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Why Tech Leaders Are Set To Hire 110,000 Veterans In 2016

The United States workforce is undergoing a drastic shift, as more companies are discovering the real value of hiring veterans. Since less than 1 percent of the U.S. population has served in the military, few companies have historically sought veteran hires. But the reality is, nearly 50,000 veterans are expected to transition out of the military in the next five years, and they need a new place from which to serve.

Today, many large corporations are working to achieve lofty veteran hiring goals. Tech employers, specifically, are responding to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces, a national initiative to expand employment and career development for veterans and military spouses launched five years ago.

Since the program launch, over 1.2 million veterans and military spouses have been hired. Additionally, 40 companies — many of them in the tech space — have pledged to hire more than 110,000 veterans and military spouses.

Tech giants like Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and EMC pledged to hire 1,000 to 3,000 veterans or military spouses over the next five years. In addition, GoDaddy, SpaceX and Seagate Technology pledged to hire 200 to 500 veterans, and Amazon pledged to make 25,000 veteran and military spouse hires over the next five years.

Aside from respecting Michelle Obama’s initiative, there are definite reasons why so many industry leaders are seeking to hire the most talented veterans.

Many men and women serving in the military have already utilized and proven aptitdue in tech-related skills. They have also worked in the most challenging and stressful environments imaginable. Hiring managers are looking to hire tech leaders who can invent, think big, have a bias for action, and who want to deliver for customers. These principles run strong through the men and women who have served our country.

Veterans are strong leaders, quick thinkers, and good problem solvers. They are comfortable in uncomfortable situations and apply the discipline, motivation, and hard work learned in the military to their civilian careers.

From engineering and manufacturing to cybersecurity, IT services to construction, skilled trades to logistics, and communication to marketing, veterans possess a wide range of skills and experience that will benefit not only tech industries, but every industry in the nation.

Today’s military vets who are transitioning into the workplace have all of the traits that make for an excellent employee. They are dependable, loyal and disciplined, not to mention the transferable skills that make them great leaders, team players, and workers.

The initial hurdle hiring managers need to overcome is actually understanding veteran resumes and skills before they hire veterans. Once they can fully comprehend the value vets bring to the workplace, they’ll be eager to hire even more qualified veterans.

Don’t know where to start? Learn about our platform for veteran talent to discover how to easily translate skills and quickly bring the best candidates to the table.

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Spend Less Time on Veteran Resumes and More on Getting Life Situated

Veteran resume writing can be tedious. It can also be expensive if you outsource, upwards to $2,500 for custom written veteran resumes. If you google “tips on preparing a veteran resume” you’ll find thousands of conflicting pieces of advice. If you ask a buddy for help, they’ll more than likely have gone through the same revolving door of resources with little substantial, meaningful outcome. So where is the REAL start and how do you know the BEST way to spend the right amount of time on a resume without letting it overshadow the rest of the checklist as you transition from active duty status?

Your veteran resume should be a quick capture of your organizational skills, your preparedness, your experience, and function as your vessel to market yourself. It is an example of your value as an employee to a potential employer and your ability to thrive in any job setting. Sounds easy, right? Truth: It’s hard to explain 5, 10, 15, 30 years of experience in ANY job in a concise, organized manner. Add in the expertise and intensive training and job experiences of soldiers, sailors, or marines and you’ve taken job translation to a whole new level.

SO WHAT’S THE ANSWER?

This sub-standard experience for veteran resumes was the catalyst for GuideOn. Our CEO and Co-founder, Anthony Garcia, experienced exactly what most veterans experience: frustration and time suck during a very critical transition period. He had a fellow veteran and his father assist in translating his military service to private sector understanding. He admits he would have been completely lost without their assistance. The process involved digging up old OERs/NCOERs, looking at past assignments, and focused reflection on career experience.

As he reached out and started talking to others transitioning about this experience, he noted that assistance from other warriors who have made the similar transition successfully provides validation that what you did while serving CAN translate to the private sector. It helps you to understand how you can contribute after service and what possible gaps need to be filled through education and training to be successful. But all of that could be done for service members in a more productive and automated fashion.

