1 comment on “3 Ways to Elevate Your Military and Veteran Recruiting Efforts”

3 Ways to Elevate Your Military and Veteran Recruiting Efforts

Learn more about best practices in recruiting veteran and military job seekers by joining a Talent Circles sponsored webinar on 2/13/14 at 9:00 PM PSTClick here to register & learn more. 

By Jessica Miller-Merrell 

Our nation’s heroes should be welcomed into the civilian world of employment. They went to incredible lengths to protect our country serving tours overseas and training in some of the most treacherous and dangerous environments in the world. Given the challenges they faced protecting our great nation, one would think that finding civilian employment would be a piece of cake in comparison. While job searching our military veterans aren’t in physical harms way, they are facing a challenge that is more difficult to understand. Vets are challenged in finding employment and being hired after their tours of military duty.

Finding the right job fit for military veterans at your company is equally challenging for the recruiter. Work skills translation between military and civilian is extremely complex making it a time consuming task for recruiters to understand. This extra work is often unwelcomed as the average recruiter spends less than 6 seconds viewing a resume. It is by far the most challenging and critical for the future success of your military recruitment strategy.

Develop an Understanding of Military Skills & Abilities

Seventy-two percent of hiring managers admit it is difficult to ascertain the skill sets by evaluating a resume of a job candidate who is prior military. One great way to get a better understanding of the skills and qualifications of a candidate who is veteran military is to use a military job and sill translation tool. There are a number of tools recruiters can use to gain a better understanding of the skills obtained and navigate the complex military speak. One such tool I recommend is One Net Online’s Military Crosswalk Tool. If a candidate applies for a job, and their MOS was a 13 Bravo, this tool will help you better understand their military area of expertise and types of skills and responsibilities they did every day. One Net’s resource is great for military veteran job seekers as well as recruiters and hiring managers who are trying to understand specific skills, qualifications and abilities as a result of their time in service with the military.

Provide Job Seeker Resources of Military Veterans & Their Family

Content, information and resources are crucial to reach and attract military job seekers using a combination of talent networks, social media channels and company career pages to engage the military community. A number of companies also offer military translation tools for job seekers and job search aids as part of their own corporate military recruiting efforts and career pages. Here are a few of my favorite examples of how companies are targeting military.

Additionally, companies can create resources and information for the spouses of active military or veterans who are job seeking. Doing so positions your company as a family organization that resonates with spouses, job seekers and speaks to your unique value proposition for everybody.

Build Skills Profiles to Target Transitioning Military

Research, strategy and preparation are the keys to great hiring regardless of the position, job role or responsibility. Skills profiles provide a way to build a database of skills, qualifications and experiences a specific MOS might have for the role you are recruiting for. The Department of Labor’s Career OneStop provides an invaluable Skills Profiler in your research efforts allowing you to develop a great understanding of the military role. By developing individual skills profile by specific MOS, you can quickly identify and target veteran candidates you want to consider at your company.

Recruiting and hiring post separation military can be extremely rewarding. By planning and building a strategy to hire and recruit military efforts, your organization will reap benefits that also positively impact our military’s currently recruiting efforts. By ensuring that we provide our veterans with careers after they serve, we are improving the quality and number of recruits who sign up to protect our great country.

Of course, you can include MOS translators into TalentCircles. Skill translation is not enough. What you also need is the ability to build a relationship with the Veterans who are interested in your company and whom are interest to you. Ask for a demo of TalentCircles with a focus on Veteran hiring.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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1 comment on “Veterans Series: An army recruiter changed my life forever: Conversation with Caleb Fullhart”

Veterans Series: An army recruiter changed my life forever: Conversation with Caleb Fullhart

Learn more about best practices in recruiting veteran and military job seekers by joining a Talent Circles sponsored webinar on 2/13/14 at 9:00 PM PST. Click here to register & learn more. 
Conversation with  Marylene Delbourg-Delphis

