

9. KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

To effectively meet the stated objectives, key knowledge requirements are necessary to decrease the learning curve created by the complexity of the Army Acquisition Corps and the requirement to interoperate with the functions of army-level staff elements.  The requirement of this key knowledge is further indispensable by the numerous policies and regulations, coupled with a need to effectively coordinate with parallel activities. Therefore, the contractor is required to possess the following knowledge or experience:  

a.  An understanding of Army Acquisition career management Program

b.  Understanding of Army Acquisition career management Program

c.  An understanding of Army Officer Accessions

d. Understanding on how the Army is designed

e. Understanding on the Army Human Resources Programs and Systems

f.  Understanding of the Management of Army Officers

g. Recruitment strategies

l.  Marketing

  1. CONSTRAINTS AND RISKS

          1. See Travel
             

  1. DELIVERABLES

Deliverable

Frequency

Medium/Format/# of Copies

Submit To

Kick-Off Meeting

The contractor shall conduct an initial kick-off meeting, evaluate existing research, conduct focus groups and internal interviews as appropriate, and review all past marketing materials and associated performance measures to gain a thorough understanding of the DACM Office, its mission, and its goals. The contractor will develop a communications plan that will be a multi-faceted strategic and tactical plan including brand definition and communication, as well as active recruitment for specific positions and overall workforce planning.

Within 20 days of award

  • 1

Consult with Team Manager, COR, and contracting Officer to schedule

Fully Comprehend Army Acquisition Career Field Profiles (CFPs):

The contractor shall fully comprehend acquisition CFPs by coordinating with the  DACM Office  and the HRC-Acquisition Branch for access to information, policies, regulation and other relevant data on career fields, acquisition disciplines, various career enhancements, and career timelines for both military and civilian personnel.  This will aide in understanding the most current aspects of acquisition career planning; and,  enable the contractor to effectively inform prospective candidates about various  disciplines within the acquisition corps.  .   .  This should include both pros and cons, to all potential candidates in consideration of acquisition career options in comparison to other career choices through the Army.  The outcome of this approach is to increase trust between the potential candidates and ensure they are making a well informed career decision that will results in a proper fit that leads to job satisfaction and high retention.  

Within 30 days of contract award

Present in Person upon request

  • COR
  • DACM 

Program Analysis:

The contractor shall develop and recommend appropriate metrics and methodology to conduct ROI analyses for recruitment, the number candidate engagements, possible leads, executed follow-ups, number of patrons’ access to website, marking outreach, number of promotional literature distributed, applicant tracking through the actual application and hiring process.

  • By the 15th of  very month
  • Trend analysis each quarter
  • Email
  • Present in person
  • COR
  • Team Leader

Project Management Plan

Provide an overarching management plan that address the execution of all subsequent deliverables and invoices under the contract, to the OPM Project Manager directly.

Within 30 days of contract award

  • Email
  • Present in person
  • COR
  • Team Leader

Provide an Annual Marketing and

Engagement Plan

As a subset to the PMP, this plan shall outline the number of engagements planned and the associated strategy that will be employed, key objectives, and relative metrics.  This plan shall also include a campaign strategy that includes resources to execute or develop media buys and associated materials, recruitment support materials; multimedia; and public relations efforts.  This plan is subject to COR approval prior to execution.

Within 30 days of contract award

Annually

  • Present in person
  • COR
  • Team Leader
  • DACM

Provide a Social Media Strategy

As a subset to the PMP, this strategy includes a summary of all actions intended to enable key metrics/goals on social media and the coordinating efforts with key army organizations.  This plan is subject to approval before implementation. 

Within 90 days of contracts award

Updated Annually

– Present in person

  • COR
  • Team Leader
  • DACM

Identify Systems, Processes, Procedures and Lessons Learned to convert SOO into PWS

Describe effective systems, procedures, and events of the sub-functions of this SOO that enhance the collaborative execution of this contract.

  • Identify barriers to performance and lessons learned
  • Identify cost risks
  • Identify additional tools and resources required  

Within 90 days of the 2nd period of performance (should this contract be continued)

– Present in person

  • COR
  • Team Leader
  • DACM

  1. TYPE OF ORDER

The Government intends to award one (1) firm fixed price BPA Call as a result of the request for BPA Call proposal.

 

 

 

  1. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE

The period of performance shall be for one Base Year of [12 months] and two 12-month option years. The period of performance reads as follows:

Base Year – TBD

 

Option Year I –  TBD

Option Year II – TBD

The Government reserves the right to extend the term of this contract at the prices set forth in Section B in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in clause 52.217-9 entitled, “Option to Extend the Term of the Contact”.

