85% of ALL Jobs Are Sourced by Networking – How This Hurts Veterans
In an article written by Lou Adler @LouA, on LinkedIn, he writes about a survey that shows 85% of jobs are found through networking. This makes social media, especially LinkedIn, a favorite among most HR staff, hiring managers and recruiters. Those of us that have been in the corporate market for many years know this is how you find your next opportunity. Even for the most seasoned career person however, this system is broken and inefficient.
Companies struggle with the enormous amount of replies they receive from the average job request. To the point where the problem is no longer “how do we find good people”, its now “how do we find someone and not spend more time and money than we want to spend on the actual salary“.
How does this affect the Veteran today?
First, these hiring experts need to understand this is not the first place Veterans go to look. They have very little to no experience job hunting. They walked into a military recruiter’s office and left with a job. So their first step is not to look to social media for a new position when they leave the service.
Second, the military has been all over the place over the past 10 years with social media policies. Many branches have only recently lifted strict NO USE policies for most well known sites. Second, many units and positions in the military still advise on using false names and aliases. The reason is lives are at stake. Anyone that has served can tell you all about Operations Security or OPSEC. It is against the law to tell friends and family about the exact time someone is leaving for a deployment, or how many people from the unit are going or where they are going. We are not talking about SPY craft here, we are talking about a Navy cook leaving for a 6 month deployment to the Hawaii. This is still a risk to personnel to give out these details. After all, Pearl harbor was successful only because the Japanese knew the ships were all in Pearl Harbor.
Yes, I said against the law.
Meaning you must understand the Constitution is second to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. This is the law all military members follow. If you post something to Facebook that is political or a bit off language you might be unfriended. For someone in the military they may serve time.
So put this together:
Veterans do not understand the importance of the role of social media in networking
They were programmed to stay away from it
Best-case scenario, they are very inexperienced with it
Try Something New
If you hope to hire more Veterans, you must take some actions to look at the situation differently. At the end of the day, you are not really looking for a profile that checks boxes on a job req, you are looking for good people. Veterans are some of the best employees in the market today but if you hold them to the same standard and set of procedures when looking for them you will miss them.
What can you do to find better Veteran employees?
The simple answer is take a little more time with them, start your search with character and then look for skill.
Seek out people with military service in their profiles, it’s there they are extremely proud of their service. But then do it differently. Begin perhaps with asking about who they are. You will find Veterans learn skills that most companies use from scratch, without any prior experience, in weeks. They did this when they were just months from graduating high school. So there is no task or procedure you likely have that they couldn’t learn.
Next, is while is it common practice to try to weed out as many candidates as possible with ATS systems, low level recruiter screening and highly technical interviews for IT people. Try a different approach with Veterans. Create a process where you identify Veterans and ‘go old school‘, have a conversation with them. I do not mean read them the list and grill them on it; we have to do this with normal candidates because we know most are lying to some extent on their resumes and applications. I mean talk to them, ask them, most Veterans will tell you the truth its part of their code. If you meet great people that could make great employees but are missing some of your specific skills, then have a plan to grow them. The ROI will always come from good people, skills change all the time. Just becasue a candidate has the skills and certifications you want today or the degree you wanted yesterday doesn’t mean they will prove to be an asset to the company in the future. A good employee will grow with the company. A loyal employee will help the company succeed!