A Q&A with Peter Gudmundsson of RecruitMilitary

In 2016, the largest military recruiting company in the country was formed, offering hiring organizations access to more than 1,000,000 military job seekers via Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary. This new partnership means that employers now have access to contingency recruiting, military job fairs, employer branding, a veteran-focused publication and more in a one-stop shop.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Peter A. Gudmundsson, President of RecruitMilitary, about what to expect from this new business venture and how it will benefit employers and veterans alike.

What has been the biggest factor in the success of RecruitMilitary?A Q&A with Peter Gudmundsson of RecruitMilitary

“High quality execution and focus is the key to RecruitMilitary’s success. Many organizations care about helping veterans, but their effectiveness starts and ends with that sentiment. RecruitMilitary is deeply concerned about the career outcomes of veterans, but realizes that positive outcomes will only occur if it focuses on the needs of hiring organizations first. That means paying close attention to delivering high quality veterans to hiring organizations at live events and through digital means.”

Why are RecruitMilitary job fairs the best in the industry?

“Again, the watchword is quality. First, RecruitMilitary chooses venues that are unique and memorable, like NFL and MLB stadiums. Then, we dedicate sizable resources to make sure that veteran candidates attend the event prepared to engage with employers. Finally, we survey and measure the experience of every candidate and client (employer) to identify opportunities for improvement.”

How do you feel the combined services of Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary can benefit both the military job seeker and the employer?

“By providing a ‘one-stop’ unified experience for veteran job seekers, Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary can truly become the most efficient digital and physical destination for all veterans. The same can be said for employers, through multiple solutions such as the best on- and off-base veteran career fairs, an industry-leading online job board, and world-class contingency recruiting services. Whether employers want to manage their own veteran hiring solutions or substantially outsource the sourcing and screening to professional veteran recruiters, they need to look no further than Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary.”

Why should an employer attend a RecruitMilitary job fair instead of a government or non-profit event?

“For a tax-paying entity such as RecruitMilitary, the company can only be successful by solving our clients’ needs with high quality veteran talent. Employers can attend a free career fair but they generally ‘get what they pay for.’ Free events by their nature don’t have the resources to invest in candidate marketing, venue selection, event operations or pre- and post-event statistics. Plus, only RecruitMilitary can leverage a 1,000,000 veteran footprint to generate interested job seekers. With one’s time such a limited resource, most employers would rather invest in a sure thing, that is, a quality event where the candidates are better qualified and other attending companies are industry leaders.”

At Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary, we are invested in the success of veterans and military hiring organizations. By using a recruiter in the military space, you’re ensuring that your company is gaining a valuable new employee through an efficient and effective process.

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A Common Misconception of “Cost-Efficient” Hiring

It’s a common misconception that finding a new hire without any assistance from an outside hiring firm is the most cost effective option for an employer. I recently had a conversation with a prospective client on this very subject.

We’d been talking over the last six months about a management position I wanted to help fill, but she kept hesitating on pulling the trigger. During the conversation she told me she had triumphantly landed a suitable candidate herself. “I kept that cost per hire down, didn’t I?” she asked.

I responded, “So how much did you save?”

When taking the Cost of Vacancy (COV) into consideration, I knew she might find the answer disappointing. The COV for a company of their size and revenue level (calculating to their favor based on public information) is $41k per month. This totals to a conservative $246k cost for the six-month vacancy.

Alternatively, Bradley-Morris regularly places candidates into the same type of management position in the same location within 2-4 weeks. Although there are fees associated with contingency recruiting services, in the long run those fees are a small fraction of what the potential COV could be.

Furthermore, in this prospective client’s particular case, the position she was searching for was for a new branch within a new territory. The competition had plenty of time to respond and execute its own counter initiatives. An opportunity to get a jump start was missed.

In some ways the new hire she found was at a disadvantage because they entered into a new role that had been inactive for six months. This often results in internal frustration because existing employees were responsible for performing extra work, which can cause individuals to lose their focus and drive. Productivity and the bottom line can suffer by stretching an employee too thin. Also, when a department is understaffed, it’s not uncommon to start losing customer loyalty due to a mediocre service/product.

Another factor to consider when evaluating cost efficiencies of hiring is the return on hire. At six months into the search, with the competition fortifying and overworked employees becoming more disgruntled, it is likely the company has settled for an adequate candidate. Unfortunately, getting the position tolerably filled is not the same as the excitement and relief of adding a top-performer to the team.