  1. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE

Work will be performed at the contractor’s location.  However, travel may be required to visit with personnel at various training locations, military institutions, and academic sites within the continental United States (CONUS).  For local coordination, the contractor will need to gain access to Fort Belvoir Army Base.

Personnel employed by the contractor must get a pass for their privately owned vehicles at Bldg. #1032, Visitor Reception Center, with proof of following: 

                        (1)  Liability Insurance

                        (2)  Current License Plates

                        (3)  Current State Inspection Sticker (If Required)

                        (4)  Valid State Driver License

                        (5)  A phone number for sponsor on base

           

Vehicles owned by the contractor with the company names permanently printed on them are not required to obtain a pass as long as a current work order is presented at the time of entry.  However, current liability insurance, state inspection sticker, and registration is required.  The person driving the vehicle must have a valid operator license for the type of vehicle.

 

  1. RECOGNIZED HOLIDAYS

New Year’s Day Labor Day

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Columbus Day

President’s Day Veteran’s Day

Memorial Day Thanksgiving Day

Independence Day Christmas Day

In addition to the days designated as holidays, the Government observes the following days: Any other day designated by Federal Statute

Any other day designated by Executive Order

Any other day designated by a President’s Proclamation

It is understood and agreed between the Government and the contractor that observance of such days by Government personnel shall not otherwise be a reason for an additional period of performance, or entitlement to compensation except as set forth within the contract. If a contractor believes that an unplanned absence has an impact on the price or period of performance, it should notify the contracting officer (CO) of the changed condition and submit a claim for equitable adjustment (see FAR 52.233-1).

Nothing in this clause abrogates the rights and responsibilities of the parties relating to “stop work” provisions as cited in other sections of this contract.

  1. TRAVEL:

All travel plans shall be included in the contractors outreach plans.

All travel requirements will be coordinated with the COR.

All travel shall be in accordance with the Joint Federal Travel Regulations and FAR part 31.205-46 and should be pre-approved by the Government. Travel must be deemed necessary and authorized by the TM in order to be paid for by the Government. Except for exceptional circumstances, travel will not be reimbursed at more than applicable rates cited in the Federal Travel Regulations, prescribed by the General Services Administration.

No more than two contractor-employees may travel in support of a marketing or engagement event.

No more than 40 engagement-events will be conducted during each period of performance.

  1. GOVERNMENT FURNISHED PROPERTY/INFORMATION: N/A

 

 

  1. CONTRACTING OFFICER’S REPRESENTATIVE AND TASK MANAGER

In accordance with Section G.2 (CAR Clause 1352.201-72, Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative or an Assistant COTR), the designated COR for this order will be provided at time of award.

Task Manager: (TBD)

Email: (TBD)

Phone: (TBD)

 

 

  1. SECURITY REQUIREMENTS
     

Contractor personnel requiring unescorted entry to controlled or restricted areas designated by the installation commander shall comply with base access requirements. 

 

Suitability/Risk Level – The suitability or risk level for this work has been determined to be medium.  As such, the contractor shall pre-screen their employees to eliminate anyone who does not meet the following criteria: The prospective employees must be U.S. Citizens.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT PROGRAM (FOIA): 

The contractor shall comply with DoD Regulation 5400.7-R/ DoD Freedom of Information Act Program, requirements.  The regulation sets policy and procedures for the disclosure of records to the public and for marking, handling, transmitting, and safeguarding For Official Use Only (FOUO) material.  The contractor shall comply with the Army’s Privacy Act Program, when collecting and maintaining information protected by the Privacy Act of 1974 authorized by Title 10, United States Code, Section 8013.  The contractor shall remove or destroy official records only in accordance with Army Records Management, or other directives authorized by regulation. For Procedures and Responsibilities.  Please reference http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/dfoipo/foiaHandbook.html for additional information.

 

 

 

 

  1. OTHER

The contractor is expected to provide a fully trained workforce to support the execution of this contract; therefore, personal development training costs and hours are not billable to the government.

  1. REFERENCES: 
  • HQDA EXORD 98-20,
  • Army Regulation 1-50, Army Conference Policy
  • Army Directive, “Direct Appointment of Officers up to the grade of Colonel (other than special branches), dated 28 August 2019 
  • Army Regulation 601-208, The Army Brand and Marketing Program
  • Army regulation 25-1, Army Knowledge Management and Information Technology
  • FM 3-61, Public Affairs Operations 
  • Army Conference Policy: AR 1-50
  • Army Social Media Policy and Resources
  • Visual Information Productions: DoDI 5040.07
  • The Army Public Affairs Program: AR 360-1
  • USACC Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity to Support Enrollment: USACC Reg 145-4
  • Enlistment & Accessions Processing: USAREC Reg 6-1-210

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