Years of behavioral science and skill based translations have fueled GuideOn’s automated resume service. Kickstarting your transition with an automated resume will save you time and resources and ultimately connect you into the network of job opportunities you need to be successful. Spend time on the family transition, the medical paperwork, the interviews and job opportunities. Don’t waste unneeded time on rigorous resume work when the muscle has been done for you.

Begin your translation experience here today.
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Myth vs. Fact: Debunking Veteran Hard and Soft Skills

Today, many corporate leaders are in search of veterans that will bring real value to the workplace. According to a survey report from CareerBuilder, one-third of surveyed employers reported they are actively recruiting veterans over the next year, up from 27 percent in last year’s survey. Estimates are that by the year 2023 there will be 3.5 million military veterans in the U.S. workforce.

While this is an exciting initiative for companies seeking to leverage skilled and talented Veterans in their workplace, it’s also challenging. Many hiring managers and recruiters don’t understand veterans’ experience and the related hard and soft skills — which likely stems back to the myths civilians have about military veterans.

Let’s now discuss some common veteran misconceptions and uncover how hiring managers can strengthen their understanding of the real skills veterans can bring to civilian jobs.

Myth #1: All veterans serve in combat.

Many civilians (and HR professionals) immediately associate all veteran experience with combat — but there are a plethora of jobs in the military that don’t involve combat. According to the Department of Defense, less than 20 percent of service members serve in front-line combat roles.

In fact, military jobs are categorized into more than 7,000 occupational specialty codes, from radio operator to pilot and tower equipment installer to logistician to procurement clerk and mechanic, just to name a few. That adds a laundry list of both hard and soft skills to the mix, and it’s crucial that hiring managers understand vets’ real qualifications and experiences.

Myth #2: Military skills aren’t transferable to civilian jobs.

You’ve undoubtedly heard that hiring veterans is valuable because of their leadership, teamwork, values, resiliency, focus on mission, accomplishments, etc. While this is all true — and will benefit your workplace— veterans also possess many hard skills that directly transfer to jobs in the civilian world.

The 300,000 veterans transitioning out of military service each year are bringing hard skills to industries such as healthcare, aviation, finance, logistics, and administration. Because of the training they received in their military careers, veterans are qualified to fill roles such as Patient Care Technician, Registered Nurse, Biomedical Technician, and Clinical Manager.

In this case, there is a cost reduction associated with training and skill building, as veterans already have the skills needed to get to work.

Myth #3: All veterans have PTSD.

A lot of people think that all veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), making them “unstable” and “unreliable” in the civilian work setting.

In reality, 8 percent of all Americans suffer from PTSD, and the number of military veterans with PTSD is relatively low when compared to the total number of those who have served. Hiring managers should not generalize veterans and assume right off the bat that they’re unfit for fast paced, and often high stress, civilian positions. In actuality, veteran skills enable success in competitive environments.

Setting the Record Straight

Veteran hard and soft skills can greatly impact organizations that value integrity, commitment, and accountability. Hiring managers should keep in mind that veterans are capable of succeeding in roles where independent thinking and self-motivation are critical. Veterans’ soft skills like determination, adaptability, and leadership allow them to succeed in challenging, competitive civilian roles.

HR professionals can reframe the way they comprehend veteran skillsets by asking as many questions as possible, engaging their colleagues to further their knowledge on military skills, and analyzing their perceptions and beliefs.

Understanding the real value of veterans in the workplace can provide your company a wealth of opportunity. To learn more about how to improve your understanding of veteran skills for a veteran to civilian resume, request a call with a dedicated member of our team.
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Proof That Your Service is Valued In the Workforce

We spend a lot of time talking about connecting and explaining military experience and credentials in ways the civilian world understands. It’s our passion and vision at GuideOn. It’s who we are and what we do best. But, it’s important not to miss the amazing rise of veteran awareness, outreach, and connectivity outside of the military community. People are listening. Companies are creating initiatives to hire and place qualified veterans. Communities are rallying together to support the veteran population across the board.

