Retaining Top Military and Veteran Talent

Retaining Top Military and Veteran Talent

Secretary of Defense

Finding the right veteran talent requires a solid military talent recruiting strategy with an executable and measurable plan. Interviewing veteran and military talent requires a certain level of expertise in military skills translations, understanding military lingo, and even interpreting the DD 214. The bottom line is this; finding the right military talent for the right position requires hundreds of man-hours in the recruiting, screening, interviewing, and hiring process.  Unfortunately, all that time and energy is lost when retention rates are low.

Here are some key takeaways for an effective veteran retention strategy.

Onboarding:

Effective onboarding allows new hires to get adjusted to the culture of the company and understand performance aspects of their job quickly and easily. It allows them to learn the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to function effectively within your organization.  Effective onboarding includes:

  • Giving the veteran a written plan of objectives and responsibilities. Within the military culture, this is an expectation.
  • Conducting formal orientations.
  • Introducing the new employee to the team. Veterans need to feel like they belong to the team.
  • Assigning a veteran mentor to capitalize on the brother and sisterhood that exists within the military profession.
  • Indoctrinating the veteran into the company’s culture, mission, and values.
  • Addressing questions or concerns immediately.
  • Being aware of physical limitations, should they exist.
  • Motivating veterans by giving them purpose and direction.

meetingVeteran Resource Group:

A great way to support your veteran employees is to create a veteran employee resource group. The purpose of the veteran employee resource group is to share knowledge across the organization in every aspect of recruiting, hiring, retaining and recognizing the veteran population. Here are ways the veteran resource group can help:

  • Assist in developing veteran hiring strategies.
  • Recognize veteran employees during company events.
  • Coordinating observations of Veterans Day, Memorial Day activities, and service birthdays.
  • Providing assistance, through care packages, phone cards, letter writing and all other means of support, to those currently deployed.
  • Support current National Guard and Reserve members.
  • Mentor veterans who recently left the service.
  • Generating support for veteran hospitals and homeless shelters.
  • Develop organizational partnerships with veteran service organizations.
  • Provide moral and psychological support for your veteran employees as needed.
  • Involve the veteran’s family.

national guard and reservesSupport Guard and Reserve Members:

First and foremost, being a member of the National Guard or Reserve should not be a hiring deterrent. Second, the best way your organization can support your country is by supporting your National Guard and Reserve employees. It’s important to foster a culture in which your company supports and values the employment and military service of members of the Reserve Component.

It is not only the right thing to do to support guard and reserve military personnel, it’s also the law! Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), employers have specific obligations to support their Reserve Component members.

  • The law guarantees the right to take time off from work to meet your military responsibilities during weekend drills and annual training.
  • A military member who leaves a civilian job for voluntary or involuntary service for extended periods of time is entitled to reemployment in the civilian job (with accrued seniority) if he or she meets certain criteria.
  • Discrimination in hiring is unlawful. It is also unlawful to fire someone for being in the National Guard or Reserve, or to discriminate with respect to promotions or other benefits of employment.
  • It is unlawful for you to make the employee use vacation time while in the performance of military duty.
  • You are not required to pay an individual for time not worked due to service, although many organizations do.

Communication is the key to a lasting partnership between the service member, your company, and the military unit. Here are others ways to help your current guard and reserve employees:

  • Learn more about the role of the National Guard and Reserve. Attend open houses and public functions at local military units. Talk about the National Guard and Reserve with military and civilian leaders in your community.
  • Get to know your employees’ military commanders and supervisors. Ask them to provide you with advance notice of their annual military duty schedule.
  • Provide the service member the time and flexibility to perform his or her military duties.
  • Put your support in writing by signing a Statement of Support for the National Guard and Reserve. Publicly show your support and appreciation for all those who serve.

9547808574_734a2263c8_b

Military veterans are a loyal, hard-working, and well trained group of individuals that will enhance an organization’s ability to accomplish its mission. But loyalty only goes so far and veterans will stay with your company if you give them a reason to stay by keeping them busy, giving them focus, and above all, purpose.

FMI LOGO WITH STEEL MIL SEALS

Employees turn-over is expensive, but Forward March Inc., has the solution for keeping veteran employees engaged. Companies with strong veteran cultures enjoy many benefits to include greater productivity and professionalism as well as higher referral rates. We can help your organization develop a very strong veteran culture with both new and existing veteran employees. If your organization is up to the challenge, FMI has your back!

