There are traits that just about every employer says they look for in candidates. They want people who are hardworking, team-oriented, highly adaptable and trustworthy. One group that demonstrates all of these in great supply is U.S. military veterans.
Every year there are nearly 250,000 servicemembers transitioning out of the armed services, ready to enter the civilian talent pool. And while there is encouraging news about veteran unemployment, there are still challenges military veterans face when interacting with civilian recruiters and hiring managers.
It all comes down to communication and speaking the same language.
“If you don’t understand what someone did, you don’t know what they can do,” said Dennis Carpenter, Senior Recruiter for Cielo.
As a veteran himself, Dennis knows all too well how military ranks and duties do not always translate neatly into terms that are familiar to the corporate world.
“You might be looking for someone with a certain number of years of supervisory experience, but cannot recognize that strictly from a military rank on a resume,” Dennis said. “But, trust me, if you have spent time as a platoon sergeant, then you definitely have experience leading people.”
Like any insular environment, the military has jargon, abbreviations and acronyms all its own. If a person has spent their entire career in the military, they might have difficulty writing their resume in civilian terms that a recruiter would understand. Say there is a veteran who would be a great fit for a technician role, but their resume only references military jobs codes like AFSC/Rate/MOS 89D, AFSC 3D1X3, or STG (Sonar Technician Surface). There may be a gap in communication that results in an organization missing out on a great candidate.
Whatever name or code it goes by, these jobs all produce professionals with well-rounded technical aptitude, troubleshooting, repair, and ability to manage problems, projects, and personnel with limited resources.
While both parties should make the effort to try to understand each other, talent acquisition professionals would be well-suited to perform their own maneuvers, including:
Another hindrance for military veterans are misconceptions that continue to persist. The most damaging include:
In the end, recruiters and hiring managers should approach military veterans as they would anyone else – as individuals with unique experiences who are interested in joining your organization. Giving them a fair shake when it comes to hiring puts some real-world meaning behind “thank you for your service.”
To learn more about putting military veterans to work, read about Cielo’s partnership with RallyPoint.