Develop an EPIC Military Recruitment Strategy!


Yesterday we honored and remembered those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of protecting our country, our people, our freedoms. Today’s question is “what is your organization doing to honor those who are active duty or have served in our military forces?” An excellent way to give back to these people is to give them the opportunity of civilian employment.

Hopefully, your organization’s recruitment strategy is multi-faceted and includes a military recruitment plan. However, if you do not have this piece in place now is a better time than any to develop an EPIC Military Recruitment Strategy.

First, lets look at the reasons your company should develop an EPIC Military Recruitment Strategy: (There are more, but these are the biggies)

1:) These people served our country to protect our freedom, PERIOD!

2:) They received extensive and rigorous training and built skills in; leadership, team work, technology and change management to name a few.

3:) They show the ability to work in a fast-paced, high intensity work environment and learn quickly. 

4:) They respect and understand the importance of personal accountability, processes and procedures.

5:) They take ownership and pride in the work they do, and show personal integrity in their work, and are dependable. 

Now, that you see the value military personal can add to your organization it’s time to develop your EPIC Military Recruitment Strategy. If you’re not sure where to begin take to the internet and seek some trusted resources for your research. Here is an excellent tool kit I found on the Department of Labor site: Hiring Military Tool Kit.

Once you’ve done your research begin to map out your organizational plan for recruitment. Below are 5 simple steps to get you going in the right direction.

1:) Access your organizational hiring needs, talent gaps and overall strategy. For example,  I work in the Healthcare field. We all know the inevitable nursing shortage that impede us; how can we tap into our healthcare military personnel to help my organization fill this potential talent gap?

2:) Turn to your networks. Look to your local and national military organizations and begin to develop relationships, making your company’s presences known to these groups. Your networking should also occur internally, turn to your current military employees. You may be able to work through their connections. Plus, the these employees can be your company ambassadors.

3:) Understand the mindset of a transitioning military personnel and what attracts these people to a place of civilian work.

4:) Develop your recruitment strategy; social recruitment, military organizations, military job seeker events, job fairs, online job posting boards.

5:) Track your ROI

Military personnel can add great value and diversity to any organization. They are trained, developed and “hit the ground running” people. Organizations that see the value and pursue military talent are the organizations that will win the war on talent. An EPIC Military Recruitment Strategy is the only way to attract and gain top talent from our armed forces.


Recruiters, Stop Wasting Your Time at Job Fairs!

Photo Credit: Microsoft ImagesGuess what recruiters if you’re attending job fairs just to get out of the office and telling job seekers “We aren’t accepting resumes. Apply onlineyou’re wasting not just your time and the job seekers time, but the company’s money and possibly damaging their reputation!

I recently attended a local job fair. Of all the fairs I attend this is one of the better ones, ie attendees that are actually pursuing jobs not free pens and key chains. Normally I hear an array of negative comments about the “BIG BLACK HOLE OF HR” and the “I applied and NEVER, EVER heard back”, but not this time. However, I did receive my share of feedback from attendees and their level of frustration about other employers not accepting resumes and directing them to apply online. Well, wake up recruiters if that is you, then yes you are wasting your time!

I’ve learned over the years that the candidate experience matters at every level and I have changed my stance as a recruiter for job fairs. My goal is to be the most memorable employer at the fair. The one that made a personal connection and left a positive impression (regardless of my level of interest).

My strategy is to ask a couple basic, but insightful questions of the job seeker.  I do a quick assessment on organizational fit and then schedule an interview for the following week. Also I ACCEPT THEIR PAPER RESUMES! Oh lord, right? Some say the “paper resume is dead” well yeah in many circumstances it is not necessary but at a job fair it matters. The job seeker probably put a great deal of time, effort and possibly a lot of money into their résumé. They think that the job fair will offer them the opportunity to meet a real HR person and make a real splash but instead HR does the *talk to the hand* and asks them to apply onlineIt’s like a child that paints a picture for their parents and the parents say “Nice but we cannot hang that on the fridge, we will put it in the recycle bin” OUCH, that hurts!

Let’s recap what recruiters need to do to enhance the candidate experience at job fairs:

  • Make a personal connection by being friendly and memorable
  • Accept resumes
  • Be productive and schedule interviews! Nothing is worse than spending 4-5 hours at a job fair to leave with no interviews, it’s simply not productive.

Employers need to see that value in job fairs is more than just pushing their information out there, its their opportunity to build their network, increase their talent pipeline with a diverse group of talent.