So, how much would your company save by partnering with a recruiting firm like BMI as opposed to filling a position on your own? The cost of vacancy would be significantly lower and the return on hire could be evidenced in the customer loyalty spurred by outstanding work ethic and dedication.

At Bradley-Morris, we work in parallel with some of the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We know the metrics and the competitive landscape. Our employees are experts in providing highly-skilled and flexible candidates that fit a wide variety of employer needs nationwide. We ensure our clients are always the winner when it comes to cost efficiency and placing proven performers so, when asked the value gained by utilizing our services, the answer is an easy one.

 
Bobby Whitehouse
http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse
Image courtesy of Pexels

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5 Points for Picking a Military Focused Firm

Partnering with a military focused recruitment firm is a significant business decision and one that should not be taken lightly. With an economic boost causing the U.S. to place a greater focus on hiring, (specifically hiring military), the landscape has become more complicated (competitive). This is a good thing for military talent but makes it harder for hiring or human resource professionals.

This is why choosing a reliable recruiting partner is so important. We recommend you assess the following criteria before selecting a recruiting firm:

1) Experience. There are pitfalls in this industry that a new firm will learn at your expense. They will not have the trusted advisers who are sharing best practices and tribal knowledge gained over years of placing military-experienced candidates. Look to their Case Studies for examples of successful programs across business lines. Ask about the efficiency of their processes. Do they know their metrics? How effective are they at getting “boots on the ground”? Do they have testimonials from your industry?

2) Business Versatility. How many resources does a recruiting firm have to leverage? Their candidate footprint should establish multidimensional pipelines, as well as tiered access for clients, to provide a well-rounded candidate pool. Ultimately, the more versatile a recruiting firm is, the more like they will be to meet your hiring needs.

3) Market Awareness. When selecting a firm, be sure they have the most recent information on candidates and the military. The hiring and military landscapes are ever-changing. Select a partner that is in-the-know and can explain how they keep current on employment and military trends.

4) Integrity. Some firms will waste your time on roles they have no intention of filling because it is beyond their competency. If any combination of the needed location, pay or skill-set is off-balance with the current candidate market, they should let you know immediately. It is key to have a direct contact for candid discussions at all times.

5) Strong Industry Reputation. Great candidates refer other great candidates. Firms should be able to provide recent testimonials as additional proof of ongoing relationships with successfully placed job seekers.

These five points should help you with your partnering decision. Keep in mind that hiring is about performance and partnering is about “win-win”. Recruiting A-Players is difficult but noble work and ensuring the business case for hiring military is the key to continued focus and growth.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy of Pexels

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21st Century Warship a Showcase for Military Talent

A friend of mine recently attended the commissioning of the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) in Baltimore and I enjoyed learning about this technical marvel. It was interesting to hear that this ship, one of the largest and most technologically advanced warships in the fleet, only carries a third of the crew of previous destroyers. Doing more with less. Does this sound familiar in your own line of work?

This required the Navy to rethink staffing the ship. For one, the ship’s server-based systems allow any crew member to control any function from any station. This puts a greater focus on cross-training. The state of the art systems require a tech savvy maintenance team and the expandable systems, able to upgrade to more efficient software when developed, require forward-thinking leaders to review best practices and think several steps ahead in planning upgrades.

You can bet this assignment, and the challenges of debugging the USS Zumwalt on the high seas, were given to the Navy’s best Officers and Petty Officers and are a showcase for military talent. And under the command of Captain James Kirk, the bar was set high.

For corporate hiring managers and recruiting professionals this is just another example of how the US military leads the world in recruiting our best and brightest and tasks them with the responsibility of a safe operation of multi-billion dollar equipment with stellar capabilities. To boldly go…well you get that I mean.

Flexibility and transferable skills are the key to sourcing and hiring the right military-experienced talent for your team. There are many options available to assist you in successfully navigating these waters, including BMI with access to more than 1,000,000 military job seekers.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy Petty Officer 1st Class Nathan Laird/Released

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Secure Your Company by Hiring a Military-Experienced IT or Cyber Professional

In honor of Cyber Security Awareness month, I want to address a common question I hear from employers: “I work for an organization that has nothing to do with IT or software, so how can I justify investing in Cyber Security talent when it doesn’t contribute to the bottom line?”

