April 30, 2013

Networking for the Hill

By: AFF Editors

Capitol Hill is an interesting beast. It is fast paced, with long hours, and run by recent college grads in their 20s.  Over 90 percent of staff assistants and legislative correspondents, and 80 percent of legislative assistants are in their 20s.For young professionals who land an internship or even a low level position, it is a paradox to be in the center of opportunities on the Hill, yet little time and resources to take full advantage of it.


This week, a former staffer has endeavored to solve this paradox by launching OnCapHill.com. This is an exclusive professional online networking site for Congress and their staff, that provides tools to maintain employment, increase staff communication, and aid easy access to networking events.


Building your career on the Hill is all about networking.  The top two sources for hiring on the Hill are from internal emailing lists between Chiefs of Staff (40%), and referrals by current employees (36.6%). This is happening on a regular basis. Congress experiences 63.2% turnover among staff assistants alone. Particularly with inters’ limited time on the Hill, their ability to stay connected is essential to landing a job.


OnCapHill enhances the networking capabilities of these young professionals on the Hill.  Staffers can create exclusive profiles, connect with other staffers, and view the many opportunities to network at receptions and happy hours.


OnCapHill is also perfect for non-profits, lobbying firms, and trade associations to reach out to staffers by posting their happy hours and receptions on the site.  These networking opportunities are fundamental in seeking careers off the Hill. In 2010, the top 3 ventures after leaving a congressional office were another congressional office (33.3%), graduate school (22.2%), and lobby firm (10%).


But not all young professional want to stay in Washington, DC. OnCapHill.com is revolutionary in that it finally connects staffers in DC offices to staffers in the State district offices.  Not only is this a public benefit, but a helpful tool for young professionals.