Hard Truth Veterans Must Know – Employers & Recruiters Must Admit To

Followers of LifebyDamien.com have a fair understanding of my passion for placing well qualified Veterans into the opportunities they have earned and demonstrate themselves uniquely qualified to take advantage of.  It is my passion for the success of my fellow Veterans, and my dislike for the distaste of those who are strictly trying to extort the new buzzword/phrase “Returning Veterans” that leads to today’s article.

First, to my fellow Veterans – Be Warned.  Recruiting firms, more often than not are in this game for Money – Period.  Any marketing plot that will bring them money in the nation’s fastest growing industry in the 2000s (Based on $ spent by major corporations) is fair game.  Placing qualified Veterans is a HUGELY marketable ploy for many reasons.  The main reasons include that many Vets leave the military with unique skills, traits, talents and qualifications that make them the perfect walk-on candidate for DoD jobs, Contractor Jobs, and additional spaces through-out.  There is also the appeal it has to the general public that a company “supports our troops” and is “committed to returning Veterans”.  The truth is, FAR too many of these companies are making claims of commitment, yet they have ZERO or negating proof to support such statements.

Recruiting Agencies, Staffing Firms, Placement agencies… are in it to make money.  Many which try to market themselves as “Veteran friendly”, are using the buzzwords and nothing more.  They have no idea, have not studied, and are careless in truly understanding why Veterans are unique in the traits they bare in addition to the skills acquired.  There is an AMAZING, and overly under-known agency, The Institute for Veterans and Military Families, that has completed and shared empirical research that speaks directly to the FINANCIALLY supported arguments that Veterans make high-value candidates for many of the roles in today’s business world and beyond.  The information is out there – it can be supported!  But don’t be fooled into thinking that all agencies are created equal and will have the knowledge equipped to help you, and guide you, as well as present you to employers.  If this raises question marks behind your brow – please do not hesitate to contact me directly.  I will work with you, do what I can – and it doesn’t cost you a thing!

EMPLOYERS:  Yes – be cautioned.  “Knowing a Veteran”, or just getting excited because your multi-thousand dollar resume screening software found a resume that belongs to a Veteran does NOT make you “Committed to Veterans”.  It doesn’t.  If you would like a start in the right direction, send one of your recruiters to the Certified Veteran Recruiting Program written by Emily King.  It’ll cost you upwards of $3000 or more including tuition, travel and stay for your employee, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to one placement isn’t it?  And what about the lifetime value of a new client that values your demonstrated commitment to Veterans and your quality service in its regard to the clients need and desire to hire Veterans?  Your recruiter will at least have had some sort of formal education to understand Veteran Transitions.  A returning Veteran is more than a catch phrase to add to your write-up when presenting a candidate.  Do your research, and then back it up with ACTION!  Action first, then profess whatever commitment you have demonstrated.  An idea without action is not commitment, it is an idea.

Employers, if you truly do want to crack the puzzle and understand how sourcing, presenting and developing Veterans within an organization is legitimately a smart business move that cannot be ignored, contact me – as I can provide consultation.  I know there are HR teams, and organizations that want to be a part of hiring well qualified, high-potential candidates into their organizations and are genuine in doing so.  I am more than happy to help.  If you are looking for your next gimmick, and aren’t ready to make a true commitment – please continue past and come back when you are ready.

For the record, there are some amazing Veteran focused recruiting firms out there, that TRULY know what they are doing, and they have developed relationships with organizations and companies that also want to make true commitments, while also seeing the great value of bringing Veterans into their organizations.  HirePurpose is one – and by the way, the Founder is a former Marine.  Four Block is another amazing organization – Leading Co-Founder, a former Marine, with co-founding Navy and Army counterparts.  Emily King has revolutionized recruiting of Military Veterans at the Buller GroupDiversant has developed an amazing training and work-to-hire program.

There are many amazing companies doing amazing things such as GE, Macy’s and NYSE Euronext – but I cannot forget to add the amazing effort of networking and coordination for those who truly want to be a piece of solution, and that is the team at GoldenOrb.org.

I always welcome feedback, whether in support of my argument, or in support of higher learning through constructive argument.  I am not a fan of Group Think.

Please, don’t forget to stay in touch with me on LinkedIn and follow me on Twitter, @Mr_DamienB


Part 2 – Courage

Part 2 – Courage

It has been a while since my last article.  For that I admit my faults in being delayed.  I will do my best to excuse myself, being that I have been very much consumed in the transition of going from military professional, to business professional.  I’ve stepped into a completely new world, and have so much to learn.

That being said, I’d like to start off with today’s article with an introduction.  I call it “Part 2 – Courage” even though if you scour the archives, I have never written a “Part 1”.  Or maybe I have…

“Honor, Courage & Commitment” is uttered as a motto for the Marine Corps, the Navy, and various versions have been used through-out the world.  My article, Do What You’re ‘posed To Do, was really about commitment.  This article, less ambiguously, will be about “courage”.  At some point, I will finish the 3 part series with “Honor”.

I’ve heard many meanings and definitions of “courage”: Moral Courage, physical courage, mental and emotional courage.  I’ve heard it described as, “Doing the right thing when nobody is looking”; “doing the right thing just because it is the right thing”; “persevering in the face of adversity and fear”; “facing your fears” and “not just not being afraid, but admitting you ARE afraid, and facing the challenge regardless”.

I can say, I feel like I’ve come across a time in my life where I have faced a test of my own courage.  I couldn’t tell you what definition it falls under, but I will admit it has, is and will continue to be tested.  Each day presents itself with new challenges.  However, the challenges are only new to me… the same hurdles to many others around me… aren’t really hurdles at all.  I guess you could say recently I have been facing the challenges of being a rookie – in a sport I’ve never played.  It is extremely shocking because I have gone from a place where I was nearly masterful at my trade, and often looked to for advise, mentorship, guidance and wisdom in my trade.  Now, I feel so very lacking in all of the fore-mentioned departments.

Going from one end to the other so drastically has created one of the biggest challenges I think I might have faced yet.  Being able to understand and retain my self-worth, while not inversely over-inflating my ego and feeling like I am “too good” for anything is difficult.  It is tough.  I can’t say what else it would be, other than courage that I face the new challenges.  There seems to be a struggle between self-belief and accepting/understanding of reality.  To what extent do I chase the dream and high-expectations that I have set? Am I on the right path to find them?  Or was it all just a lie?

It is here.  In this place —  I find a major test of courage.  Being able to hold on to a dream, not just dream but hold the conviction, swallow the pride, and continue to persevere to obtain the “dream” and make it reality.  Did I step onto the right path?  I don’t know – but if I didn’t, perhaps I will build one.