diversity and inclusion military

Military Hiring – Diversity, Inclusion & Business Success

The job market is more competitive than ever. Between the Great Resignation and the pandemic, companies are scrambling to secure top talent in order to drive the business forward. , they’re starting with prioritizing inclusion and diversity. 

According to Deloitte, cognitive diversity enhances team innovation by 20%. Additionally, it’s a great way to attract standout talent. Glassdoor reported that 67% of job seekers consider diversity and inclusion when accepting job offers.

There is a ready group of diverse and capable candidates that could benefit teams who are willing to think outside the box. SHRM reports that as many as 360,000 men and women leave military service each year. That’s 360,000 capable problem solvers who are highly adaptable team players who can add significant value.

Our Guest: Sarah Peiker, CEO, Orion Talent

On our latest WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Sarah Peiker, CEO of Orion Talent. She holds over 20 years of global expertise in recruitment outsourcing and talent management. Sarah is bridging the gap in military and civilian careers. She delivers veteran talent at scale. Additionally, Orion Talent has a strong reputation in military and diversity hiring. This is in response to the reality that many veterans remain an untapped resource for employers.

Sarah starts off by explaining the reasons that cause military and civilian divide.

“Many companies don’t understand how to transition service members’ hard and soft skills into civilian roles. As a result, there is a military and civilian divide. Transitioning military personnel may not know how to transfer their skills. Additionally, employers don’t always know to leverage their skills. We speak different languages in the business and military world.”

Obstacles That Prevent Military Hiring

Landing meaningful work has remained a challenge for veterans for several decades. This is mostly due to prejudices of how they think, feel, and act post-service. When it boils down to why this pool of talent is often overlooked, not much has changed. Sarah explains:

“There’s this misconception that a skill must be directly transferable in order for it to be relevant. There are misconceptions about veterans. A lot of people think that veterans can only follow orders. That they have PTSD. That they will be called back to active duty. That they’re rigid.”

Transferring Military Skills to Civilian Roles

There are key skills and principles veterans develop while serving in the military that can directly transfer into the common workplace:

“There’s a mindset of persistent training. As a result, [Veterans] are never too busy to train. Furthermore, they are constantly learning and improving their skills. They think mission-first and they motivate people with clear communication.”

The ‘Never Stop Innovating’ Mindset

Innovation and technology improve business operations as well as the military. This has allowed military workers to quickly adjust to change. Much like corporate employees who have had to maintain performance in the office amidst technical disruption.  

“It’s about embracing technology but still moving forward. The nonstop forward movement is the reality and the only way to maintain a talent advantage.”

It’s assumed that those who serve in the military lack technical experience. As a result, employers are more likely to pass them over. Sarah debunks this myth:

“Veterans are working on electronic systems that have to be maintained in the middle of a desert, an ocean, or a jungle. Technology is critical for them.”

The Advantages of Military Hiring

A growing number of employers are on the lookout for talent with soft skills. Veterans have developed just that during their years of service. Sarah dives into the top soft skills veterans display in service:

“Accountability, reliability, discipline, stress tolerance, adaptability, leadership, and problem-solving. Service members transitioning out of the military have these soft skills. Furthermore, they are also very diverse. The military inherently runs 40% racially diverse. Veterans are also a melting pot of diverse socio-economic backgrounds.”

How To Help Veterans Thrive in the Workforce 

It’s time employers start thinking about ways they can support veterans who are entering the civilian workforce. Sarah explains that this starts with viewing veterans as a valued community:

“Think of veterans as a community like you would any other underrepresented group. That’s what employers need to be thinking about.”

For employers looking to hire military veterans, Sarah leaves us with an in-depth list of tips to do it right.

“Get the buy-in you need from key personnel. From decision-makers, talent acquisition professionals, human resources, and operations managers. It’s also important to make sure everyone supports hiring military candidates. Track and measure results. This includes metrics on hiring performance data and retention rates. Do your homework before determining your hiring model. Build a hiring process that works towards a positive candidate experience.”

I hope you enjoyed this episode of #WorkTrends, sponsored by Orion Talent. To learn more about driving diversity in business through military hiring, contact Sarah on LinkedIn.

