Season 5 • Episode 5

With roughly 250,000 servicemembers transitioning to civilian life each year, veteran hiring initiatives have become an essential focus for employers. In honor of National Veterans and Military Families Month, this episode shares how DirectEmployers and its family of brands support employers in attracting and hiring veterans. Hear how VetCentral supports veteran representatives across the country, straight from an Indiana-based disabled veterans outreach program specialist; how the Partner Relationship Manager (PRM) guides outreach efforts to organizations serving veterans, transitioning servicemembers and spouses; and finally, insights from United Rentals on how their veteran-focused career site has created a unique candidate experience for veterans.


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About DE Talk

For DirectEmployers, it’s all about valuable connections and meaningful conversations. This monthly podcast features honest and open dialogue between powerhouse industry experts on a variety of HR topics ranging from OFCCP compliance advice to emerging recruitment marketing trends, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and insightful solutions that help infuse new life into your HR strategies.

Hosted by Candee Chambers, Executive Director of DirectEmployers Association.

Segment One

Kim Lott

Guest Host: Kim Lott

Community & State Outreach Administrator, DirectEmployers Association

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Kim Lott came to DirectEmployers Association in February 2023 as a Community and State Outreach Administrator, leveraging expertise gained through her time as a Veteran Program Manager with Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity. As a U.S. Navy Veteran who experienced challenges and underemployment upon transition, she is impassioned by veterans securing employment, which allows for their flourishing. Kim’s experiences have informed many of the issues that drive her, such as the intersectionality of race, gender, and disability and the significant ways in which these issues often adversely impact employment and career trajectory. Kim is also a New England-born, Florida-transplanted, dog-loving, caffeine sippin’, pun-abusing, kindness-advocating, Christ-adoring, wife and mom to three humans and two Mini Goldendoodles.

Jeff Tabb

Episode Guest: Jeff Tabb

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist, Indiana Department of Workforce Development

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Jeff Tabb is a Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program Specialist (DVOP), serving at the WorkOne Franklin location and the Plainfield American Job Center for the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Jeff proudly served as a Marine for over 14 years. In his current role, Jeff provides intensive services to meet the employment needs of disabled veterans and other eligible veterans, with the maximum emphasis directed toward serving those economically or educationally disadvantaged, including homeless veterans and veterans with significant barriers to employment (SBEs). In 2023 alone, Jeff was recognized for outstanding performance in providing services to veterans with barriers, outreach to targeted veterans, and individualized career services, and he has provided a total of 502 services to 42 distinct users. As a result of his impeccable work, Jeff has managed to maintain 27 active cases, with four individuals exiting to employment. Furthermore, his dedication to his work is reflected in the fact that he has written over 300 detailed case notes during this period. Through his collaboration with the Indiana Department of Veteran Affairs and County Veteran Services Officers, Jeff has also referred over 50 veterans and participated in outreach events to identify veterans with significant barriers to employment. He has also conducted labor market information interviews and case-managed over 20 veterans with SBEs for the Chapter 31 program. The commitment to helping veterans extends even to those who are incarcerated, as he makes weekly visits to provide them with strategies for gaining employment and access to necessary resources. His efforts have truly made a positive impact on the lives of many veterans within the state of Indiana.

Segment Two

Headshot of Mikey Meagher

​Guest Host: Mikey Meagher

Manager, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Strategies

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Mikey Meagher is the Manager of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategies at DirectEmployers Association and is focused on fostering relationships with veteran and diversity organizations to promote workforce inclusivity. Mikey began her career recruiting within the IT industry, which made her transition to DirectEmployers partnership team a natural progression as relationship-building and strong communication are core components of both. Within her current role, Mikey works to facilitate conversations between Members and existing partners and provide outreach resources to both parties, as well as identify, develop, and promote new local and national level partnerships. Mikey holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology from University of Florida, a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Jacksonville University, and is a certified Windmills Trainer and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion professional.

Tobi McIntyre

Episode Guest: Tobi McIntyre

Senior Communications Compliance Analyst, Oracle

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Over the last ten years, Tobi McIntyre has been involved in affirmative action and compliance in various capacities. She is the Senior Compliance Analyst at Oracle, where she heads the outreach communications compliance program. During her tenure at Oracle, she has helped create a system to collaborate and work with outreach partner agencies, track communication, and evaluate each partner’s effectiveness in meeting their good faith efforts. Tobi was recognized in 2018 by receiving a teamwork award for her part in Taleo updates for high volume compliance.

