Military Veteran Talent: Practical Impediments to Executing a Veteran-Focused Employment Strategy
By: James Tongate
“Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character” - John Wooden
Don’t just thank a military veteran for their service to our great nation – make it a point to learn more by asking “why” they chose to serve. The answers will vary ranging from “I felt a need to serve my country” to “to pay for my education and learn a trade.” Regardless of the answer, I guarantee that you’ll note a gleam of honor and appreciation for your question.
Military veterans are a special breed of human beings much like those in other professions (e.g. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Doctors, etc.). Regardless of politics, the economy or other distractions – our nation’s military always remains focused and on task for the defense of our nation. Many Servicemembers have indeed sacrificed much, and ever since 9/11/2001, military operations tempo remains high and shows no sign of slowing down. Whether it be through the regular attrition rates for retirements or finishing up their contracted term limits, Servicemembers will eventually transition out and seek a meaningful career as a civilian.
While the “sea of goodwill” continues for many employers executing veteran-focused employment strategies, some employers fall short with the very basics of building a culture where military veteran talent is championed and grows beyond typical clichés (e.g. most / all military have PTSD, non-translation of skills/experience for their industry, etc.). Now granted, the onus is on the military veteran to appropriately research employers, their culture, career opportunities, as well as appropriately translate their skills/experience on to their resume in “civilian-speak” and not bogged down with military jargon – the military veteran must compete!
An employer must begin their journey first by educating their talent recruiters, HR business partners and hiring managers on the unique military cultures (e.g. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) within the over-arching military culture. This includes, but is not limited to rank structure (enlisted vs officer), active duty vs reserve duty, occupations, missions and much more.
Military Servicemembers are four times better educated / trained than most civilians as they attend different levels of schools:
They must understand that it takes a bit more time to peel back the layers of the military Service member onion to learn about many of the soft skills & attributes characteristic that also parallel their education levels…this includes:
Only then will companies begin to scratch the surface with a much better understanding on the true value any military Servicemember would bring to their business.
SPOT Award Winner for February
The SPOT Award stands for Spontaneous Praise and Ongoing Thanks. We recognize a volunteer monthly that goes above and beyond in their dedication and support of the LSHRM Chapter.
On behalf of the LSHRM Board of Directors, we would like to recognize Charlaine Reynolds at the SPOT Award winner for February! Charlaine is our Director of SHRM Foundation & Special Events. Under her leadership, her team and our Chapter raised more than $10,000 for the SHRM Foundation in 2017! We were the #3 highest chapters in fundraising for this wonderful cause! Charlaine and her team also planned HR connect events for all of us to enjoy. They continued our partnerships with the KY SHRM Conference and Best Places to Work Program!
Thanks Charlaine for all you do for LSHRM!
LSHRM Presents Talent Solution #1: Transitioning Veterans
Author: Patricia Williams, LSHRM President
The Louisville Society for Human Resource Management (LSHRM) is committed to serving the community as a business partner that creates bold and innovative workforce solutions for Greater Louisville’s most pressing human resource issues. Innovative recruitment and talent attraction strategies remain at the forefront of critical workforce challenges.
In 2018, LSHRM will present three tactical strategies that we believe will provide valuable workforce relief and stimulate the businesses in Louisville, Kentucky. These workforce remedies include successfully transitioning veterans into the civilian workforce, developing sustainable internship programs that result in an ongoing talent pipeline feeding into organizations, and incorporating retention strategies as a core component of the organizational culture. These solutions will be presented and supported at programs hosted by LSHRM this year.
Organizations across the country are frustrated that they are unable to find the talent needed to fill current job openings. Louisville is not exempt from the workforce crisis around skills and talent shortages. Most recently, over 1,000 Kentucky employers participated in The Bridging the Talent Gap Survey disseminated by They Kentucky Society of Human Resource Management (KYSHRM) in 2017. This survey assessed the needs and current state of human resources in organizations across the state. The findings indicate that 86% of employers anticipate moderate to high growth in the next 3-5 years. Among those currently hiring, 82% stated that they are experiencing challenges finding the talent that they need. Demand is extremely high in several industries; including, advanced manufacturing, IT, and hospitality. Please review the full results of the survey at www.bridgingthetalentgap.org.