If you are uncertain as to where and how your service and skills are being valued and doubt the workforce is aware of your transition as a veteran into the civilian community, here are 3 ways we see it happening as we work with corporate America in placing veterans into civilian positions.

Veteran Focused Hiring Departments

Human resource and hiring departments throughout corporate America are developing entire teams, programming, and funding focused on veteran hiring initiatives. Company goals and missions are being devised daily with veterans in mind as critical components for success. To see how some of the top companies are doing it best check out the most influential companies hiring veterans.

Veteran Employment Tax Incentives

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) that extended and modified the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program and the Empowerment Zones. In summary, it retroactively reauthorized the WOTC program target groups for a five-year period, from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2019. Unemployed veterans have been identified as one of the target groups umbrelled by this act. To read more, check out the WOTC here.


Veteran Culture Shifts

There have been incredible shifts in company cultures to embrace the veteran community. This goes beyond simply filling positions but also encompasses a duty to cultural competency from the core of the organization. They strive to understanding who they are working with, how to speak with them, knowing their language, what they accept and don’t accept, and how they approach someone that has a different set of experiences than maybe most of the company. As a part of this movement, we can assist companies in better understanding the culture of the veteran community and their place in the civilian workforce through our translation services.

If you’d like to continue receiving valuable advice on how to utilize your unique military skills in the civilian world, subscribe to our blog! We’re here to guide you.
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3 Ways To Hire Qualified Vets Faster and Easier

While quickly and cost-efficiently finding qualified veterans to fill your open positions is your goal, it takes particular tools to accomplish. You ideally want to source from the most qualified candidates on an easy-to-use platform that will help you speed up your time to hire and increase ROI with the right hire.

Here, we’ll break down three surefire ways to broaden your knowledge on the veteran hiring front and ensure you’re finding top veteran talent in the most efficient way possible.

  1. Get on board with job boards.

Posting your open jobs on military job boards is a cost-efficient and easy way to inform veterans that you’re a veteran-friendly employer that is looking to offer them a civilian role relevant to their skillset. Websites like Military.com, HelmetstoHardhats.org, and Hireveterans.com are great places to tap into a pool of vets looking for jobs. Furthermore, on most military job boards, posting a job is free of charge.

  1. Tap into transition-ready vets.

Connecting with veterans is one thing; finding more qualified vets is another. You can simplify and speed up your search for the best vets for the job via transition support sites. For example, Workforwarriors.org is a site that takes a personal approach to helping veterans transition into the workforce through dedicated transition assistance and access to veteran-friendly companies hiring. If you’re one of those companies, you’ll be able to tap into a pool of transition-ready vets that are ready and able to dominate your civilian roles. When considering costs and retention, this route simply makes sense.

3.Guarantee ideal fits.

Transition-ready veterans are solid candidates, but if you want to increase efficiency and efficacy of your job placements even more, consider a veteran-talent acquisition platform that provides you a pool of veterans that have been pre-vetted. This means they’re the most qualified veteran candidates out there. Why? Their military experience has been translated by veterans to correlate with the skills and experiences required in your open positions. Not only is their experience easier for you to understand, but you will have access to more qualified candidates that fit your roles. Quickly sourcing from top talent can reduce cost to hire and attrition, which will impress leadership and make your hiring process a whole lot easier.

If you are looking for the best way to hire the highest quality veterans, the GuideOn team is more than happy to walk you through our service. Click below to request a call and start finding the best vets!

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The Value of Your Military Experience In the Workforce

Military experience is complex. Trying to explain it to someone who has never been a part of the community or even known a soldier, personally or professionally, is even more complex. When you sit down to look at career exploration, start with resume translation and interview preparation. Breaking down the process into two phases can be helpful. The resume will be the written, first impression that a potential employer sees as it slides onto the desk amongst possibly hundreds of other qualified applicants. The interview is your opportunity to present yourself as the qualified, professional you are — in person, in real time.