After graduating with her BSBA Tobi found her passion for Affirmative Action. She currently serves as a community leader for Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) and volunteers as the Director of Communication for the Arizona chapter of the Industrial Liaison Group (AZiLG).

Segment Three

Heather Hoffman

​Guest Host: Heather Hoffman

Chief Operating Officer, Recruit Rooster by DirectEmployers

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Heather Hoffman is the Chief Operating Officer at Recruit Rooster, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DirectEmployers Association. With enthusiasm, honesty, and 15+ years of experience in talent acquisition, Heather leads the Recruit Rooster team comprised of creatives, recruiters, data analysts, and marketers aimed at helping employers establish a prominent web presence to appeal to targeted and specialized job seekers. Through innovative technology, engaging video and real-life photos, recruitment marketing, and creative solutions help DirectEmployers 900 Members further establish and expand their recruitment marketing efforts.

Kelly French

Episode Guest: Kelly French

, United Rentals

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 Kelly French is a Veteran Recruiting Specialist and manages the military recruiting programs for United Rentals, North America’s largest construction and industrial equipment rental and service provider. During his day-to-day, he proudly supports hiring our nation’s veterans and spouses into the Fortune 500 corporation, offering unique training programs and positions that would fit many veteran backgrounds.

Episode Transcript

Candee Chambers (00:00:02):

Get ready. The DE Talk Podcast starts now. Insightful conversations and dialogue helping you put the human factor back in HR.


Veterans come from all across America representing the diversity and character of our nation. They are leaders and volunteers inside and outside of the service and for many years employers have recognized the great value and skills veterans bring to the civilian workforce. With about 250,000 service members transitioning to civilian life each year, employers around the nation look for new and creative ways to position themselves as employers of choice to these valuable candidates. Despite the year or season, veteran hiring holds a space forever in our mission at DirectEmployers, and building the connection between employers and veterans is paramount to supporting these individuals.


In this month’s episode, we’ll be looking at the varying ways DirectEmployers supports veteran connections, whether it’s through listing jobs for OFCCP compliance via VetCentral and relationship-building with local vet reps or connecting veteran partners in the partner relationship manager or even focusing efforts on recruitment marketing, DirectEmployers is a time-tested proven choice for building the connections you need to not only support our nation’s heroes, but your own workforce diversity efforts as well. In many ways, we’re all searching to build relationships.

Candee Chambers (00:01:30):

For federal government contractors, those relationships begin with outreach to their local veteran representatives. Let’s explore how VetCentral works twofold to support not only mandatory job listing requirements, but also provides a direct line to men and women who support transitioning veterans as well as our disabled veterans.


To better understand the services veterans have access to, Kim Lott, a US Navy veteran and a DirectEmployers community and state outreach administrator, discusses VetCentral and the role it plays in connecting veterans to meaningful work with Jeff Tabb, an Indiana-based disabled veterans outreach program specialist.

Segment One

Kim Lott (00:02:11):

Welcome, Jeff, to the DE Talk Podcast. Thank you so much for being with me today and being willing to do this podcast. How are you doing this morning?

Jeff Tabb (00:02:23):

I’m doing outstanding. How are you?

Kim Lott (00:02:23):

I am doing fabulous. Thank you for asking. I know you’re a busy gentleman working with the veterans that are in your care, so I’m going to jump right into this. For everyone that’s listening, tell us a little bit about yourself and your past service as a Marine, because you are a Marine veteran, correct?

Jeff Tabb (00:02:42):

Yes, I am. Yes, I am.

Kim Lott (00:02:44):

Tell us about that.

Jeff Tabb (00:02:45):

Good to go. Well, my name is Jeffrey Tabb. I was a United States Marine for 14 years. My first four years, I was a combat infantry. Got out, went to reserves and then came back in a year later and I became a 3052 packaging specialist. That’s the MOS number. But when they found out I was a combat infantry prior, they put me into a lot of different billets, such as, I was a safety manager where I took care of OSHA regulations for our battalion headquarters. I was a sergeant of the guard for one of the areas where I was stationed at Camp Pendleton where I helped with the force protection plan after 9/11.

Kim Lott (00:03:28):


Jeff Tabb (00:03:29):

Finally, my last job was when everybody started to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. I ended up being the operations chief, which is in Marine Corps term as a company gunnery sergeant. So once I got out the Marine Corps, I ended up working as a security supervisor in hotels for Hilton and Marriott and then became a director at the end. My last job prior to this was I was working personal security for the owner of Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay.

Kim Lott (00:03:58):

Oh, wow. So you’ve kind of done it all. You have done it all. Well, thank you for your service, good sir. Very different work from what you’re currently doing right now. So how would you say that all of those varied past military services led you into this current role as a Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist?