Forward March Inc Military Hiring Guide

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

Myths About Veterans and Why You are Not Hiring Them

VETERANS U NEED THEM

Let me start by saying our country has made great strides lately on the veteran hiring front. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for December 2014, veteran unemployment was at 4.7% slightly up from November. The highest unemployment veteran rate for 2014 was among first-termers in the 18-24 year range with their average unemployment rate being at 16.2%, so there is still much work to do.

Statistics aside, veterans are still plagued with many misconceptions that hinder the hiring process. Here are some of the myths that are impacting the overall veteran unemployment rate.

file0001292130605Veterans want jobs.

Veterans generally do not want “jobs”, they want careers.  Former President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” Our military members have dedicated themselves to the profession of arms. As they transition from military service, they are looking for meaningful work and a minimum wage low skilled job is not going to cut it. Veterans want to make a difference in the world and will stay with an organization that will give them the opportunity to learn and grow.

file7071266529091Veterans are uneducated.

Today’s Armed Forces are the most educated and technologically advanced military the world has ever seen. The days of enlisting criminals or dropouts are long gone.

The Department of Defense has set strict quality caps on who can serve in the military which has led to a 99% high school graduation rate, far exceeding that of the general population. Furthermore, veterans are 70% more likely to complete a college degree than their peers.

Veterans are not free thinkers, they just follow orders.

Some aspects of military life are well regulated, such as how long one’s hair can be, and they do occasionally march in straight lines, but the fact is, military members are trained to think on their feet and can operate effectively in the most chaotic of situations. Additionally, our Armed Forces work around the world with a social and cultural understanding of their environment that most can only imagine.

Veterans only know how to yell at people to get things done.

Forget what you learned from Hollywood. Yes, military leaders have a very important and dangerous job to do with life or death consequences, but the fact is, military leaders learn and master the art of transformational leadership.

Transformational leadership motivates the team to achieve a common goal by developing subordinates, showing genuine concern for the team, challenging people to achieve past expectations, and taking ownership for one’s actions. This is done through teaching, coaching, mentoring, and counseling, not regular yelling. Today’ military leaders lead through motivation, not fear and intimidation.

fighter_pilotVeterans do not have applicable civilian skills.

First, less than 20% of military specialties are considered direct combat roles such as the infantry, armor, or artillery. The other 80% are in fields that have a direct correlation to the civilian job market such as medical, finance, food service, human resources, mechanical maintenance, etc. The focus here should be less on what a veteran’s job in the military was, but more on the intangibles such as team-work, loyalty, leadership, and great work-ethic. A company can train skills, but you can’t train dedication.

All veterans have Post Traumatic Stress.

Let’s put this in perspective and put all the hype aside. According to the National Institutes of Health, 26% of Americans over the age of 18, about 1 in 4, have some form of mental disorder. So, if your company has 100 employees and none of them were veterans, 25 will have some form of mental illness to include possible PTS.

PTS is an affliction that not only affects veterans, but could impact anyone who faced a traumatic life event such as an auto accident or becoming a victim of a crime. Additionally, it is estimated that only 20% of veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan have symptoms of PTS.

Veterans are poor and joined the military because it was their only option.

Believe it or not, the military sits firmly in the middle-class of America. The percentage of military personnel recruited from areas with the lowest of incomes is only about 7% of total enlistments. The highest percentage of military enlistments come from median household incomes nationwide.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI should not hire current members of the Guard and Reserve, they are just going to deploy.

A veteran who continues to serve their country in the Guard or Reserve should not be viewed as a liability. Yes, the possibility of a deployment is there. Yes, they are required to serve a minimum of one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year, but the knowledge, skills, and abilities that individual will bring to your organization are immeasurable. Hiring current National Guard and Reserve members is not only a good practice it is the law!

FMI TENANTS LOGOThe best way to “support our troops” is to ensure they have gainful employment after their dedicated term of service. It’s time we all look past the hype, myths, and misconceptions and make hiring veterans and top priority.   Let Forward March show you how to get the most out of military talent with our comprehensive HR training program and military talent pipeline services.

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

Want to be a Military Friendly Company?

For the most part we see “military/veteran friendly” employers as being employers who give the perception that they have a veteran hiring strategy which they actively employ. Sadly, as we have highlighted in previous posts, many employers prefer to use their veteran/military friendly strategy more for marketing than actually hiring veterans or concerning themselves with giving veterans real careers. It is refreshing to find companies who are actively engaging veterans through a veteran hiring strategy. Those companies, no matter their size, we see as moving American industry forward and truly honoring our national treasure… our nation’s veterans.

