Before reading any advice on how to start your veteran hiring program, I recommend starting with Why? I’m a fan of Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle. In case you aren’t familiar with the Golden Circle, I suggest following either one of the above links for more information. But at the risk of oversimplifying Simon’s message, it’s the idea that most people and companies think/communicate in a What/How/Why paradigm. Sinek then provides examples of innovators who instead approach challenges with the Why/How/What mindset.
My military recruiting career started with Why.
But not when I separated from the military back in 1992. My Why going into the military was a desire to serve. I transitioned from the US Navy as a Submarine Fire Control Technician. In addition to training and experience performing maintenance on digital electronics, I also successfully qualified on two Nuclear Attack Submarines, the USS Louisville (SSN 724) and USS Cincinnati (SSN-693). The operations and training schedule was rigorous and this was the most challenging six years of my life. This was my How and What.
I was eager to take my new found discipline and skills to the private sector. I was so sure that I could add value. I was humble in that I would need to start learning again but knew that if I could get an in, an opportunity, a chance, then I would excel. I had been tested. And I had the stuff.
Corporate America did not see it the same way. They were focused on the What: “We don’t need fire control technicians” I was politely told on the rare occasion that I had an opportunity to interview. The frustration was heavy. Eventually, I gave up. I lost my Why. I networked with friends and family and worked through a series uneventful and unrewarding jobs.
In 2001, I was hired at Bradley-Morris. I finally arrived in a career, fighting a fight I had almost forgotten about – a mission to serve. Presenting the case to corporate America on hiring military, is my Why, and the How (BMI Recruiting Services) and What (matching/placing military in civilian careers) flow from that. Armed with Why, my personal superpower, I’ve enjoyed a successful career doing something I love. I’ve helped dozens of companies solve their military hiring challenges and connected military veterans with real careers where they can grow and add value.
So before you start skill mapping, or attending military job fairs, or placing ads or making a new landing page on your career site, define Why you want to hire military? Then follow Why to How and What.
Why do you #HireMilitary?
Image courtesy YouTube