So when you’ve made it through the application process, translated resume in hand, you look good on paper, but what other qualities may an employer be interested in talking about in person that you can directly relate to from the framework of your military experience?

Deadlines

A mission-oriented life means deadlines are non-negotiable. There is most likely a sequence of events either happening, about to happen, or already happened and in review and your task falls or fell somewhere on that spectrum. Every day of your life has involved deadlines that were a part of a much larger objective. While the civilian workforce hold deadlines in high regard as well, your ability to respect, meet, and go above and beyond will supercede the majority of your civilian counterparts. Bottomline: You know how to get the job done.

Teamwork

A successful military career breaks down to your ability to work as an effective, functioning member of a team. The level to which this meant life and death during your time in the military is paramount and has shaped your definition of a team for life. While your future civilian career and the teams in which you’ll interact may not function at such a high level, your success will still lie on the basic ability to work well in a team. Effective communication, respecting opinions, and appropriately executed actions add great value to all career experiences.

Community

A large part of your military career has been laced in and through a community. You have thrived not only in a work environment that required teamwork but a larger community that knows the importance of family, communication, outreach services, and looking out for your fellow man. This heightened awareness and sense of community may not be as commonplace in a civilian work environment, but your ability to connect, give back, and be socially aware of work and social events will position you well as someone who is cognizant to the people, places, and events surrounding them.

Now that you better understand the real value of your experience, take the first step towards transitioning into a civilian job! We’re here to ensure it’s as easy as possible.
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Supporting Your Spouse During a Military Transition

Whether you are crossing off the days on the calendar or wringing your hands in anticipation of the new adventures ahead, the active duty to civilian career transition process can be long and stressful. As most spouses know, there is really very little official work that can be done on behalf of the soldier in helping them navigate, prepare, finalize paperwork, attend workshops, and take phone calls on the Army side of the house.

So, what can spouses do?

You’ve been by your soldier’s side through it all. You’ve endured and outlasted the many odds against you and you are ready to be just as involved in this military transition process as everything else. But how?

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Networking – The military spouse community is small, but the connections are wide! Between units, schools, locations, volunteer organizations, and moves, you’ve created an expansive network of connections. In mind of employment and career options, reach out to those you know who’ve already positioned or who used specific services for job placement and resume assistance. A few emails with a, “Hey, we are getting out soon. Any advice or direction?” can go a long way. Sit down together with your spouse and make a list of 10-20 people you can reach out to and reconnect with. Use the strong community ties to your advantage.
  2. Research – Knowledge is power. While most of the transition is out of your control, you can understand and utilize the many venues and services out there catered to the military community. Whether you start by filtering through the various VSOs (Veteran Service Organizations), veteran community organizations, or work to understand the purpose and place of the VA in your retired life, the more clarity and information you have to align with your changing path the better.

  3. Active Listening – Resiliency training and re-integration phases often stress the importance of communication with your spouse. The cycle of stress is real. Mutual support and understanding of each others’ goals, needs, and wants during this phase of life will impact the overall emotional and mental success of the transition. Serious conversations on course of career, relocation, financial changes, and role reversal PRIOR to the transition beginning will assist in an easier roadmap as the transition plays out. But just as active duty life changes with little notice, this experience together will be no different. So stay open, connected, verbal, and also listening to your partner.

If you’re eager to help your spouse gauge how their military experience can be translated into the civilian workforce, click below to quickly create an accurate resume for free! 

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Implementing a Successful Veteran Hiring Initiative That Attracts Top Talent

As companies continually seek talent that contributes loyalty, passion, resilience, and commitment to the workforce, they look to veterans. The values of the military align with many corporate goals, such as being customer-centric, providing a consultative approach, and focusing on collaboration and teamwork. It’s no wonder the Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that by the year 2023, there will be more than 3.5 million veterans in the civilian job market.

