If you believe Mike Rollins, director of national accounts for RecruitMilitary, veterans are perfect hires. RecruitMilitary is a military-to-civilian recruiting firm and has organized many job fairs in Houston — like this one at Minute Maid Park — and throughout the United States.
“If you’re going to hire one person this year, why wouldn’t you make it a veteran? They bring to the table all of the skill sets that corporate America wants and needs. The leadership ability, the drive, the dedication, the attention to detail. All of them — most all of them have clean backgrounds, obviously, because of the military — they get active security clearances, highly educated, extremely well-trained.”
However, he says, some employers have reservations about hiring vets because they don’t understand how skills acquired in the military translate into the civilian world. And on the flip-side, veterans often don’t know how to write their resumes in a way that is more appealing to a civilian employer.
“In the military, a lot of times we’re accustomed to talking in numbers or MOS codes and acronyms and stuff and we show them how to transition those skill sets over to the civilian sector.”
Another concern for some employers can be the possibility of returning soldiers having post-traumatic stress disorder. But Rollins says that possibility is minimal and no different from the general population.
Former Marine Michelle Ryan has a different problem. After leaving the Marine Corps about twenty years ago, Ryan has worked as a teacher and a project manager for an organization. But for the last year, she hasn’t been able to find a job.
“And as you move up in a company, which is what we all strive to do, all of a sudden my skills made me overqualified for a lot of smaller jobs I was going to take because I just needed a job.”
Ryan says she is looking for an administrative position that requires integrity, leadership and structure.
According to Rollins, there is a good chance for Ryan to secure an interview with one of the 72 employers at the job fair.
“All of the past events that we have done, we show about a 50-percent rate of return on candidates that walk through the door to candidates that actually secure an interview, so, at least moving through the process.”
Those of the 800 to 900 job seekers who didn’t get lucky this time have another opportunity in a few months. RecruitMilitary will return to Houston on April 4th.