Veteran-owned, Veteran-led, and Veteran-advised: Becoming RecruitMilitary
While writing the business plan for what would become RecruitMilitary, founder Drew Myers first sized up his competition. “It struck me that so many of the companies recruiting veterans were made up of non-veterans,” he said. “Very early on, I knew that I wanted my company to be veteran-owned, veteran-led, and veteran-advised. Having that foundation was important to me when talking to companies who could use our services. On the candidate side, it was even more obvious: who better to have break down barriers quickly, and to figure out wants and needs of a job candidate than a fellow veteran?”
The business plan outlined a contingency-based, military-to-civilian recruitment product housed within the sales-training organization where Drew was still employed. It would find the best junior military officers (JMO’s) leaving the service, and train them in sales before they joined their first civilian company. Begun in February 1998, the company name would be Selection Integrity Resources (SIR). His pitch to prospective employers came in two parts: “First, give me a job order. If I don’t find someone you can hire, you don’t owe me a thing. If I do find a match, you pay me a fee. Second, and more importantly: I am a former JMO. I know what JMO’s can do. I know they make great employees, and I will tell you why that is. And, I know how to find them,” he said.
As SIR’s first employee, Drew began cold calling companies for job orders and building a database cataloging military bases and transition counselor contacts. He also hired five more staff, four of whom were veterans, to sell job orders and source candidates.
“As a product, SIR did really well. During our first hiring conference, General Mills hired six officers the same day for its Cincinnati manufacturing plant,” Drew said. He decided that the product should become its own company, and articles of organization were filed on December 3, 1998. The years 1999 and early 2000 brought continued success. “We quickly broke from the original idea of placing JMO’s into ‘sales-only’ positions because the opportunities to place them in other roles came to us daily,” he said.
While running SIR, finishing his MBA, and continuing his sales-training work, Drew accepted an offer to join Perot Investments in June 2000, reporting directly to Ross Perot. This meant some hard decisions, and one of them involved SIR. Drew sat down with the CEO of the sales-training organization and, because he was leaving, offered to buy out the other half of the company. The CEO agreed, making Drew the sole owner of SIR.
SIR Becomes RecruitMilitary
In July 2001, Drew decided to devote his full-time efforts to SIR. What began as a recruiting product housed within another company was taking off on its own. The business plan from 2001 and 2002 called for the hiring of 20 new employees. Paul Neff, a Cincinnati-based graphic artist, created a look and brand, and SIR became RecruitMilitary.