“Match-Making” Veterans and Employers: A RecruitMilitary Success Story
After 33 years of military service, Army veteran John Crownhart was transitioning out and wanted to find the right career (and company). He wanted a role that would use his skills, but as an aviation maintenance technician, he wasn’t sure where that would lead.
We sat down to talk to Crownhart about his experience using our services to find his civilian role:
Crownhart heard about a DAV|RecruitMilitary job fair happening on his home base (Fort Liberty, formerly known as Fort Bragg) and signed up to attend.
Though he made it to the event before it was over, he arrived when some of the vendors were packing up to leave. Undeterred, he visited the remaining booths.
While walking around the room, he met RecruitMilitary’s event director Rob Mulvihill, who asked about his background and skills. Mulvihill, a Navy veteran, explained how RecruitMilitary had additional career services to help.
While Crownhart may not have found his job at the job fair, he took a big step in finding his new career that day. When registering for the job fair, his professional RecruitMilitary profile was also created.
His background as an aviation maintenance technician also qualified him to be a candidate for RecruitMilitary placement services, which provides hands-on job readiness and matching to veterans with these types of backgrounds:
RecruitMilitary: Will you please tell us a little more about your military background?
John Crownhart: I joined the Army Reserves back in 1989 as an aviation maintenance technician and then I went active duty in 1992. I've been in the Army for 33 years, mostly working on helicopters. I retired at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 4, conducting fleet management and logistics sustainment for four army divisions of aircraft.
RM: What is your new job and title?
JC: My new job is with Cascades Tissue Group and I am the quality manager at both the Wagram, North Carolina and Rockingham North Carolina facilities. Cascades takes tissue from other paper plants and they convert it to napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper.
What I do is bridge the gap between the paper mills and the converting plant there in Wagram to make sure we produce good, quality products to the customers, but also making sure that the jumbo rolls of converted recycled paper produced at the mills are the right specifications and quality for the Wagram converting facility.
RM: What was your military transition like?
JC: My transition from the military to this new job was seamless. Once RecruitMilitary had my resume and started my profile, they helped me determine what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. It's almost like a dating app where they connect you to the right company.
It was just so easy and quick. I gave myself two months and hardly had to do any work. I had several job opportunities presented.
RM: What was your biggest challenge during your job search?
JC: Before RecruitMilitary, the biggest challenge was applying for positions on companies' websites and having to go through an applicant tracking system, where they screen your resume before it gets into a live person's hands.
There were situations where I thought I had a strong resume and would be a great fit for the position, but then my resume got denied. I didn’t know if my resume didn’t make it through the system or whether it just wasn't a good fit, so I had some anxiety there.
With RecruitMilitary, you bypass that. The representatives at RecruitMilitary work directly with the companies, get the resume in their hands, and say, "This person would be a good fit."
Editor’s Note: Crownhart’s experience reflects that of a Placement Services candidate. This service connects candidates with employers seeking specific skillsets.
RM: What was your experience with the Placement Services process?
JC: RecruitMilitary lets you select the areas where you are willing to relocate and initially, I did select various states. Then, opportunities began coming my way from all these different states. Halfway through the process, my wife and I decided to just stay in North Carolina. So we made the adjustments to my profile, and then I was only being sent positions available near my area.
RecruitMilitary took my resume and my experiences, and they actually networked for other jobs I didn't even consider. I never would've considered myself for this position. I was looking for production management, safety management and project management. Quality management I had never really thought about. RecruitMilitary looked out for me in that aspect. They helped me see I am qualified for a lot more than I thought.
It was a quick process. From the time I found out about Cascades until I had an interview it was possibly a week.
RM: Which skills that you gained in the military help you in your job now?
JC: I've only been here for four weeks, and it seems like I've been able to grasp the tissue-making industry really quickly and start making strides towards improving quality here.
A lot of the different leadership values that I learned in 33 years of service have helped me out, even though the tissue-making business is starkly different from aviation maintenance and sustainment. The core skills that the Army taught are there, and I think that's what attracted Cascades to use RecruitMilitary.
RM: What advice would you give to veterans transitioning to civilian life, or is there any experience that was particularly good or bad for you that you think they should know about?
JC: Don't just jump on the first opportunity. A majority of people transitioning from the military accept the first job that they're presented with, but they might not be happy with it, and they leave that job within the first year.
My goal was to also find that right career. I wanted to find the right fit. RecruitMilitary assisted with making sure we had the right fit and took a holistic view of my career and my resume.
With the help of RecruitMilitary, I've been able to secure this position at Cascades and I'm looking at the long term.
This is going to be my career for the next at least 15 years or so, at least that's my plan. It was a great experience. I'm happy.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Create your RecruitMilitary professional profile and begin searching open jobs today.
By Elizabeth Stetler, U.S. Army Veteran