For larger companies who want to set the bar even higher there are ratings institutions such as Military Friendly who use survey-driven methods to determine just how effective a company’s veteran hiring strategy is.
2015_MFE_LogoMilitary Friendly is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business founded by veterans and leads the industry as a ratings entity for companies who hire veterans. They produce survey-driven lists each year and have been doing so for more than a decade. These lists highlight schools and employers who represent the “top tier of institutions with leading opportunities for military service members and spouses.”

The 2015 Military Friendly Employers list has been released. The pool of about 5,000 employers produces less than 5% which earn the designation of Military Friendly within the context of Military Friendly’s rating process.

GI.Jobs.Logo.LR

The top 100 employers, according to Military Friendly are published in their GI Jobs publication. Becoming one of these employers is a highly coveted achievement, which requires a tremendous amount of effort and dedication to veterans by the companies on this list. The list for 2015 includes companies such as Union Pacific, AT&T, CSC, Intel, Merck, CDW, J.B. Hunt, BNSF Railway, Brinks, HP, Deloitte and many others. You can see the list here…
For a more detailed list of Military Friendly employers you can go here… 

IMG_3292

Forward March Inc. is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business founded by veterans who have a passion for helping veterans. Forward March Inc. is dedicated to moving American Industry forward by helping employers develop successful military hiring strategies. If your company or institution does not have a veteran hiring strategy we can help! If your company or institution wants a proven plan to become a company that is known for hiring veterans like those highlighted in the links above, then give us a call. Forward March Inc. has over 30 years of collective experience connecting employers and veterans. Come over to our website here… and learn more.

35 years experience

Military Hiring 101 Workshops

MILITARY HIRING 101 WORKSHOP

Our Military Hiring 101 Workshops will give you the information and tools you need to succeed in hiring the very best military candidates. Our highly successful solutions are based on the proven military leadership models and a systematic approach to organizational growth.

We now offer the opportunity to come and conduct our Military Hiring 101 events at your company! 

Another way that FMI can help you with your Military Talent Acquisition & Transition goals is with our Military Talent Hiring Guide which we can customize to fit your solution for your company or organization. This Hiring Guide can help you through each step of your hiring process to find the right veteran talent for your mission.

Mil Hiring Guide Ring
Bringing the Value of a Veteran to Your Workforce

Today’s businesses recognize the value of having veteran employees in their workforce. Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining veterans is a skill that companies looking for the highest caliber employees simply must have. FMI has created a Military Talent Hiring Guide that teaches companies the basics of just how to do this. Contact FMI today to get your copy of our Military Talent Hiring Guide.

• Learn how to find and attract military talent to your business
• Discover the methods and benefits to hiring veterans
• Learn how to approach all branches of military service
• Learn how to translate rank, pay-scale, and military job skills

Contact us today for information on how to schedule an event at your company or to learn more about our Military Talent Hiring Guide. 1-888-723-6223

The Forward March Inc. 2014 Roundup

The Forward March Inc. Year in Review

This is just a small part of what we have done during 2014. Make sure to check our blog as we post regularly news and events.

Forward March, Inc. (FMI) is a Service Disabled Veteran-owned small business based in San Antonio, Texas.  FMI was formed in 2013 by retired US Military Members and successful business professionals with offices in San Antonio and Houston, Texas. We are Veterans serving our military members and corporate America.  FMI is an industry leader in client partner relationships offering second-to-none consultative expertise at an effective cost, making us a premier choice.  We provide our clients with highly qualified Veteran employees who know their business!  FMI offers flexible solutions for your business needs, specializing in:

  • Military Talent Pipeline Services
    – Helping companies find the right military talent, at the right time, for the right skill-set
  • Leadership Training
    – Corporate leadership training with a military flair
  • Strategic Business Services
    – Helping businesses achieve their performance goals
  • Military Hiring 101 Workshops
    – Teaching the information needed to start a military talent pipeline no matter the size
  • Camouflage to Corporate Conferences
    – Providing the tools for mission success through military talent for a more focused, motivated and productive team

We put the HOOAH! in business!

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.20.57 AM

Forward March Inc. (FMI) opened the doors to our new offices in July and hit the ground running. We are a small company of men and women who are likeminded in our desire to help veterans find meaningful careers while helping industry move America forward with the highest caliber military talent. We don’t just stop there as we offer Leadership Training, Strategic Business Services, and the very best workshops and conferences that your company or organization can attend.

Below are some highlights of our year.

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 8.21.17 AM

New year, new website!

IMG_1827

We started off our year with a trip to Washington D.C. and a meeting with the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Joint Chief of Staff.

C2C

IMG_1910

Forward March Inc. held our Camouflage to Corporate Conference in Houston, Texas. This was an outstanding conference giving businesses and organizations an in-depth understanding of how to find, attract, hire and retain high quality military talent.

