Military Experience Counts – Take a Second Look!
Today when you hire someone who has either recently left the military, whether through retirement or choosing to not reenlist, you are getting a seasoned, professional employee. They understand the importance of following rules, getting to work on time, the importance of working as a team. They know how to “Git ‘er done” and done right.
Look closely at their accomplishments. Do not discount them if the assignment titles or job descriptions do not make sense. A favorite military word is “tasked”. It means they were assigned that job and expected to complete it. And the military does love acronyms – – CINCPAC, TACAMO, 3rd Herd to name only a few.
I worked with a young military officer who had her Senior Master Sergeant as one of her references. A Senior Master Sergeant is the key to a smooth running operation and they are not the least impressed with rank, title or college credentials. The only thing that earns their respect is doing the job and doing it well. So her letter of reference means she knew her job; she did her job and he respected her. They were probably 30+ years apart in age, but she earned and I do mean earned that letter of recommendation.
If you are looking for someone to manage the logistics of an operation and you see where they were part of an “operation” that moved trucks, food, gas, personnel, supplies – – everything into a foreign environment… take a second look. Can they manage a department, your distribution center, or a manufacturing site? Without question, yes they can. They will need a little time to learn the language, but they do understand the process of getting everything from point A to point B through difficult terrain, unfriendly country and horrible weather conditions. So traveling along a paved highway, with truck stops every few miles and computers and telephones for instant communication is a piece of cake. Yes, they can “git ‘er done”.
The energy sector says they cannot hire enough good people. Well, look past the word “energy” and you will find good people with military credentials. It is much easier to teach them “energy” than it is respect, hard work and commitment to an assignment. Surveys continue to validate that people are often hired because of their industry-specific career experience yet quickly become a “bad hire” because they lack discipline, the ability to work as a team and the understanding of commitment to an assignment.
My advice to HR professionals and recruiters? Look first to see if they have experience working as a team and an understanding commitment to an assignment. In other words, do they have military experience? If they do, give them a second look, a second interview and a chance. You (and your company) will both be winners.