Jeff Tabb (00:04:25):

I’ve always been passionate about trying to help my fellow veterans. If you see in the background, I have my own company called Punch for Veterans Boxing, where I help teach boxing to disabled veterans in the community. But during that time prior to that, I was trying to figure out initially how to get this company started. And at first, I tried to present it as a boxing program to the gym that I was going to, but they weren’t feeling it. So then when I was working for Jim Irsay, contemplating and finally somebody said, “Hey, you do got a nice radio speaking voice, why don’t you try a podcast?


So needless to say, my employment started to decline as far as hours and everything, and so I made a brash risk decision and decided to quit my job and try to depend on doing Uber and Lyft. And then as a result, I ended up homeless. Once I became homeless, I fell out a sense of complacency and then I had to snap out of it and seek help and that’s when I met Josh McDonald, who’s another disabled veteran outreach program-

Kim Lott (00:05:38):


Jeff Tabb (00:05:39):

… at WorkOne Indy. And he got me through and then I started talking to him and he’s like, “Hey, we have a position in Franklin, Indiana, would you be interested?” I said, “Sure. I like, let’s see what happens.” So from there, did an interview with my management today, which was David Douglas and Mark Mathis. And then had a second interview at the WorkOne here, president today and got the job. And I’ve been here for four years ever since.

Kim Lott (00:06:14):

Wow. Phenomenal group of people. I met them when I came out there recently and they are just phenomenal people. And I met Mr. McDonald. So how did you come to meet him? Did he do outreach and he found you, or how did you learn about the JVSG program?

Jeff Tabb (00:06:28):

Well, actually what happened was I had gotten to the homeless Veteran recreation program with Steel Crossroad. Then they referred me to him. And then pretty much when I met him, we kicked it off and started working on what to do. And he helped me, assist me with trying to get a place to stay. And then every day I was at WorkOne trying to figure out what I was going to do as far as employment.

Kim Lott (00:06:57):

And that just shows that very necessary partnership between the American Job Center and all of the resources out there, all of the community partners, because of his relationship with them, he could connect you with the employment opportunity and make that a reality. So that’s just wonderful. So your day-to-day, tell us a little about what your day-to-day looks like serving the veterans that you serve.

Jeff Tabb (00:07:26):

My day-to-day pretty much consists of one, working with the American Jobs Center staff here at WorkOne find out if the veteran that came into the office that needed employment services. As far as appointments, I set appointments for the veteran for their convenience, make sure that they feel comfortable with coming in. And then once I sit them down, I get to know who they are, first of all. I don’t want to feel too formal that they feel like they’re in an actual government job type interview to see what’s wrong with them.


It’s not here to see what’s wrong with them, to take care of them and get into their employment goal and needs. Because a lot of times veterans that come in here, I’ve dealt like with veterans that are homeless like myself, veterans that were formerly incarcerated, veterans that are young between the age of 18 and 24. And so it’s a different way of veterans that come in. So I want them to feel comfortable before we get into working on gaining employment. But the first thing what I do first, we use a program here called Indiana Career Connect, which is pretty much a profile picture of what the veteran wants to do as far as employment, and what things that they might have lacking such as significant barriers to employment.


What we go through that then we start what you call an objective assessment summary. That is pretty much painting a picture of what their career goals are. Now sometimes you might have a veteran that might come in and has not a clue what they want to do. I always get this line, “I just need a job.” I said, “Well…” I tell the individual, “If individual who want a job, I can just send you to McDonald’s, but we’re not here to do that. We’re trying to give you a career.” It’s like a job, better job, a career, A, B, C. So what we do sometimes we use Indiana Career Explorer, create a profile on that and then it gives them a career assessment and discovery of what that person can actually do as far as employment.


And then once they figure out what they want to do or they already have an idea of what they do, then like I said, we do an objective assessment summary and paint a picture of what type of hour they want, what’s their desired salary. I told them don’t be bashful because if you want to get that job, we’re going to work on getting that job. Then I give them assistance as far as resumes, resume preparation, interviewing skills. We do have classes here at WorkOne that provides that or they might just do a mock interview with myself and another colleague just to get them prepared for their job interview.


Once I get that, then we recreate individual employment plan. With their individual employment plan, it consists pretty much of their goal objective and what can we do to get to that objective.

