How Google Cloud Helps RecruitMilitary Connect More Veterans to Jobs
For seven years, I served in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer, Military Occupation Code 13A. My time in service included a deployment to Operation Desert Shield / Desert Storm with the 24th Infantry Division out of Fort Stewart, GA, a variety of front line artillery leadership roles, serving as a logistics officer for my unit and as an instructor teaching new officers how to be professional artillerymen. My day to day entailed leading teams of highly trained soldiers and managing logistics and materials to help those soldiers perform at a high level in stressful, fast-paced environments. It was my job to ensure we were ready to handle any circumstance.
The hardest part about transitioning out of the Army in May 1996 as a highly trained artillery veteran was the fact that, though I felt prepared for any challenge ahead, I wasn’t sure I was making the right choice. I made a common mistake of transitioning veterans, I jumped right into an entrepreneurial venture. Looking back, I wish I’d had access to resources that displayed career options that would help translate my skills for the corporate world, it would have helped me be better prepared and know what my options were. I wasn’t ready to jump from the Army into running a business, and it was a long two years.
Though my first job out of the Army was challenging, it taught me that I loved the start-up environment, and I joined RecruitMilitary in October 1998 when it was 5 months old. For the past 21 years, I have been fortunate enough to play an important role in helping RecruitMilitary grow to what it is today, the industry leader in connecting military veterans with organizations.
My time as a cadet and a junior artillery officer provided me with a great foundation of skills and experience that I’ve brought to my roles at RecruitMilitary. I learned to always be agile, prepared, flexible and forward thinking. I’ve held leadership roles in nearly every part of the company; sales, recruiting, event operations, customer support, marketing, strategic business development and now technology. This is a testament to how far hard work and your military experience can take you. When I started at RecruitMilitary 20 years ago in sales, I would have never guessed I’d be leading the technology team and strategy for the company.
An important aspect of my role leading the technology and strategy for RecruitMilitary is to ensure the organization is forward thinking and anticipating our business needs in order to serve our clients, transitioning military members, veterans and military spouses.
RecruitMilitary connects organizations with veteran talent through over 30 products and services, all of which are fueled by our job board. Our job board, with over 1,400,000 members, is core to our business. In fact, if we don’t have an active and growing job board population, we don’t have the supply of veteran talent we need to deliver to our clients across our suite of services.
With veteran unemployment at a 50-year low, it had become increasingly challenging and for RecruitMilitary to grow our veteran job seeker database and keep those veterans actively applying to client jobs. Being a data-driven company, we saw our existing search functionality was no longer producing the desired results for clients and began to receive client feedback about decreased candidate activity.
It was clear to us that we needed to begin adopting machine learning and more advanced search capabilities into our products and operations. The HR Tech space is shifting that way fast, and we want to be at the forefront. As we researched paths to take and learned of Google’s operating philosophy leading with AI, and that they were developing a tool for veteran job search, it made a lot of sense to go with a leader.
When Grow with Google announced its commitment to make transitioning to civilian life a little bit easier for veterans, we learned that we could add their military occupation code (MOS) translation feature to our job board through Cloud Talent Solution. This feature lets transitioning service members enter their military occupation codes (MOS, AFSC, NEC, or rating) directly into our search bar to see relevant civilian jobs available at client companies. We’re also using Cloud Talent Solution’s remote work functionality to provide an improved job search experience that allows our customers to make remote work opportunities in the U.S. more discoverable on their career sites. We’re excited about this feature, as it enhances our ability to deliver meaningful jobs to important members of our military community, military spouses, and veterans with limited mobility.
The results of the Google job search solution compared to our previous search are tremendous. Our job seekers are getting a much better experience, and to us that means more veterans are connected to jobs with our clients. We know this because our number of daily job applications has grown by 78 percent. And knowing that we now have a tool that’s going to learn and get better as more of our job seekers use it means that we will reap benefit for work done over time, and so will our clients and veterans who use our job board. That’s tremendous ROI to receive for a lean development staff.
These are just a few of the types of tools I wish I'd had access to when I was considering my transition in 1996. With the help of technology and resources, like those from RecruitMilitary and Grow with Google, people in the military community, including veterans like myself, can prepare for and build meaningful careers.
By Mike Francomb