"I Would Die For You."
"I would die for you." Those were the closing remarks of Colonel David Sutherland, former Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and career warrior, as he closed his speech to the RecruitDC attendees last week. For the 300+ of us in the room his words hung in the air and lingered long after he left the stage. He had just given a moving 30 minute speech about the value of hiring veterans and the need for a trinity of support: public, private, government for returning vets. His presentation focused on the Warrior's Ethos, the foundation of the U.S. Soldier's creed:
- I will always place the mission first.
- I will never accept defeat.
- I will never quit.
- I will never leave a fallen comrade.
He shared personal anecdotes and stories for each of these four values. Stories that illustrated the bravery, heroism, commitment and drive these soldiers possessed. Stories of sacrifice that moved many attendees to tears. In his white paper, Sea of Goodwill: Matching The Donor To The Need, he lays out a plan to link public, private, and governmental support for service members. Col Sutherland was one of the most memorable presenters I've seen firsthand.
His speech was followed by an excellent panel of recruiters with extensive experience hiring veterans; Chrissa Dockendorf, Mike Bruni and Brenden Wright. You can read a detailed summary of the panel discussion, including their recruiting recommendations, on RecruitDC's slideshare here and here.
There have been several recruiting articles recently on veteran recruiting. TLNT had a recent post highlighting 8 Strategies to Ease Returning Veterans Transition to the Workplace. American Express's Open Forum also had a post recently titled Why You Should Hire Veterans. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, young male veterans ages 18 to 24 had a 29.1 percent unemployment rate while nonveterans of the same age had a 17.6 percent unemployment rate in March 2012. Those numbers are a powerful reminder that more can be done. As recruiters, we're in a great position to make a change. So how do we do it?
I began exploring veteran recruiting initiatives earlier this year. I spoke with HR and recruiting colleagues who were veterans and advocates like David Lee and Arron Daniels. They shared a variety of resources that helped me. What I found I lacked as a recruiter who was interested in getting my organization more directly involved in veteran recruiting initiatives, was a broad list of veteran recruiting resources - job boards, agencies, etc. It may have been out there, but I wasn't finding it.
Inspired by Colonel Sutherland's impassioned speech that we in the HR community can do more, I started to compile a list of resources/etc. that came up during these discussions and a bit of subsequent research to share with my recruiting colleagues. This list is far from complete. I intend for it to be an evolving resource for recruiters so if you know any additional websites, agencies, Twitter handles, etc. please leave a comment with your suggestions and I'll update.
I'm not looking to re-invent the wheel here so if there is another platform that provides this information please let me know and I'll include it. If not, I'm happy to keep a running list that recruiters who are looking to be more proactive in their veteran recruiting outreach can use as a reference. Here is a start to the list. Help me make it broader and better.
Military Recruiting Resources:
- SHRM's Support from Behind the Lines: 10 Steps to Becoming a Military-Ready Employer
- SHRM's Military Employment Resource Page
- Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
- Army Career & Alumni Network (ACAP)
- Wounded Warrior Mentor Program
- Student Veterans of America
- ValueOfAVeteran.com (they also offer free "Ask the Military Recruiting Expert" webinars)
- America's Heroes At Work
- Monster's Veteran Talent Index
- Brazen Careerist - Virtual Career Fairs
- Veteran Central (job board)
- National Guard Job Connection Education Program
- Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America
- The Value of a Veteran
- Veteran Enterprise
- Vet Success (part of veteran affairs)
- Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve
- Veterans Career Fair
- Hero To Hired
- Veterans Job Bank
- Vet Success
- America Wants You
- EmployVets.com (includes a skills translator to help veterans write civilian resumes)
Military Hiring Twitter Handles & Hashtags
- Hashtags: #HireAVeteran, #Veterans, #MilitaryHiring, #HireAVet, #HireHeroes, #MilitaryMonday, #MilSpouse, #GotYour6
- Twitter List: I created a Twitter list of the handles of 50+ accounts that seem to be related to veteran recruiting/hiring in some way. I'll curate the list to keep it focused on recruiting/hiring related accounts. You can find it here: https://twitter.com/#!/ThisIsLars/veteran-recruiting