Veterans, the True Workplace Minority!

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Over the course of my 24 year career in the United States Army, I have met hundreds of people who were all too willing to shake my hand and thank me for my service; I have had countless offers to buy my cup of coffee. Some have even been willing to give up their first class seats on one of my many flights across our great nation.

“Support our Troops” is proudly displayed at businesses and civic buildings across the country. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsman across the country are welcomed home from a deployment with open arms. It’s a far cry to the reprehensible behavior of our country displayed to our returning heroes from Vietnam. Our country, it seems, has learned to separate the politics of war from those who actually serve to fight it. Despite the support of the general population, we can’t look past the minority status our veterans face every day in terms of employment.

soldiers_military_usaIt’s estimated that only about 10% of the U.S. population can even call themselves military veterans. Furthermore, a recent Pew Study showed that at any given time, less than 1% of the population is wearing the uniform. The fact is, the overwhelming majority of Americans have never served in the military. The DoD estimates that over half of the youth in the U.S. population between the ages of 16 and 21 do not meet the minimum requirements to enter military service. This lends itself to why veterans are deeply seated in the minority in both the general population and in the civilian workforce. As a result, Veteran unemployment continues to hover several percentage points above the general population.

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Understandably, it is difficult for someone who never served in the military to appreciate the immeasurable experience a military member brings to the workplace. A 20-something-year-old corporate recruiter probably has little understanding of what an infantryman does or can do. Most recruiters not familiar with military service struggle to understand rank and what it means to be a sergeant for instance. While military jobs and duties may differ from those in the civilian world, there are real skills and experience that a service member brings to an organization. The skills and experience may not be readily discernible to the vast majority of corporate recruiters. As veterans, we must do a better job at our own skills translation both on our resumes and during the interview process. This will go a long way toward helping the civilian recruiter to understand our experience and what we are capable of. This will ultimately stem the tide of military resumes that are automatically funneled to the “rejected” pile.

invisible woundsVeteran unemployment is further exacerbated by the many unfounded misconceptions that continue to plague our national treasures. Post-traumatic stress, lack of civilian skills, rigid operating environment, and workplace violence; you name it and veterans have been labeled with it. There are real visible, and invisible wounds, that many service members have to live with. However, the media and poor information have contributed to a fear among many recruiters that veterans may bring “baggage” to the workplace that would prevent them from performing their duties. The statistics however show that issues like PTSD affect no greater percentage of veterans than it does within the general population. There are valuable resources available to companies and veterans alike through organizations such as Veterans 360 and the Wounded Warrior Project It takes courage for a hiring manager to set those fallacies aside and welcome veterans to the team.

We have been helping companies hire veterans for over 35 years!

We have been helping companies hire veterans for over 35 years!

Perhaps the best way to “support our troops” is to ensure they have gainful employment after their dedicated term of service. Let Forward March Inc. show you how to get the most out of military talent with our comprehensive training program and military talent pipeline services. Combined, we have 110 years of combined military service with over 35 years dedicated specifically to hiring veterans. We have unmatched experience with proven results. Within the military, we leave no one behind. Is your organization willing to do the same for our veterans?  

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

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If you want to get started hiring veterans Forward March Inc stands ready with a special offer. On November 17th we will be holding our Camouflage to Corporate Conference in San Antonio, Texas. This is an outstanding opportunity for companies and organizations to learn how to get started hiring high quality military talent. The information in this conference has helped many other companies to develop highly successful hiring strategies, military pipelines, and learn how to retain quality military talent. Click here to learn more…

Our Camouflage to Corporate Conference can get you on the fast track to developing a Veteran Talent Pipeline. November 17th, San Antonio, Texas.

Our Camouflage to Corporate Conference can get you on the fast track to developing a Veteran Talent Pipeline. November 17th, San Antonio, Texas.

Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, and their families are encouraged to meet with employers at this free event.

Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, and their families are encouraged to meet with employers at this free event.

Veteran Employment in Energy and Oil and Gas on the Rise

North Dakota Oilfield Camp

North Dakota Oilfield Camp

At a remote camp miles and miles from civilization, a team is gearing up for the day’s assigned operation. Helmets are secured as the team leader performs his final checks ensuring everyone is properly equipped for the strenuous mission ahead. The team knows the mission will likely continue into the night.