DSC03872

New offices were opened in July. Forward March Inc. has hosted training sessions, AUSA breakfast meetings, and much more since then.

da FMI guys

A few of Team FMI at the USAA/Disney Veteran’s Institute conference. We make friends everywhere we go!

20140531_152201

The FMI Operation Outreach program Maui Warrior Appreciation Vacation was started by Farzad Azad working with local businesses around Lahaina, Maui. The mission of the Maui Warrior Appreciation Vacation is to thank veterans for their sacrifice and service to our nation by providing them a one week all expenses paid vacation. Farzad (pictured below) is arguably the most patriotic man on Maui and has made it his mission to give back to those who have given so much for our freedom. Farzad is also the owner of Java Jazz and provides all the food and dining for the vacations. Forward March Inc. and Farzad have formed a partnership to grow the Maui Warrior Appreciation Vacation program and increase its outreach.

Fred_Astaire_Dance_Studios_Logo

FMI continued our work with the Fred Astaire Dance Studios through Dancing with our Heroes raising well over $300,000 for The Fisher House Foundation helping wounded veterans and their families.

MILITARY HIRING 101 EVENT

FMI hosted our Military Hiring 101 workshop in the fall which gave businesses concentrated training to achieve their military hiring goals.

IMG_2818

ACAP to job fairs, FMI could be seen around the town working hard to connect veterans with meaningful careers.

IMG_2828

Through the Forward March Inc. Operation Outreach program we are reaching out to help veterans in our community. Through our Professional Women’s Veterans Coalition we hosted a number of very successful events including a job fair for veterans highlighting the importance of employment for women veterans.

IMG_6846

The fall ushered in our second Camouflage to Corporate conference, this one held in San Antonio.

IMG_3334

FMI is a company of veterans helping veterans. November saw our first Veteran Employment Transition Networking event which was a great success.

IMG_3311

Forward Marc Inc. can train your organization in leadership, hiring, and sales. Here we are with the outstanding folks at Design Materials Inc. at the completion of their sales force training.

IMG_3292

2014 was an exciting year for Forward March Inc. and our partners. 2015 promises to be even better so make sure to join us.

 

Military Hiring 101 Workshops and Our Custom Military Hiring Guide

Forward March Inc. (FMI) works with companies and organizations in a variety of different ways to help with military talent acquisition. FMI has two services which businesses can use to help with finding, attracting, hiring and retaining top quality military talent. Even if your company or organization has no previous experience working with veteran talent FMI can have you up and running to meet your mission needs very quickly.



photo copy

One way companies can get a military talent pipeline started is to attend one of our Military Hiring 101 Workshops.

Military Hiring 101 Workshops

MILITARY HIRING 101 WORKSHOP

Our Military Hiring 101 Event will give you the information and tools you need to succeed in hiring the very best military candidates. Our highly successful solutions are based on the proven military leadership models and a systematic approach to organizational growth.

Agenda:
• Introduction
• Attracting Military
• Hiring Military
• Retaining Military
• Practical Exercise
• Closing Remarks

35 years experience

We now offer the opportunity to come and conduct our Military Hiring 101 events at your company! 

Another way that FMI can help you with your Military Talent Acquisition & Transition goals is with our Military Talent Hiring Guide which we can customize to fit your solution for your company or organization. This Hiring Guide can help you through each step of your hiring process to find the right veteran talent for your mission.

Mil Hiring Guide Ring
Bringing the Value of a Veteran to Your Workforce

Today’s businesses recognize the value of having veteran employees in their workforce. Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining veterans is a skill that companies looking for the highest caliber employees simply must have. FMI has created a Military Talent Hiring Guide that teaches companies the basics of just how to do this. Contact FMI today to get your copy of our Military Talent Hiring Guide.

• Learn how to find and attract military talent to your business
• Discover the methods and benefits to hiring veterans
• Learn how to approach all branches of military service
• Learn how to translate rank, pay-scale, and military job skills

Contact us today for information on how to schedule an event at your company or to learn more about our Military Talent Hiring Guide. 1-888-723-6223

Super Millennials; Hiring the Best of a Generation

hiring the best of a generationIts 0430 in the morning at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Afghanistan. A 30-year old Platoon Sergeant performs a Pre-Combat Inspection (PCI) with her team. Helmets and ballistic eye protection are in place and canteens are filled. Weapons are cleaned, zeroed, and a function check has been performed. As she briefs her platoon on the current mission, it’s cold and windy, but the team is motivated and ready to get to work. Surprisingly, this well-oiled machine is made up entirely of millennials, the cohort of Americans born between 1980 and the mid-2000s.