These statistics are alarming when considering the gap between talent supply and demand. However, this is a favorable time to showcase the numerous skills and talents that veterans bring to the workforce. LSHRM will introduce the first talent solution in February. LSHRM will host a free professional development workshop for veterans on Monday, February 12th at Southwest Public Library from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The workshop will be facilitated by a veteran who has phenomenally transitioned to a civilian career, Erin Mires, PhD. There will also be time allocated before and after the presentation for one on one assistance and questions around successfully navigating the job search. We invite veterans to participate in this event and allow LSHRM to help take your post service career to the next level. To sign up for the event, please visit the following link, REGISTER.
The 2018 LSHRM veterans’ initiative will culminate at the Talent Solutions: Transitioning Veterans chapter meeting at University of Louisville Delphi Center on Tuesday, March 13 at 11:45 a.m. The keynote speakers for this program are phenomenal and have significant experience launching veteran recruitment programs. They are James Tongate, Program Manager of Military and Veterans Affairs, at Marsh & McLennan Companies and Cecilia Clark, Senior HR Generalist, at Schwan’s Company. Additionally, Michelle DeJohn, Employer Customer Services Branch Manager, at Kentucky Career Center will provide information about the requirements and process for retrieving Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) for your organization when hiring veterans and other specialized groups. LSHRM will invite 50 veterans to attend this program at no cost.
Following the meeting, there will be a FREE Connect-A-Veteran networking event that encourages veterans to interact with human resource professionals and business leaders that are seeking individuals to fill current job openings. Register for both of these events on the LSHRM website at www.lshrm.org.
Veterans have made monumental sacrifices to serve this great country. We owe them gratitude and opportunity. These programs will provide veterans and employers with tools and knowledge that will assist with advancing veterans in the workforce.
If you have any questions about this program or other LSHRM events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like our LSHRM Members to Step Up to the Challenge! Like with any athletic activity, you need to find the elements that work for you. To help get you started, here are some tips:
JOIN LSHRM TEAM
SPOT Award Winner for November
The LSHRM Board of Directors is pleased to recognize Regina Sears as our January SPOT Award Winner. Regina is the kind of volunteer every committee wants. In 2017, she volunteered with the SHRM Foundation and Special Events Committee as our communications liaison to the KYSHRM Conference. In addition, she put together a Panera Bread fundraising night for the SHRM Foundation. She also helped to put together some lovely baskets at our basket making party. She is reliable, engaging, and fun to be around.
Thanks Regina for all you do for LSHRM!
Every year hundreds of thousands of organizations around the country make the decision to host interns. This decision is not one to be taken lightly. The truth is not every organization is a good fit to be an effective host for an internship program. The good news is that every organization can create a positive environment for an intern. However, there are several factors that you and your organization need to consider before making this important commitment.
As you start to assess whether your organization should host interns, the questions below may help you. Below you will find a list of questions that you and your organization should be able to answer before bringing on an intern for the summer. These questions need to be discussed with as many folks in your organization that you can, especially executive level leadership and the specific departments that may want to host an intern.
The following organizational audit can be a very useful tool in focusing your conversations with key leaders in your organization:
As you read over the questions above and you start to formulate answers, you will begin to gain consensus with key stakeholders on the structure that your organizations internship will take. It is also important for you and your key stakeholders to understand why other organizations host interns and why millions of college students each year take part in these critical experiential education activities.
Remember, the experience that an intern has with your organization is totally up to you - the host organization. If you are going to host interns... make it AWESOME!
On March 21st and 22nd The Louisville SHRM, The University of Louisville College of Business and the University of Louisville Career Development Center will welcome Dr. Robert Shindell from Intern Bridge, the nation’s leading research & consulting firm to share a newfound approach to internships based on in-depth research and proven strategies. In this full-day, highly interactive and participatory workshop, participants will learn how to:
We invite you to join us on either the March 21st and 23rd for this day of professional development and training.