How to hire the best in UK tech Infographic

Breaking the Code: Attracting Tech In The UK

The UK has become a serious contender for building a tech start up. London has a thriving close knit community of entrepreneurs that have a thirst for learning and networking. As you would imagine small tech communities are a hot bed for referrals. Hiring for small companies is absolutely essential and if you quit your non-HR day job to try your hand running a company posting on job boards and calling cowboy recruiters are costly mistakes to make.

When we carried out our UK Tech Talent survey the results were a little surprising. We have seen a lot of statistics from the US regarding finding and attracting tech but our results showed some subtle differences between the two which may make you want to reconsider how you go about trying to recruit your new development team.

Key Takeaways:

87% of tech workers respond to less than 10% of unsolicited messages they receive in a month.
86% hate being called ‘Rockstars’, ‘Jedi’s’, or ‘Ninjas’
45% of Engineers tend to be hired through a Recruiter vs 41% developers who find their jobs through friends.

Check out the full infographic below and the free accompanying ebook to gather more insights on the topic.

Why Company Culture Is Crucial for SMEs

Having a shared sense of culture among employees is important for businesses, especially for fledgling businesses for whom it is crucial. SMEs need all the help they can get to hold their own against larger players, and because creating a company culture among a smaller numbers of employees is easier, it’s something to take advantage of from day one.

Keeping Company-Wide Goals And Objectives Is important

Businesses run best when everyone is moving in the same direction towards the same goals. This clarifies employee responsibilities, encouraging productivity and initiative. If a worker knows their role and end goal then they won’t need as much instruction as a worker who can only see as far as the next task.

It also encourages communication and collaboration between workers. If all goals are clear, everyone has some idea of what others are working on. That means if they have an idea, question or suggestion they know exactly who to go to. It’s worth remembering that everyone can have some worthwhile input outside their specific remit. Just because someone works in development doesn’t mean they can’t have some great marketing suggestions too.

It makes It All more Efficient

When advertising a position well-qualified and experienced applicants are obviously welcome, but it’s also important to get people that are a good fit for the company. If their views and style are completely at odds with everyone else then they probably won’t last long. Lower the risk of this happening so time and money aren’t wasted. Having a good recruitment process is a good start, but having an established company culture is better.

Knowing what the business is about will not only help craft a job ad that attracts the right people, but will also mean aims and culture are clear and communicated in the early stages of recruitment.

Employees Become More Invested

Having workers actually care for the business and whether it succeeds is obviously important. Forcing employees to make sacrifices or take on extra hours is damaging to morale, so when employees are willing to volunteer it shows the workforce is committed.

By instilling company culture workers can show dedication and energy as they’ll be on board with business objectives. If they agree with what the company is doing they’ll be much more valuable, and this positive culture will permeate through to new employees. In other words, employees should see their jobs as personally fulfilling rather than just a pay cheque.

Lapses In Security Are Less Likely

Another positive of having employees sharing company culture is that they’ll make fewer mistakes. One of the biggest areas of business where this is important is with security. Aside from keeping on top of the issue, there are many ways for a worker to lapse with this, including failing to adhere to data protection laws, accidental loss or sharing of sensitive data, and even failing to lock up the office at the end of the day.

A strong company culture can include security to prevent any lapses and reinforce proper procedures central to how the company does business.


Image: Bigstock

10 Tips For Firms In Frontier Markets

The time for being excited by emerging markets has been overtaken by the high energy and opportunities provided by frontier markets. Though there are a number of operational and financial risks of these extremely interesting environments for consulting firms, the opportunities are worth the challenges. A few of these delectable opportunities that I’ve come across include:

  • Growth – Where everything has the potential of becoming the next big thing.
  • Forward Looking – People simply don’t have the time to linger on the past because of the fast paced growth of businesses.
  • Possibility of Everything – Because there’s less red tape than developed countries, it is possible to achieve anything.
  • Making an Impact – From education to environment, there are endless gaps that can be filled given the drive.

So, just what do Consulting Firms need to do to find success in frontier markets? Check out the 10 tips on the roadmap in the infographic below.

So, what do you think? Any forks in the road you’d like to add to this roadmap for consulting firms? Is there anything you feel has helped you succeed in frontier markets? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Images