Almost every company is involved in collecting, sorting, storing or responding to sensitive data, even if indirectly. Failure to protect your customers’ and/or employees’ information can lead to massive consequences that result in costly damage control. Developing a security plan ahead of time is more cost effective and ensures that your brand can uphold its trustworthy reputation. Companies are investing countless dollars upgrading and investing in IT assets; it’s equally important to invest in the talent needed to keep those assets safe and in working order.

Secure Your Company by Hiring a Military-Experienced IT or Cyber Professional

Since the beginning of BMI we’ve been known for placing candidates in Engineering, Leadership, Technical and Sales jobs. Many employers don’t know that we expanded our capabilities in helping employers find and hire Information Technology (IT) and Cyber Security candidates. 

Many transitioning military candidates have not one, but several industry certifications by the time they separate from the military. Corporate America has a growing need for IT and Cyber Security and the military is training and preparing candidates with this knowledge and skillset.

The background and experience of the Bradley-Morris IT or Cyber Security candidate can vary, but the end product is someone that companies can’t operate properly without. Officer candidates have led numerous technical projects, managed multiple networks or facilitated operations on an enterprise level. Enlisted candidates have hands-on experience and have received advanced training in their fields. Some of the candidates we work with are in the process of separating from the service and others already have industry experience.  We work with IT leaders, Penetration Testers, Network and Security Architects, Network and PC Forensic Technicians, Threat Analysts, and the list goes on and on.

If your company needs someone to make an immediate impact on your IT or Cyber operations, BMI candidates can get the job done. The majority of this demographic understands information protection on an enterprise and global scale and can offer strategic real-world experience. If you’re serious about improving your IT or Cyber operations, invest in this area and get involved with our TargetHire® process to find military-experienced talent.

 

Jake Hutchings
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jchutchings

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How to Leverage Government Relocation When Hiring a Transitioning Veteran

One of the most common questions I receive when speaking with employers is, “How can I find solid local candidates to fill my open roles?”

If you’re looking for a very specific skill set or background, it can be challenging to find the right job seeker in your area. Many employers don’t have the budget to offer relocation assistance to candidates either, so what should they do?Leverage Government Relocation When Hiring a Transitioning Veteran

My advice is to not limit yourself to a specific geographic area just because relocation assistance is not in the budget. Looking outside of your area opens up so many possibilities and increases the odds that your new hire will be the closest match possible to what you’re looking for. Finding the right candidate for your opening and not settling will benefit your company by reducing turnover and cutting costs in the longrun. It just makes business sense.

Many hiring managers don’t realize that they can leverage government relocation when hiring a transitioning veteran. The military will move transitioning service members and their families from their last duty station to as far as their home of record after their separation date. Using a national talent pool can help your company target the best job seekers at no cost to you.

In my personal experience, I was born and raised in Connecticut but was stationed in Georgia at the end of my service. When I was transitioning from the Army, I was extended a job offer in Virginia. I was able to move to Virginia with the government covering all of my relocation costs and the company did not pay a dime. It was a win-win.

After you decide to expand your talent search, the next roadblock you may run into is how do you begin recruiting across the country? Connecting with a recruiting service like Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI) offers allows you to efficiently hire from a national talent pool of candidates, many of which are willing to relocate for their dream job or location. BMI does the leg work by introducing you to pre-screened military candidates that are up to speed on your company and are excited about your opportunity.

While it may be difficult to fully quantify the value of importing great talent to your company and community, it’s easy to see that great talent + free relocation = a winning combination.

 

Jake Hutchings
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jchutchings
Image courtesy of Matthew W. Jackson

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5 Ways to Have Success in Hiring Military

I recently read Daniel Nichols’ post regarding the “Top 10 Fails of Military Recruiting” . Daniel makes good points but I like to focus on the positives. So here are some bright-spots, that is, 5 ways to have success in hiring military that are put into action each day by my team for our employer clients.5 ways to have success in hiring military

1.) Open the Focus on Transferable Skills. The best and worst thing that has happened in military-to-civilian recruiting is the MOS translator. We worked hard to get job seekers and companies out of the  “military candidates are just a fit for our government services business unit” only for veterans to be hamstrung by their occupational specialty. It’s a new and improved narrow-focused strategy that makes the numbers work against them, and you, the hiring manager. The military-to-industry connection happens between the lines of the job order and the resume. This is why our ConferenceHire events are so successful. This also leads to number 2.

2). Make your job description about the Key Performance Areas (KPA). I understand why hiring managers want specific experience. “What we do is unique” – I know, right? The weird thing is that what we have done in the military is specialized, too. So military-experienced candidates are also acclimated to training on and learning new specialized processes. “And then they put me in charge of” is the start of many great stories of overcoming new assignments and trial by fire accomplishments. Not to mention the adage, “hire character and train skill”.

