Bradley-Morris answers questions from transitioning military job seekers.
Q: A friend of mine sent me a link to your Most Valuable Employers for Military list and I was curious how the companies are chosen. Clearly they are committed to hiring servicemen and women, but what other advantages exist? There are some companies that I have been researching that I like, but they don’t seem to have anything specifically focused on veteran hiring.
A: Thanks for your great question! It comes during our 2015 Most Valuable Employer (MVE) for Military issue so you will now have even more companies on which to set your sights.
In order to be included on our MVE list, companies submit information about how they are working to attract, hire and retain veterans. I often hear concern from transitioning service members about the welcome they might receive when they enter into the civilian workforce. I can assure you that most top organizations around the country are striving to make themselves veteran-friendly companies.
Why should you prioritize a company that is known for and committed to hiring veterans? First, they want you! In most of these businesses, the person who runs a veteran hiring program is prior-military. That leader will appreciate, value, and be able to translate/interpret the tangibles and intangibles related to your military service and how that might best fit within the organization. This is also important because as you are “selling yourself” in the interview process, you don’t have to sell the inherent value of your military experience. They simply “get” it. This might not be the case with a company who is unaccustomed to hiring veterans.
Second, MVEs frequently have training programs specifically targeted to onboard those with military experience. They know that while you have been trained on various procedures and equipment in the military, you probably won’t have experience in their specific civilian industry. Their onboarding procedures are normally set up to fast-track you for civilian success.
Lastly, many MVEs have military-oriented employee groups (sometimes called military affinity groups) that are set up and run by men and women who also wore the uniform. They know what many service members miss most about serving is the sense of camaraderie. While nothing can replace that entirely, military-focused employee groups can help bridge the gap between the military and civilian worlds.
Veterans can connect with other veterans as well as find those within their company who might be best suited to guide and mentor their career progression. Not surprisingly, some reports have suggested that retention is higher in companies that offer these types of internal programs for veterans.
So if possible, it obviously makes sense to pursue companies that have earned the MVE designation.
Mike Arsenault is Vice President of Candidate Services at military placement firm Bradley-Morris, Inc. He can be reached at (800) 330-4950 ext. 2105 or by email at email@example.com.
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