As companies like yours implement veteran hiring initiatives, it’s crucial that you understand how to optimize your efforts in order to ensure success. This means keeping the cost to hire as low as possible, recruiting top talent, improving retention, and increasing your ROI.

In order to quickly and cost-efficiently fill your veteran initiative with the most qualified candidates that will increase ROI, where do you start? The following tips will help you implement a successful veteran hiring initiative that attracts top talent.

Executive Support

It’s important that you have buy-in from senior management when working to hire qualified veterans. This will allow you to conduct research, create unique programs, form alliances, and build visibility as a veteran-friendly company. Without this support, many initiatives fall short of meeting objectives, or are phased out as interest and enthusiasm become hard to sustain.

Skill Translating Savvy

Reconnaissance, NCO, Brigade… what do these terms mean? The military uses job codes with descriptions of responsibilities and duties — but most veterans do not have the civilian employee background to intuitively know how those codes translate into civilian roles. If you educate yourself on how to translate military skills into civilian roles — that will likely fit your open job descriptions — you’ll not only help vets understand their true capabilities in the workforce, but you’ll tap into a candidate pool that will help you find extremely qualified individuals for your jobs. Why?

Veterans are among the most highly skilled and experienced employees and managers in the U.S. workforce. The jobs within the military are as diverse and varied as in the civilian world. Many veterans have strong leadership and managerial skills because they were given more fiscal and people management responsibility at younger ages than civilian workers. They have been responsible for equipment worth millions of dollars, and for the safety of dozens to hundreds of people. In short, you can hold them accountable.

Transition Coaching

Offer veterans in the market for a civilian job support in their transition. You can educate them on the accepted ways and customs of civilian employment and company culture. Provide them with mentors and coaches — like the guidance they got in the military from higher ranks — who can help them identify the differences and learn to adapt to new expectations. Investing in these hires and showing your commitment to their career will also improve retention.

Want to learn more about where and how to hire the most qualified veterans for the job? Request a call with our team!

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Tips To Overcome Culture Shock After the Army

cul·ture shock (noun): 
the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture, way of life, or set of attitudes.

The most common hurdles in military transitions are frequently discussed: employment, VA benefits, paperwork, medical out processing, etc. But what other elements of this transition experience exist that aren’t being as openly discussed?

We often tend to keep “culture shock” in strict reference to locational or geographical changes. A deployment to the Middle East warrants culture shock. A duty assignment in Korea warrants culture shock. A redeployment from Iraq back to Fort Bragg after 15 months is an acceptable reason for culture shock. (Even a PCS from Fort Drum to Fort Polk can be deemed worthy of culture shock. If you’ve been to Fort Polk, you’ll get it.)

But what happens when the “shock” isn’t so widely accepted or understood? It quickly changes from a cliché term thrown around in vague description to something deeply personal and conflicting.

If you ask a transitioned soldier what the hardest part of assimilating into a civilian job was, it’s going to be navigating through the unfamiliar culture, daily routines, interactions, attitudes, language, jargon, terminologies, and values of a civilian company. It’s not a simple job transfer. It’s not as easy as “took a new job today.” It’s a deep mental shift from one way of life to another and the more we continue to acknowledge, accept, and discuss this phase of transition, the better off our soldiers, families, and services will be.

A recent independent study on veterans in the workplace from the Burton Blatt Institute and Competitive Edge Services reports that “transition experiences can be complicated by a number of factors: physical and psychological service-related injuries (including PTSD), the lack of an easy way to communicate one’s experience and skills, and the lack of a written rule book on the prevailing unspoken corporate rules. Some reported being misunderstood by co-workers due to differences in one’s manner, expectations, and speech. Others were frustrated by the lack of a clear chain of command and a clear path for advancement. Others described missing the sense of mission and urgency within the military that resulted from knowing that the lives of others might depend on the speed and quality of one’s own work. Some also spoke of missing the camaraderie and bonds fostered by working and living in close quarters and depending on each other in critical, life and death situations. And others described how losing such bonds can create feelings of painful loneliness.”

In short, culture shock.

