Analysis, Organization, Method
Haworth Inc. manufactures a wide variety of workplace products, including seating, storage products, moveable walls, raised-access flooring, and technology products that enhance collaboration and creativity. The company serves markets in more than 120 countries through a global network of 650 dealers and 6,000 employees. In 2014, Haworth had net sales of $1.8 billion. The company was founded in 1948. It is still family-owned and privately held.
Haworth believes that its values resonate strongly with veterans. The company’s value set includes: * demonstrating respect for customers and employees * striving for Integrity * continuing to learn and improve * achieving business results Historically, Haworth has had a vibrant veteran population. And in recent years, the company recognized a need to re-energize its recruiting efforts and outreach to servicemen and -women.
One of Haworth’s latest efforts is the Veteran Explorer program, which seeks unemployed or underemployed veterans for paid career-building rotations at Haworth. Each candidate participates in three job rotations of 10 weeks each. At the end of the program, the veteran either transitions into a full-time job at Haworth or is placed in another job by a non-profit talent-development organization. Veteran rotations are available in human resources, information technology, logistics, customer service, marketing, and engineering.
Haworth also provides participants with an interviewing and resume-writing workshop, networking with executive leadership, and special events. In addition to this program, Haworth attends veteran job fairs and local community events.
The federal government has created a veteran-population benchmark of 7.2 percent per location. Haworth recognizes that it will take time to reach this benchmark. But in 2015, the company set an aggressive goal to increase its veteran population by 1 percent per U.S. manufacturing location, with incremental increases in subsequent years. Haworth’s goal is to offer a veteran-friendly work environment, write its position descriptions to include veteran equivalencies, create a Veteran Employee Resource Group, and form more community partnerships.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | TIM HODGES
Tim Hodges served in the United States Navy for 26 years, retiring as a commander. He was an intelligence officer in the Navy. Now, he is a program manager with Haworth, in charge of managing an Air Force furniture-systems contract whose annual cost exceeds $7 million. He joined the company in 2014.
Hodges made good use of his educational options while in the Navy. “I took advantage of the military’s tuition assistance program, and earned my master’s degree while on active duty,” he said. “In addition, I sought out military counselors who provided help in translating my military resume into a civilian resume.”
He puts his background in intelligence to use at Haworth. “Intelligence is an analytical process, an organizational process, and a methodical process,” he said. “I use all three of these attributes daily in my civilian job here at Haworth.”
His military experience helps him with the pressures of the job. “I think it has helped me remain calm when others on the job are frantic and stressed out,” he said. “I served a year in Afghanistan; and so I try and remember that, no matter how stressful or hard my job is during the day, I will go home at night and be with my family. Or I could go somewhere and be alone for a while. Or I could take a walk outside the building.”
What advice does Hodges have for veterans? “I would advise them to take advantage of as much as possible of what the military offers. For example, educational benefits, job-search programs, military-to-civilian resume translators, etc. I would also advise them that, wherever they are working, to make sure and get out in the local area and meet people. Getting a civilian job is all about who you know, with a little of what you know thrown in.”
When it comes to resumes, Hodges says this: “Make sure that your military assignments and job responsibilities are clearly defined and explained. Do not try and impress civilians with acronyms and trying to impress them with how much you know in the military. Guess what? You will not impress them. You’ll only lose what could be an excellent opportunity. Be humble.”
He also encourages veteran job seekers to dress for success. “Dress in business clothes,” he said. “My first job when I got out of the Navy was in a suburb of Washington, D.C., and I saw a lot of men wearing military uniform shoes with suits and ties.”
This article appeared in the July-August 2015 issue of Search & Employ Magazine