Caleb Fullharthas been in recruiting for 14 years and specializes in candidate generation, social media and advanced sourcing techniques. He loves everything about HR, especially technologies that power the intrinsic human dimension of HR. He went into our industry on almost day one of his career and was inspired to do so thanks to an Army recruiter.
How did an Army recruiter ended up defining your career path?
I joined the army when an army recruiter came to my high school, Fridley in Minnesota. I was interested in hearing what he had to say. I was 17 and I didn’t really have huge plans at the time. I said to myself “Sure, why not?” First what I had to do was to take an ASVAB, which stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and is basically a test that tells you what you are good at. From there I had a couple of options for my MOS (Military Occupational Specialties). Initially I was to be going to be an 11 BRAVO, which was Infantry but after the ASVAB,I ended up going as a 35 Foxtrot, which was an intelligence analyst. I did not stay in the Army and moved to College to study International Business and Political Sciences, but this Army recruiter did influence my life forever. Basically, he taught me what recruiting was about, or better, I showed to me what recruiting done right looks like and that I will never forget that. If I look at how the army recruiter interacted with me when I initially expressed interest, I am still impressed. He called my parents and built a very personal relationship with me until he handed me off. I would say that that approach was a logical approach and still is in my eyes. To this day, I like his interpersonal skills.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. But he trusted me, helped me to grow and built my confidence. In many ways, the best part of sourcing and recruiting is to help people discover who they really want to become.
Now, how do you give back to the Army?
Each time I come across a Veteran, I listen. Veterans do not like the civilian transactional logic — or maybe, I should say transactional habits. They like to build relationships and they are all about the best way to create and consolidate relationships. I am very excited to be part of the Bazaarvoice’s program for Veterans. The company is passionate about putting a solid plan, with relevant metrics and targets.
There is a lot of room for growth when transitioning from military to civilian but we need to help Veterans translate their skill set into civilian terms. In the old days, Veterans represented a significant part of the population and when they wanted to move into civilian life, they could often find a Veteran in the hiring process capable of translating their skills into lay people words. Today, the Veteran population is much smaller. So it’s important to implement MOS translators showing how the code signs that Veterans had during their service translates into civilian jobs. It’s not rocket science. But it must be done. This helps both recruiters and Veterans better and faster assess how a resume matches a job opening and it’s obvious that this improves the ability of recruiters and Veterans to relate. We are very excited to be implementing a MOS translator within our TalentCircles network. Our hope is that this tool will help bridge the communication gap between veterans and recruiters.  

2 comments on “Veterans Series: Veterans are social and connected: Conversation with Chris Norton”

Veterans Series: Veterans are social and connected: Conversation with Chris Norton

Learn more about best practices in recruiting veteran and military job seekers by joining a Talent Circles sponsored webinar on 2/13/14 at 9:00 PM PST. Click here to register & learn more. 

Conversation with  Marylene Delbourg-Delphis
It’s customary to pay tribute to Veterans and thank them for their services. There is far more for civilians to learn, though, from recruiters hiring Veterans. Many of them lead the way in our industry because of their deep understanding of what “candidate experience,” “candidate engagement,” or “candidate interaction” actually mean — and this because Veterans are just like millennials: they are fundamentally hyper-social and hyper-connected. Here is a my conversation with Chris Norton, a Logistics officer in the Army Reserve (18th year) with five years of actual duty time accrued since 9/11, formerly known as the AT&T’s “Military Guy,” who is now Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Defense Mobile Corporation.
A recent report shows that for service members after 9/11, entering the civilian workforce has been somewhat harder than for previous generations.

Chris Norton: That’s not an untrue statement at all. It’s a numbers game. Historically when you had a large standing military as a representative part of the population, odds were pretty good that you would run into somebody along the way in the hiring process who had also served. You didn’t need to jump through the hoops you do now to describe your service. The 9/11 service members account for about one half of one percent of the population. In terms of a minority population, you can’t get much smaller than that… So you’ve got a population out there that has a whole different language, an entirely different culture and has some hurdles when it comes to the transition as a result. So recognizing that factor and also recognizing that the last decade has stretched service members to the point where they have all these capabilities and skills and attributes, employers would be nuts not to want them! For example, AT&T had hired 3,600 veterans as of the end of October and they announced that their goal is 10,000 over the next five years.
So, how do you get Veterans?

Chris NortonIf you are going to launch or grow your Veterans’ program, you need to get somebody visible and make it personal and social. Service members do not understand transactional logic, but they understand interaction. The transactional nature of recruiting and staffing won’t work, particularly so for the military, because we have a mentor and relationship driven environment. The Military is kind of a bubble society, very close-knit. We all look out for each other. It’s our culture.
Chris Norton mentioned to me to a remarkable article written by Mike Stajura for Business Insider: What Vets Miss Most Is What Most Civilians Fear: A Regimented, Cohesive Network That Always Checks On You. In essence, what Veterans need is “a new mission, a new purpose, and a strong, supportive social network in which people [are] actually invested in one another’s well-being and success.”
Chris NortonSo if you can inject into the process the ability to connect people on an interactive level even if it’s not directly tied to the ATS side of the house, and allow people to develop some sort of relationship, that’s a real good thing when it comes to recruiting veterans. When you come across as a robot or won’t put your name down on it, then it gets discounted.
You go back to the Greeks and Romans about soldiering and the Military: the same stuff comes up. It’s amazing. I am reading a book by Bill Mauldin who was a cartoonist during the WWII. Every other page my arm hair is raising up because something is resonating with me 70 years later: observations about service members interacting with each other.
Where we really made inroads at AT&T is that we had personalized the program. I was just using the office-hour component of TalentCircles because that’s all I functionally needed. I would bring about 5 people and tell them what I do. “Dudes, loose the tie, loose the jacket. Just relax. We are going to talk here.” I set the playing field. We are like a couple of Joes sitting around a beer. “Let’s talk about you… What are the kinds of things you want to do…. What’s your background… ” And we have a honest talk … I literally go first in first out and tell them “You can drop when you are done or you can hang out and listen to the other conversations.”
And the result of engaging with candidates is committed employees….