3). Focus your search on time in service. Hands-on maintenance leaders and field service engineers are typically on different timelines for instance. There are individual contributors, team leaders and results managers. The military community is not one-size fits all.

4). Be sure to “see” the individual. I’ve placed Marines in high-tech and Senior NCOs in field service. Working against the stereotypes, these candidates have been highly successful. Culture is about people. One expression I have heard time and again is “the candidate felt like a good fit for us” and I believe it. Your company should know your type and all types volunteer to serve. Avoid stereotypes and you’ll hire superstars.

5). Look outside the traditional military box. The newest G.I. Bill provides exceptional continuing education and campuses are seeing more military-experienced students. This combination of experience and education gives a whole new meaning to “green grad”. But these candidates are often overlooked because of their gap in employment.

Efficiently hiring military-experienced talent is a great business strategy. These are some of the best men and women our country produces and American businesses can do better at connecting with them. But the more companies that succeed with hiring military the more faith they will have in the concept. Maybe you’ve heard of the importance of “getting the people thing right” but of equal importance is “getting the veteran thing right”.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy of DoD photo, by Army Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harps

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Hiring Military is Like Learning To Golf

The internet is awesome – news flash, right? What I mean is that you can teach yourself so many things from guides and videos on the internet. I have a colleague, who is not a handyman by any means, who took apart and fixed his washing machine with a $1.50 part thanks to a youtube video.

Hiring Military is Like Learning To GolfEven for harder and more difficult to master tasks, this applies as well, but only to a point. If you want to learn how to hit a golf ball and play golf, there are guides and videos on that skill as well. I’ll bet there are some success stories of beginning golfers who advance using the internet as their coach, but without a professional to guide them, they probably took some time-consuming and costly wrong turns along the way. Others may have even given up in frustration when the desired results weren’t forthcoming.

Likewise, there are many guides and videos regarding hiring military and veterans on the internet. And just like our golfer above, these may get you to the point of “getting good contact” on the ball. But can they help shape a plan that takes into account your goals, your physiology and the amount of time and money you have to invest? Only a coach can help on that level.

The coach I’m referring to in this case is a military-focused recruiting firm. For our beginning “player”, every new veteran hiring guide that comes on the scene lacks important information that leaves a well-meaning company open to expensive mistakes. Military recruiting firms, like Bradley-Morris, provide expert guidance that translates to efficiencies in time and money spent.

The online playbook does not take into account the physiology of your organization and the skeletal, motor skills and musculature structure that makes it unique. The differences in physiology manifest themselves in big differences in the “swings” of organizations in terms of the way they approach the military hiring process, even for companies in similar industries. For instance, the way Walmart hires military is vastly differently than how Amazon hires military even though some of the roles, especially in the supply chain, are similar.

In the same vein, the internet guide is one size fits all – it doesn’t take into account the differences between teaching someone who has the resources to play three times a week versus a weekend duffer. Or someone who needs a quick “win”, that is, needs to get be able to get around the course for an upcoming corporate event, versus a player who has a strategic goal that is building for long term success. Translating our hypothetical “player” in these scenarios to a company interested in hiring veterans, the methods to hire and even more importantly the types of roles that could be a success vary greatly depending on the specific scenario.

Among those who are serious about becoming good golfers, most players hire a coach at some point of their careers. The coach evaluates your swing, learns your goals, sees inside your head and is invested in your results. The value of outside perspective and analysis provides changes – sometimes revelatory, sometimes subtle – that produce exceptional results…whether we are talking golf or hiring military.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy Tour Pro Golf Clubs

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Digging into the recent LinkedIn Veteran Insight Report

Digging into the recent LinkedIn Veteran Insight ReportAs we approach July 4th, I took some time digging into the recent LinkedIn Veteran Insight Report. Whether it be patriotic or performance motives, it’s great to see the changing tide regarding veteran hiring in Corporate America.

In 2001, when I started with Bradley-Morris, we looked for one of two things to get corporate buy-in:

  1. We needed a company that was so desperately in need of talent that they would open their hiring requirements to include military-experience, or
  2. We needed a champion who understood the value of military talent. Most of the latter where veterans themselves and while there were a few early adopters of focused military programs, most companies were alien to this talent pool.

