Search & Employ® Magazine

March / April 2015

At RecruitMilitary, we proudly serve two “masters.” The first is our great population of working veterans and soon-to-transition personnel. The second is the community of employers, franchisors, and educators who are eager to accomplish their missions by leveraging America’s best talent, our veterans. Usually, I use this space to address the first group; this time, I am going to address business leaders.

During his 2015 State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama challenged our nation’s CEO’s to take advantage of the high-quality talent pool that is our military veterans. “If you want somebody who’s going to get the job done, hire a veteran,” he declared. Of course, all business leaders seek high-quality managers and workers – but many do not how to get started and where to find these fine Americans.

In fact, the steps are straightforward, and the outcomes experienced are worth the effort.

As with any project, creating an effective veteran hiring initiative begins with defining goals and determining what the military defines as the “desired end-state.” Put as a question, “As a result of this effort, what will our company look like with regard to veteran hiring?”

Some companies assign numerical goals. Recent pronouncements from the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) require this approach for companies that do business with the federal government. Many effective business leaders live by the mantra that what gets measured gets done, so it may be a good idea to assign targets based on the percentage of a company’s work force who will be veterans.

The next task for leadership is to articulate the “why” when it comes to hiring veterans. The more the organization can understand the logic and not just the emotion of veteran hiring, the more effective the program will become.

Once the goals are set and the why is understood, the CEO must communicate to the organization that veteran hiring is a priority – but that the organization will tolerate a few hiccups along the way.

Finally, a CEO who is serious about benefiting from veteran hiring must ensure that measurements for effectiveness are in place and that a commitment to constant improvement is made. One metric that will drive focus on efficiency is “cost per quality hire.” And CEO’s who heed President Obama’s challenge will find that the rewards will flow to the bottom lines of their organizations in a measurable way.

The smartest of America’s CEO’s should answer the President’s challenge with a resounding: “We know, Mr. President! We are already hiring America’s veterans because we know they are our best!”

And all the best to you.

Peter A. Gudmundsson

CEO and President, RecruitMilitary


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What is Search & Employ®
Search & Employ® is a bimonthly print and digital magazine designed to help transitioning and veteran military and their spouses find outstanding civilian jobs, business opportunities, and continuing education programs.

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