Chris NortonVeterans are great employees especially for the type of work that happens to be the growing part of AT&T’s business. They are building the network out like gangbusters. They have entry point positions but people move pretty fast through the food chain. Veterans work independently, can learn new processes, new languages, new cultures, new systems — things that are all part of the basic training in the military. These are people who have already proven they can do it. Retention beyond two years for veterans is considerably higher — high enough to turn heads within any business.

8 comments on “Hire Our Hero’s: How to Recruit and Hire Military Veterans”

Hire Our Hero’s: How to Recruit and Hire Military Veterans

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

Hire Our Heros

The job market is improving with holiday spending expected to increase to pre-recession levels.  The US economy is slowly recovering and many Americans are finding work.  US Military veterans have faced challenges in finding work since September 2007.  October’s national unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.  That’s dramatically less than our military veteran heros who have seen action since September 2001 to present.  Unemployment rates in October 2012 for military veterans stand at 10 percent. 

Unemployment numbers are even more startling for our veterans when we look at the numbers by the sexes.  Unemployment numbers for females who are unemployed veterans stand at 15.5 percent which is dramatically different than 9.2 percent figure for women from October 2011.  The problem for hiring and recruiting veterans isn’t just a veteran thing.  It is even more challenging and startling for our female military heros.  

Our soldiers are not prepared to find work in a post-military working world just as much as employers are concerned about post-traumatic stress, higher employee health benefit costs, and time away from work that things like National Guard Duty bring.  Laws like USERRA which stands for Uniformed Services Employment andReemployment Rights Act were created to protect our military from being discriminated against in the hiring and employee process.  Except that the numbers don’t lie.  A 2012 study just released by CareerBuilder shows that only 3in 10 employers plan to hire military veterans in the next 12 months.  This number is simply not high enough. 
As someone who has worked with and interviewed and hired hundreds maybe even thousands of military veterans I can sympathize with a recent military veteran’s frustration.  Serving your country is an honor, and one that I don’t take lightly especially since I know first hand.  I was a military spouse in my first marriage.  My ex-husband faced the prospect of war every single day, and so did his friends and other soldiers who were like family.  Upon transitioning out of the military, I watched my ex-husband struggle to find work.  He was uniquely qualified, eager, and anxious to find his place in the working world. I watched him get beat down emotionally and struggle to find work, friends, and settle in.  It was something our marriage did not survive. 

How to Recruit Military Veterans

Recruiters can take advantage of this eager talent pool  that consists of thousands of soldiers exiting the military every year.  They are loyal.  They understand strategy and plan execution, structure, and responsibility because their success is a matter of life and death every single day.  They can be a hidden talent pool to fill current and future position requisitions. 
·      Develop a Relationship with the Military Base’s Transition Team.  Exiting soldiers attend classes and must complete long checklist of tasks the last 60-90 days of their service.  By developing a relationship with the local base specifically the transition team, you can develop a consistent talent pipeline of candidates to fill a variety of open positions.  I’ve worked with base transition teams giving them valuable feedback into the hiring and candidate evaluation process which in turn they regularly referred candidates to me.  
·      Offer Free Training or Assistance.  One of the hardest pieces of the jobs transition from military to civilian is understanding the hiring process.  In the military world, promotions happen based on time in service or how you perform in front of a board answering questions on military regulations.  The candidate hiring and interview process is foreign and many military fail to market themselves effectively due to the differences in lexicon and how their skills can be leveraged in other places.  By offering free mock interviews or resume evaluations, you are not only providing insights into the corporate world and hiring process but are able to pre-interview your candidate pool before they apply. 
·      Develop a Talent Network.  Create a community where military veterans can connect and learn more about your organization and also connect with one another.  A talent network like this serves a bigger purpose and attracts a much broader member and interest base helping you to foster relationships with this candidate population months or even years after they exit the military.  This is especially helpful if you are targeting multiple military veterans with specific qualifications or are casting a wider recruiting net than just your local military base.  By providing these resources and relationships you are helping serve a bigger purpose also building and fostering your organization’s employer brand.  It’s a win win. 

Best Practices Hiring US Military Veterans

Hiring, recruiting, and engaging military veterans is a challenge.  Job responsibilities and keywords don’t often translate well into applicant tracking systems putting our veterans again at an disadvantage.  This makes hiring and developing relationships for future talent using a variety of strategies even more important.
What strategies have you had success in hiring our nation’s heros and US military veterans?  Would love to hear your insights and best practices by leaving a comment below. 
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media.  She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs