Spotlight for Recruiting Professionals
Working through the Veterans Opportunity to Work Act, the U.S. Army created a program allowing soldiers in their last year of service to train for their next career. This provided Ingalls Shipbuilding with an opportunity to establish partnerships with several military bases and local community colleges to help provide skills training and job opportunities for veterans.
These partnerships include those at Fort Hood and Central Texas Community College, Fort Bragg and Fayetteville Tech Community College, and Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Air Force Base and Savannah Technical Community College.
In partnership with Ingalls, the colleges teach a 16-week course during which soldiers spend 40 hours a week in classroom instruction and hands-on training. Upon completing the program, the soldiers are guaranteed a position with Ingalls.
“Ingalls has been successful in creating a steady pipeline of veterans coming into the shipyard,” says Fred Howell, director of talent acquisition at Ingalls Shipbuilding. “The ability to use the experience and training provided by the Army, and supplement it with craft-specific training has been very successful.”
Organizations hoping to maximize their veteran hiring efforts might consider:
- Creating a strong infrastructure—Build a veteran recruiting and training infrastructure that supports your organization’s current and future needs, and that can withstand the changes inherent in a dynamic labor market. Building diversity and inclusion into the process will increase your candidate pool and make your organization stronger.
- Making outreach a priority—Create partnerships with colleges and universities (career services, professors, Student Veterans of America, ROTC, and more), government agencies, trade organizations, technical or trade schools, community colleges, state-funded training programs and others to provide the framework for your veteran recruiting efforts. When possible, help develop curriculum to give trainees the knowledge and skills your company seeks in its new hires. Visit nearby military instillations to speak with Guard or Reserve members and veterans who will be looking for employment after completing service and college.
- Fulfilling your promises—When creating or maintaining a veteran-friendly brand, your organization’s actions will speak louder than its words. Veterans are very adept at identifying brands that don’t back up their promises. However, if your organization does back up its words, it will create positive brand equity among veterans and they will start seeking out your organization.
- Educating the non-military people in your organization—Before fully implementing your veteran initiatives, educate your internal community about the veteran population. You will help your non-veteran employees better understand the military, prevent these employees from making assumptions, and give them a clearer understanding of your efforts and the benefits of hiring veterans.
Fred Howell will present “Targeted Veteran Hiring” at the 2018 NACE Conference in New Orleans.