Recruiting, Veterans

“I Would Die For You.”

“I would die for you.” Those were the closing remarks of Colonel David Sutherland, former Special Assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and career warrior, as he closed his speech to the RecruitDC attendees last week. For the 300+ of us in the room his words hung in the air and lingered long after he left the stage. He had just given a moving 30 minute speech about the value of hiring veterans and the need for a trinity of support: public, private, government for returning vets. His presentation focused on the Warrior’s Ethos, the foundation of the U.S. Soldier’s creed

  • I will always place the mission first.
  • I will never accept defeat.
  • I will never quit. 
  • I will never leave a fallen comrade.

He shared personal anecdotes and stories for each of these four values. Stories that illustrated the bravery, heroism, commitment and drive these soldiers possessed.  Stories of sacrifice that moved many attendees to tears. In his white paper, Sea of Goodwill: Matching The Donor To The Need, he lays out a plan to link public, private, and governmental support for service members. Col Sutherland was one of the most memorable presenters I’ve seen firsthand.

His speech was followed by an excellent panel of recruiters with extensive experience hiring veterans; Chrissa Dockendorf, Mike Bruni and Brenden Wright. You can read a detailed summary of the panel discussion, including their recruiting recommendations, on RecruitDC’s slideshare here and here.

There have been several recruiting articles recently on veteran recruiting. TLNT had a recent post highlighting 8 Strategies to Ease Returning Veterans Transition to the Workplace. American Express‘s Open Forum also had a post recently titled Why You Should Hire Veterans. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, young male veterans ages 18 to 24 had a 29.1 percent unemployment rate while nonveterans of the same age had a 17.6 percent unemployment rate in March 2012. Those numbers are a powerful reminder that more can be done. As recruiters, we’re in a great position to make a change. So how do we do it?

I began exploring veteran recruiting initiatives earlier this year. I spoke with HR  and recruiting colleagues who were veterans and advocates like David Lee and Arron Daniels.  They shared a variety of resources that helped me. What I found I lacked as a recruiter who was interested in getting my organization more directly involved in veteran recruiting initiatives, was a broad list of veteran recruiting resources – job boards, agencies, etc. It may have been out there, but I wasn’t finding it.

Inspired by Colonel Sutherland’s impassioned speech that we in the HR community can do more, I started to compile a list of resources/etc. that came up during these discussions and a bit of subsequent research to share with my recruiting colleagues. This list is far from complete. I intend for it to be an evolving resource for recruiters so if you know any additional websites, agencies, Twitter handles, etc. please leave a comment with your suggestions and I’ll update.

I’m not looking to re-invent the wheel here so if there is another platform that provides this information please let me know and I’ll include it. If not, I’m happy to keep a running list that recruiters who are looking to be more proactive in their veteran recruiting outreach can use as a reference. Here is a start to the list. Help me make it broader and better.

Military Recruiting Resources:

Military Career Sites & Job Boards

Military Hiring Twitter Handles & Hashtags

21 thoughts on ““I Would Die For You.”

  1. Great resource post, Lars. I’m working with a high level team at Aon to not only educate our Veterans about the opportunities, but also our hiring managers on the military experience. Bookmarked!

    • Thanks Bryan. If you come across any other resources you think I should add let me know. I intend for this to be a living, evolving resource for recruiters so hope to continually add new resources.

  2. Lars, I’m going to add a few more resources… – could be the most political of the neo-veteran groups; if my company has the desire to really employ vets, I’d contact this group and ask what the company can do to help vets and eventual vets

    Since we’re recruiters here, if you want to recruit vets get to know the people who recruit them into the service. Stop by your local military recruiting station and tell them you want to help leverage your recruiting knowledge to help them recruit people into serving (you’ll become a COI). Guess what? If you want to hire vets, you can’t shy away from helping them recruit people into serving; you simply cannot have it both ways. For instance, show them how to use LinkedIn to identify veterans in your area who might serve as voices to speak to parents who are questioning their child’s decision to serve. Talk to new recruits and their parents about how their training and service can create a pathway to a professional career if they ever choose to leave the military.

    Above all, network, network, network…the Holy Grail here is to get to those serving before they put in their EAS papers. Speak to your friends and connections – ask them who they know who’s presently serving but who is strongly thinking of putting in their papers one day. Get to know these people; sponsor their units while they’re serving (care packages from NPR).

    Recruiting veterans isn’t something you do one week out of the year; it’s really another internal culture development movement.

    In case you’re wondering if it’s worth it to hire veterans, I ask you a question: Have you ever read the USMC Code of Conduct?

    (1) I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

    (2) I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

    (3) If I am captured, I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

    (4) If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and will back them up in every way.

    (5) When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give only my name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

    (6) I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.

    I don’t wonder…

  3. Pingback: 5 Best Recruitment Marketing Articles of the Week 5.26.12 to 6.1.12 « SmashFly Recruitment Marketing Technology Blog

  4. Lars, Fantastic list. As a sourcer / recruiter I’m always looking for a additional resources. I also have a very good friend who’s looking for jobs right now transitioning out of the military following his last deployment so I’m going to forward this list of resources to him as well.


  5. Pingback: Recruiters, Be All You Can Be | recruitDC

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