When LinkedIn released their “2016 Annual Veteran Insight Report”, I was curious to see how their data aligned with our tribal knowledge as well as our value proposition to our clients.

From their “6 key highlights that demonstrate the veteran community is flourishing in their professional careers” slide I was drawn to #5, “that two-thirds of professional veterans work in positions that are not similar to what they did in the military”. This data lines up with our focusing on “transferable skills” in military to industry placement. By leveraging military success traits across broad Key Performance Areas, we find success in positions such as Manufacturing Production Supervisor where veterans who have no manufacturing experience start their careers and thrive.

The “Dallas-Ft Worth and New York Metropolitan Area are two Major locations where veterans move post service” data point speaks to the relocatable nature of the military-experienced talent pool. BMI’s clients know they tap into an international talent pool for their local positions. Veterans can be found where the jobs are.

Their “Veterans are leaders in the workforce” slide confirms one of our core value propositions. Almost half of the veterans on LinkedIn are in middle-manager or senior contributor roles. Their 36% at entry level stat confirms that many companies still do not know how to leverage military-experience into their business. It will be interesting to see these data points move over time. About 75% of the military-experienced candidates I’ve placed were promoted ahead of schedule.

The “Operations is the #1 job function for veterans” slide points to the successful integration of transferable skills. Sales being #3 is the most telling as there are no sales people in the military. Sales is a vocation where character can be tested. Most sales people I place are highly successful and become top performing in their careers.

Lastly, I see that “Tech Companies have the highest job views among veterans” and this one I point out for companies not on the list. The listed businesses are known because they are in the government contract space or have become famous employer brands for veterans. By working with Bradley-Morris, your company can leverage our brand awareness, best practices and largest military-to-civilian candidate footprint to win the race for military-experienced talent.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy Scott L.

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Military-Experienced Executives Series: Jerry Ashcroft

I had the opportunity to speak with military-experienced executive Jerry Ashcroft who was recently selected to be the Chief Executive Officer of an iconic oil and gas industry brand. Mr. Ashcroft was a decorated Major in the United States Marine Corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and his MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Military-Experienced ExecutivesI was eager to ask Mr. Ashcroft questions about how his military experiences informed his business career. My first question was centered on finding out what the biggest leadership lessons were that he learned from the Naval Academy and as a Marine that he applied to running a business. Mr. Ashcroft replied, “Discipline and servant leadership”.

When I heard his answer, “discipline” made sense; that sounds very much like a Marine leadership characteristic. However, when we look beyond Marine Corps stereotypes, so is “servant leadership”. Servant leaders build trusting team environments that bring out their players’ best potential.

Next, I asked how those lessons compared or contrasted with the lessons of business school. “I feel my experience in business school was built on those lessons and allowed me to focus on being a team member in a business setting,” explained Mr. Ashcroft. “It was also a great way to sharpen my skills in a civilian environment.”

In my experience, business school and military leadership are a proven combination for successful corporate leadership.

I moved on to delve into what education or experience helped Mr. Ashcroft the most while leading his company through challenging times in the energy sector. He replied, “I believe my military experience helps me prioritize what is really important. Having a clear direction usually provides a calming influence for the team. From my observations, I also think it helps you to work well under pressure and keep a level head when others may become flustered.”

A key discussion point centered on whether military-experienced leaders are good fits for energy companies. “I think they are a good fit for all companies,” said Mr. Ashcroft. “Those that are used to self-sacrifice and putting others first deliver global wins across an organization.”

On a more personal note, I asked if he believed his military background had anything to do with his becoming a leader in an energy company. Mr. Ashcroft replied, “Yes, it gave me leadership experience in my twenties versus most having to wait until their forties”.

In this response, Mr. Ashcroft has arrived at a reoccurring theme I regularly see with Leadership Development Programs or LDPs. When a company has a need for middle management leadership positions (to build bench strength against projected retirements; to help institute culture change; to staff up for growth; etc.), many times an LDP program is the answer.

And Bradley-Morris has the second piece of that answer in the form of (relatively) young and motivated Junior Military Officers (JMOs). These job seekers have leadership experience that is leveraged to fast track into the specific business via the LDP.

Finally, I asked Mr. Ashcroft what he would most want to share with other CEOs about hiring military. “The most important resource is your human resource and the military has done a great job teaching how to lead and care for that resource,” he said.

Thank you to Jerry Ashcroft for your time and your illuminating thoughts.

Bobby Whitehouse

http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobbywhitehouse

Image courtesy Jerry Ashcroft

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