It’s bitterly cold, with wind chills of -20 degrees, but the mission must continue. The rugged men and women assigned to the outpost know their job. They are a dedicated tight-knit team with the mindset that failure is not an option. Day after day and night after night they get the job done. This is not a remote forward operating base in the snow covered mountains of Afghanistan, it’s an oilfield camp in North Dakota.

hires_4438188636_82509e3c57_bAccording to the Government Accountability Office, over the next five years, one million veterans are expected to leave military service. These Veterans are ideal candidates for oil and gas, and transportation companies. Veterans often bring experience and much needed certifications enabling them to be more quickly on-boarded, easier to train, and generally more capable with managing their schedule and priorities.

gI_90173_MFE14HiResRealizing this, energy companies have begun a variety of programs to bring veterans on-board, some with greater success than others. GI Jobs recognizes companies such as Fluor Corp which was recently named a “Top 100 Military Friendly Employer” for the eighth year in a row. Furthermore, 5 of the 35 Top 35 Veteran Employers (according to Military.com) are energy, oil and gas, or power, not including companies such as Schneider National Inc. which specializes in trucking.

The Houston Chronicle reported last spring that there was a significant increase in the number of veteran hiring programs among energy companies throughout Houston, Texas.

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

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

Forward March Inc. specializes in helping companies of all size learn how to efficiently find, attract, hire and retain high quality veteran talent. Our 35 year plus history of bringing companies and veterans together enables us to bring customized and scalable solutions that will enable your organization to bring the right military talent on board at the right time. Unlike many other companies we can give you a valuable mission plan that will enable your organization to retain veteran talent and subsequently build a vibrant veteran culture.

Contact Forward March Inc. today to learn more. 

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Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, and their families are encouraged to meet with employers at this free event.

Veterans, Transitioning Military Personnel, and their families are encouraged to meet with employers at this free event.

Retaining Top Military and Veteran Talent

Secretary of Defense

Part 3of a special 3 part series:

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.

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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.

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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

Forward March Inc Military Hiring Guide

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

Attracting Military and Veteran Talent

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Part 1 of a special 3 part series:

So you’re looking for the perfect candidate to fill critical positions within your organization. You’re looking for someone who is hardworking, well-educated and an expert planner. You’re looking for someone who has a “mission first” attitude and has a proven ability to face adversity with positive outcomes. You have in mind a candidate that understands and practices diversity in the workplace and who has a respect for policies, procedures, and regulations. You ask yourself, does this perfect candidate even exist? The answer is a resounding YES! The perfect candidate is the American military veteran.

So now that you have identified who the perfect candidate is, the next question is how to find them? Drawing military and veteran talent starts with developing a military hiring strategy. Here are five practices to help your organization attract veterans.

  1. Develop a solid military recruiting strategy. Developing a strategy begins with the company’s vision. This should be a top down driven initiative with specific, measurable, and achievable goals that the entire organization understands. Once a plan is made, recruiters and hiring managers must then be trained and resourced to execute the plan. Furthermore, performance reviews should be tied to veteran hiring performance to ensure continued success.
  1. Leverage existing veteran employees. What better way to attract veterans than engaging current employees who have served. They have not only talked the talk, they have walked the walk. They understand the military transition process and can assist in military skills interpretation and veteran interviewing. The bottom line is this: a brother and sisterhood exists within the veteran population. Veterans who believe in their organization want to share it with others.
  1. Market your organization as the veteran employer of choice.  Building your organization’s brand as a veteran friendly company is key to military hiring success. Part of this branding is leveraging current veteran employees and telling their success stories within the company. Create military specific brochures and other military marketing collateral when attending military hiring functions and use veteran employees as recruiters at such events. Create a veteran hiring site on your company webpage. Send veteran applicants a separate email thanking them for their service when they apply. Make veterans feel welcomed before they even step foot in your company.
  1. Get engaged with the military community. In order to find the veteran employee population, your organization must be engaged in the veteran community. Establish partnerships with non-profit veteran organizations such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Get to know people at local military transition centers and make routine visits to reach out to those leaving military service. Establish relationships with local National Guard and Reserve units. Encourage employees to get involved with volunteer programs supporting veterans.
  2. Don’t forget about military spouses. When developing a veteran recruiting and hiring strategy, do not forget about the military spouse. Although they do not wear the uniform, they possess many skills employers are looking for. Just like the service member, the military spouse is flexible, adaptive to change, conscious of cultural and regional differences, and focused on getting the job done.
We have been helping companies hire veterans for over 35 years!

We have been helping companies hire veterans for over 35 years!

Attracting military talent can be an overwhelming task, especially for those organizations that do not understand military culture. Forward March’s 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