Louisville Area Total Internship Management Workshop
Wednesday March 21st or Thursday March 22nd | 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
The Delphi Center | 310 North Whittington Parkway | Louisville, KY
For more information visit https://internbridge.com/louisville
By: Joshua Williams
If you’re anything like me, New Years is a time to stay up late (or try to anyway), celebrate with loved ones and begin thinking about those pesky New Year’s resolutions. Inevitably, mine sound something like “becoming a healthier and ‘better’ person.” And after a shiny, new gym membership, equally new workout clothes and a two-week sprint on the treadmill, I can usually be found on the couch binge watching Netflix. Fast forward to next New Years—rinse and repeat.
For many, the start of a New Year is a chance for a redo. An opportunity to improve and to pave the way for a better life one day at a time. This isn’t too different from organizations that utilize the New Year for planning, improvement and growth in their business. And, similar to individuals’ resolutions, this is an excellent time to seriously consider the health and well-being of your employees.
Do employers really use Health and Wellness Programs?
It’s undeniable that wellness programs are becoming a priority for employers. According to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 93% of employees ranked healthcare/medical benefits as somewhat or very important to their job satisfaction and 70% felt wellness programs contributed to satisfaction. In response, 80% of HR professionals stated their employer provided health/wellness resources. The popularity of Health and Wellness programs is undeniable. But, just because they’re popular though, do they actually work?
Do Health and Wellness programs actually help?
With emphasis placed on the ‘bottom line,’ it can be difficult to underline the importance of a workforce’s wellness. Further complications arise with the difficulty of quantifying items like employee’s happiness and health. Research has been conducted though and, in short, health and wellness programs are nothing short of a blessing for companies for the following reasons:
Where can I go to learn more?
Fortunately, there are tons of resources available should you want to investigate further. SHRM’s website is a fantastic starting place that provides research on the importance of Health and Wellness and how to implement your own programs— all of which can arm you when making the business case to the C-suite.
If you are looking for something more engaging and personal though, the Louisville chapter of SHRM will feature a keynote on January 9th covering this very topic. The session is approved for 1-hour of general HRCI and SHRM-CP/SCP credit. For more information about the meeting and registration, please visit LSHRM’s website here.
The LSHRM Board of Directors recognized Carla McKinney as our November SPOT Award winner. This year Carla stepped into the Best Places to Work Chair role. She also often assists at our chapter meetings by helping with whatever comes her way. She is a pleasure to work with.
Thanks Carla for all you do for LSHRM!
The Business Case for Diversity
Diversity is a term many are becoming familiar with. A growing buzzword in the business community, it hangs out in boardrooms, decorates mission statements and has increasingly taken center stage to the public eye. The term has conjured up images of monotone presentations about respecting coworker’s differences, mandatory events celebrating variety and (in the recent past) carried more of an association to a quota than a valuable asset. Simply put, diversity has become a popular topic only partially employed and still restrained to the confines of lip service in many organizations. However, progress is among us.
Thanks to the efforts of numerous business leaders, scholars and community leaders, many are learning not only the moral benefits of properly executed diversity initiatives but also the strategic advantages they provide to business. Companies and organizations around the country have picked up on the importance of diversity as a strategic pillar and are reaping the rewards. Here are some reasons that many are not only embracing diversity efforts but converting them into a priority:
Although many are warming up to the important role that diversity plays in 21st century business, many struggle to start their own initiatives or improve what’s in place. To aid in such efforts, the Louisville Society for Human Resource Management (LSHRM) will be hosting Disrupting Diversity: From the Transactional to the Transformational on November 14th at the UL Delphi Center.
The keynote will feature Terrian Barnes, owner of Fe-smart, discussing the importance of diversity, current trends in the HR community and diversity’s future in the workplace. For more information or to register, please visit the link here.
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