Written by Chris Johnson, former Digital Strategist at DirectEmployers Association

With Independence Day fast approaching, it’s hard not to think of those who helped provide us with the very independence we’ll celebrate with barbeques and parades, baseball and fireworks. Namely our military and military veterans. And as employers, it’s doubly important to do so, as American companies are the gateway to a life after the military. One which can be fruitful or challenging.

Unfortunately, for many of today’s post 9/11 veterans, the transition has been far too challenging. Going into 2014, the unemployment rate for these veterans is 10% (246,000 service people). And with 1,429,955 currently active military personnel, that employment rate is at risk of growing.

New OFCCP compliance regulations have certainly begun to address this challenge by giving federal contractors minimum goals to help remedy this epidemic, but with a cause this important, it takes far more than doing the minimum. Whether you’re a federal contractor that is required to meet these minimum goals, or a company who has no requirement to hire veterans, creating veteran and military outreach should be a consideration for all companies to practice. And one of the first steps towards doing so is creating user-friendly resources, designed with veteran’s needs and backgrounds in mind. For your company, one way to do so is through the use of a .JOBS Military Crosswalk.

Imagine being fresh out of the military. What does your work experience and resume look like? Maybe it consists of a couple of years in high-school, working at the local fast food restaurant, and several years of military service. For others, it might be a couple of similar summer jobs, and a bachelor’s degree.

Because of the array of backgrounds military service people come in with, military service ranges from infantry to motor pool, radar technician to advanced engineering. Each with vast training and knowledge acquired during military time served.

Every one of these backgrounds has a unique military title. Unique, because those terms and titles reflect a military lifestyle, and therefore, they look nothing like your company’s job titles for the exact same role.

So back to imagining the veteran’s experience. You have all of the benefits of a military background; solid, employable skills sets, leadership experience, an understanding of the importance of working as a team and an impeccable work ethic. But as you begin to visit company career sites, job boards and aggregators, you come to find that regardless of your experience and skill sets, you have no idea what role you’re qualified to perform. And you very quickly realize that every job description with a title that looks remotely like yours, actually has no correlation to your background it becomes frustrating and incredibly time consuming.

Now imagine you stumble upon a company who provided you a counselor you could work one-on-one with, and they could guide your job search, telling you immediately which jobs their company has that match your background, your skill sets and your knowledge base. That company would stand out. That company would be one that you can tell, beyond a shadow of a doubt, valued your military service, everything the military taught you and more importantly, you know they see value in you and bring you onboard to utilize those skills to make them a better, more productive company.

And there we find the very purpose of a .JOBS Military Crosswalk. The Crosswalk acts as a military skills translator built onto a search engine optimized (SEO) platform, and drives military and veteran job seekers directly to the jobs that match their backgrounds. Now veterans aren’t bogged down reading job description after job description, trying to find the handful that are actually meaningful and relevant to them. Nor are they missing out on relevant jobs with such differing titles that they don’t check them.

Not only does a .JOBS Military Crosswalk minimize the investment of time and effort for a veteran, but it also minimizes the time and effort, as well as expense, for your company. A .JOBS Crosswalk utilizes O*Net coding to provide companies with upfront translations, all created by comparing the needs, skill sets, hardware and software knowledge, etc., of your jobs, to military job descriptions, and vice versa. This means instead of taking the time to manually determine which of your jobs equates to which Military Job Titles or Military Occupation Codes (MOC), a process that often means months of mapping, within minutes you can make a fully realized translation platform available to veteran candidates. A platform that you can promote to veterans on your own career site, through the search engines, in military specific marketing collateral, at veteran career fairs, in military publications and advertising and more.

Now, one more time, imagine being a military veteran. Weeks out of the military, and hoping, praying to find the opportunity that will allow you to successfully kick off your post-military career. And while looking at the career site of a company just down the road that just might be hiring, you come across an interesting message that stands out to you. Maybe it says something like, “Our company respects and appreciates the service of U.S. veterans, and welcomes all veterans to apply for available opportunities. To assist you with your job search, please click here to find out which of our jobs you are suitable for based on your military background”. Suddenly, the job search landscape has changed, dramatically. Now that process that took you hours on other career sites is only taking minutes. And for the first time since you started the job search process, you know that you are absolutely applying to jobs for which you are qualified.

As a human resource or recruitment professional, in a climate that prioritizes outreach to, and the hiring of veterans, which experience do you most want a veteran candidate to have when searching your jobs? If your answer is, provides quick and easy job search, translations customized to specific military backgrounds and an overall positive experience for a veteran candidate, call your Digital Strategist today (866-268-6206) to learn how your company can join the ranks of those who are making veteran outreach not just a priority but an act of service.

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