Whether completing a term of service or retirement, veterans can find it challenging to enter the civilian workforce for many reasons. For some, military service was their first “real job” straight out of high school or college. While there are great military transition programs to off-board in ensuring the success of those leaving the uniform behind, there are plenty of things that employers can do to help as well. The quest can be overwhelming, and too many veterans aren’t sure of where to start. So, reach out; don’t wait for their applications to arrive.
Helping troops cross the chasm from service to business can take many forms. First, let veterans know who you are, what you do, and what you appreciate about the values that they bring to the table. Be specific too. Acknowledge that career transitions can be tough, and you’re here to help whether they accept a role with your organization or not. Start the conversation about what they did in uniform, offer ideas on where those skills and experiences may apply, and keep the conversation going.
As you learn about these candidates, you’ll find so many of the military myths portrayed in TV and the movies (although entertaining in some cases) have perpetuated biases. On the whole, they know and have done much more than the majority of society gives them credit. For example, many operational “best practices” and “cutting edge” technologies in business are based on things veterans put in place long before they were declassified for the rest of the world.
Together, businesses and veteran candidates can collaboratively learn as you talk. For example, business leaders will get better at asking the right questions, and they can strengthen the job descriptions they write to attract the right talent from the uniformed services. Veterans in turn will learn to structure their credentials and present themselves in a way that makes them more readily stand out as the best qualified/best fit candidates. It takes time, transparency, commitment, and consistent communication though. Are you up for the challenge?
At Aptimized, I know veterans are highly valued. The dialogue continues both inside and outside the doors of the business as its leaders want to attract more of America’s heroes to opportunities across the globe. Teamwork and commitment to customers drive everyone at Aptimized to do their very best. It’s a supportive environment where you can really stretch and grow as a leader. We’re all in it together, and as a veteran, that is a key reason why I stay. Hence, I encourage others to join us here.