For these Soldiers, their generation is known for being lazy, yet they are up while the rest of the word sleeps. The generation labeled as pampered has been sleeping on cots and eating Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) for months. They don’t make excuses. They and are held accountable for their actions and the actions of their team. Not everyone gets a trophy for being there. Only the best are called Corporal or Sergeant.

The global war on terror has largely been fought on the backs of this generation of outstanding and dedicated young people.  In fact, nearly 70% of the Medals of Honor awarded in both Iraq and Afghanistan were earned by millennials. The remaining 30% were earned by Gen Xers.

Here are the top ten reasons to hire millennial veterans:

  1. Military veterans have a global perspective that most can only imagine. They have been stationed around the world and adapt easily to their environment. They are aware of, and have a respect for cultural differences.
  2. Millennial veterans are calm under pressure. They have operated in the most chaotic of situations and got the job done.
  3. Veterans are known for being team oriented and veteran millennials are no different. Soldiers, Sailor, Airmen, Guardians, and Marines rely on each other to accomplish the mission in life or death situations. Now that’s teamwork!
  4. Millennial veterans are excellent leaders forged in over thirteen years of global conflict. They are loyal, dedicated, and highly motivated.
  5. Millennials generally are viewed as over-confident. Millennial veterans, on the other hand, are professionals with a high degree of integrity. They have an air of respect and a sense of honor.
  6. Veterans are responsible. These millennials know how to make decisions and they take responsibility for their successes and failures.
  7. In an age of sedimentary life-styles spending all day behind a video game, millennial veterans are physically fit, generally drug free, and take fewer sick days than their contemporaries.
  8. Millennial veterans have thousands of dollars in training and educational benefits that often times go unused. If they need additional training, it will be paid for. There are tax incentives, as well, just for hiring them.
  9. Veterans are highly trained and well-educated with the skills the civilian workforce is looking for and millennial veterans are no different.
  10. Millennials are looking for meaningful work and they found it in the military. As they leave the service, they will join and stay with your company If you engage them and make them part of the team.

VETERANS U NEED THEMAttracting military talent can be an overwhelming task, especially for those organizations that do not understand military culture. Forward March’s (FMI) team has over 110 years of combined military experience with over 35 years dedicated specifically to hiring veterans. FMI can train your staff to attract, hire, and retain top military talent. We have a comprehensive Military Talent Hiring Guide and outstanding training that can get your department staffing positions very quickly. We can also help you to develop a pipeline and hiring strategy for success and train your human resource department on all the best ways to recruit military talent. If your company is committed to hiring military veterans, let FMI show you how.

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services

Talent Pipeline Vs. Staffing

Forward March Inc Military Talent Pipeline Services - Affordable, Customized, Scalable

Forward March Inc Military Talent Pipeline Services – Affordable, Customized, Scalable

America’s military is the most educated, best trained, and highly motivated fighting force the world has ever seen. Those men and women transitioning from the military are a great national resource who can make a huge difference to any organization that has dedicated itself to hiring outstanding military veterans.

At Forward March Incorporated, we understand the true value of those who have served and we are dedicated to teaching companies how to attract, hire, and retain high quality veteran employees. While we are not a staffing company, one of the many ways we accomplish this is through military pipeline development.

So what’s the difference between staffing and a talent pipeline?

Staffing is the process of recruiting and hiring personnel with a specific set of skill sets, for a specific position within an organization. Doing this requires a dedicated team of recruiters and hiring managers who understand the exact and immediate hiring needs of the company.

For the most part, organizations do a good job of filling positions as new requirements open up, but forecasting staffing requirements proves far more difficult. It’s not always clear what future staffing requirements will be down the road. Predicting future staffing requirements requires forward thinking on behalf of hiring managers. They must account for turnover, promotions, expansions, reductions, and a myriad of other factors that impact staffing needs.

Talent pipeline, on the other hand, provides companies with a pool of qualified candidates ready to fill critical positions as they become available. A robust talent pipeline ensures the right person is placed in the right position at the right time.

Utilizing a talent pipeline is a great way for organizations to adapt to changing staff needs. A talent pipeline allows recruiters to focus on the here and now, while giving hiring managers the peace of mind knowing that the candidate pool can be turned off and on as personnel needs evolve.

FMI’s unique approach to a military talent pipeline allows us to continuously sell your organization as a great place for veterans to work. Most important of all, FMI is committed to providing our talent services free of charge to the veteran work force. Regardless of your manpower needs, let FMI fill your organization with hard working, loyal, and well trained American veterans.

To learn more visit our website and contact us today! www.forwardmarchinc.com 

~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services