How to hire a veteran
Posted on September 26th, 2013 by David
When is a cook not just a cook? When he’s doing it for the U.S. military.
A cook in the military handles inventories worth millions of dollars, manages the preparation of meals for a dining hall that serves thousands, turns around meals on a ship whose kitchen is as cramped as any New York City apartment and coordinates closely with foreign vendors and workers to deliver a good product. This is a person who knows how to problem-solve, operate under deadlines and manage large numbers of employees who may or may not speak the same language. This is a person who could do everything from hotel operations to event planning.
It’s true that a military resume looks very different from a civilian resume. But it’s an excuse when HR departments claim they can’t translate our skills or that we lack the appropriate academic degrees. There’s an old military saying that’s applicable here: The only difference between a master sergeant and an MBA is that the master sergeant has been doing it for 20 years.
Lend Lease, a national company with a focus on community development, recently completed on-post hotel renovations at Fort Myer and serves as a good example of a company that helps veterans transition to private sector employment. In addition to holding job fairs for management and development candidates on bases, Lend Lease also specifically targets military spouses for facilities management and leasing positions.
Once the properties are finished, Lend Lease turns them over to the hotel operators, in this case InterContinental Hotels Group. IHG’s Director of Capital Operations, Rhonda Hayes, says that the company has “gone out of its way” to translate the skill sets of veterans to private sector positions – and that it seeks out military spouses as well, allowing them to use a proprietary website for military families to explore job transfers when relocation comes up.
It’s time to break down the barriers that clog up the job pipeline for veterans. Recruiters must be willing to trade skills for education and “in-field” expertise. And they must go where the vets are – not just online, but to bases and community service organizations.
Need a hand? Reach out. And if you’ve got a success story to share with others, post it here.