So how do you assimilate? How do you ease the stress of the cultural transition? In an ideal world, observation, research, and time to adapt would be key. But in a fast moving market, on the job training and job performance are expected immediately leaving little time to ease into the culture of your new career. So as you prepare, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Knowledge is power. Ask questions. Be bold and clear in your intentions. At any point in the employment seeking process the following set of questions are appropriate to ask:

“Could you explain the chain of command within your company’s structure?”

“How would you describe the daily pace of work here?”

“What are the defining elements of the team culture in this company?”

This short clip will provide you great additional material for conversations with potential employers: Top Ten Interview Questions to Ask an Employer

Stay involved. Staying connected to a community the understands where you’ve been, what you’ve done, where you struggle, where you thrive, and where you are going is life preserving. Even if you relocate and are far removed from a military installation or active military community, still seek out ways to remain connected. Veteran organizations that offer local chapters like Team RWB or Team Rubicon that offer events, get togethers, and physical training outlets are incredible morale boosters, networking, and destressor opportunities. Engaging in LinkedIn or Facebook communities geared towards veteran networking and support also provide real time, interactive platforms to stay engaged. Don’t shut yourself out. Don’t suffer in silence. A community exists to support you, just have seek out and reach out.

Focus on the commonalities. While the finer threads connecting military roles to civilian jobs may not always be strong, the encompassing strategy is the same. There is a job to be done, a team put together the get the job done, and specific parameters and expectations in which the job is to be done. Channel the energy and strong skill set you possess towards positive momentum in your new career.

Set realistic timeframes for adjustments. Two days on the job won’t leave you fully adjusted. The first 4-6 weeks in a new job are often training and information overload. Expect this and plan for it. If anything, veterans are apt to adapt and envelope loads of information under stressful situations, just remember those skills still exist it’s only the stream and source of information that has changed.

A smooth transition out of the military can be difficult, so here are some helpful tips to set yourself up for success in your new endeavors!
Tips for a successful transition

Why Hiring Veterans Can Reduce Talent Acquisition and Training Costs

Hiring the best candidate for the job typically takes a lot of time and money. While you feel pressure from leadership to fill your open positions as quickly as possible, recruiting the most qualified candidates will save you more time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Scrambling to just quickly fill your open jobs can result in loss of money, time invested, and increased attrition rates by not having the right talent in the role.

 So, how can you cost-effectively hire and retain top notch employees? A good starting point is tapping into a pool of the most skilled, reliable, and impressive candidates. Here’s why the most qualified person for the job could very well be a veteran:

  1. Mission Focus

A military lifestyle by nature is mission focused. Veterans thrive in a culture built on cooperation, personal development, and overcoming obstacles to get the job done. These values naturally translate into civilian roles.

  1. Broad Spectrum Leaders

Veterans possess a wide range of solid leadership experience. Many soldiers become non-commissioned officers who are placed in leadership positions by the age of 20. Throughout military careers, these leaders are taught responsibility, integrity, and decision making techniques that develop into strong, natural leadership qualities.

Intuition is a skill most veterans possess when they exit the military that can enhance civilian job requirements like problem solving, strategizing, and decision making. Because military experience inevitably strengthens intuition, veterans are well fit for leadership and team building roles.   

  1. Shortened Onboarding Process

Often times, candidates are brought into positions with limited training and need to be handheld as they onboard. Veterans’ history of intensive training and formative real world experiences allow them to confidently lead from day one. Because strategic leadership skills have been acquired from years of military experience in rigorous training programs, vets may require less training, saving your company time and money during the onboarding process.

Veterans are extremely qualified for a number of civilian roles, but in order to get a clear picture of how their skills match your job descriptions, you need to first understand how their experience can best support your company — which is easier said than done in most HR departments today. You need a solution to translate military skills from resumes in ways you’ll actually be able to understand.

If you’d like to learn more about a veteran career platform that will provide you with veteran resumes that fit the roles you’re trying to fill as quickly and effectively as possible, request a call with a member of our team!

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