Kim Lott (00:10:21):


Jeff Tabb (00:10:22):

So once we get that all completed, then we’ll let them know that we are here to work together. We are not an employment placement place like a staffing agency, we are here to assist you. So as far as job placement assistance, we use the VetCentral program that we get emails constantly in. And then also we also use My LVER, my local veteran employment representative, he’s is like Batman, Robin-

Kim Lott (00:10:53):

That’s right.

Jeff Tabb (00:10:53):

… here you want to go. So first I would make sure that the veteran, the resume prepared because once we get the resume prepared, then the LVER can assist that veteran of getting with employers that he already has connections with and then present the resume to that employer. If they choose to interview that veteran, it’s up to them, but more like most of the time, they end up do interviewing. And most of the time, it’s a successful outcome.

Kim Lott (00:11:26):

Very good. Because that LVER is your wingman. That LVER is going to go out there and shop that resume around and advocate for that veteran that’s job-ready. I think when we connected previously, you talked a little bit about the outreach that you do and one of them is to local correctional facility and I love that because that’s what it’s about, conducting that outreach to ensure that you’re identifying those who need the services. Particularly those with significant barriers to employment, detainment being one of them.


And what a great resource that is for those that are currently detained, they’re going to be getting released soon so they don’t have to wait until they get out to figure out where you are and where those resources are. So well done for that.

Jeff Tabb (00:12:13):

Thank you.

Kim Lott (00:12:15):

Can you describe the other veterans that you typically support in your role?

Jeff Tabb (00:12:20):

Well, probably the biggest ones is probably homelessness. A veteran might come in saying, “I’m homeless and need employment.” First thing is off is that before we even talk about employment, we try to get that veteran assisted with Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program and the supportive services for veterans and families programs. Because I wouldn’t want to put somebody getting employed and then they end up sleeping on Monument Circle in Indianapolis. They can’t get a job because they don’t get enough sleep, they might be drinking…


So we work on getting them housed first before or some type of shelter in place first before we look into getting them employed. 18 to 24, those are young vetrans that are transitioning out to service, sometimes don’t have a clue what they want to do, but some people as far like me maybe want to follow school, but they might not have the funds. Even with the GI Bill, things can be expensive. So we give them a good strong intensive plan as far as starting what employment goals you want to look at. And that also refer them to programs such as Chapter 31, Veteran Readiness and Employment.

Kim Lott (00:13:32):

Very good, very good. And I know you serve Vietnam-era veterans. Like you said, those are recently separated and low-income service-connected. I’m sure that’s a big part of who you’re providing services to. Wonderful. Tell us a little bit about the services that are offered to the veterans that are in your program. So you talked a little bit about it earlier. And IEP, I believe you talked about. Tell us a little bit about what that looks like.

Jeff Tabb (00:14:10):

Well, the Individual Employment Program is first of all, when we set it up, we set up the goal. The goal might be saying that they want to be employed in information technology, IT. We look at the resume. Sometimes they might not have a resume. So we don’t do the resume, we assist them to build the resume. So I might send them a template on how to do it. Even we also assist with federal resumes, send them a template on how to construct it that way. If they still having trouble, we also have class here at WorkOne and then get to see what other services they may need.


Like I say again, if they’re low-income, they might not have ways of providing themselves for job interview outfit, so we’ll refer them to HVRP, the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, maybe get assisted there, or any other veteran organization that might be able to tend to that veteran.

Kim Lott (00:15:13):

Provide an interview outfit or something along those lines.

Jeff Tabb (00:15:15):


Kim Lott (00:15:17):

Very good. I know you probably have many success stories, but can you share a particular case or success story in which you felt your particular work impacted that life of a veteran that you were working with?

Jeff Tabb (00:15:32):

I had one veteran a couple years back. He came in, he was saying that he lost his job and he’d been unemployed for at least about a month or so, and he was struggling financially. He was struggling financially to keep his home. He was showing financially to keep his car. He has a family and he was very worried and he thought that there was no aspect of assisting him. So I connected him with the Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, Easterseals Crossroads. And then now what they do, they also not only provide them some type of way of getting to housing, but they also do employment services as well.


And so we worked together and found a job for him because he wanted to work in aviation. So with myself, my LVER and the HBRP program at Easterseals Crossroads, we got that individual interview. He nailed it in the interview and got the job, and now he’s making over $100,000 a year.

Kim Lott (00:16:42):

Wow. Wow. That has to be entirely satisfying to be part of that process. And I’m sure you have many other success stories like that that you can speak of. I haven’t been in your role for so long. So, Jeff, you are just one of thousands of JVSG vet reps through the US and the territories of DC, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam that received that daily email of federal contractor listings via direct employer’s proprietary platform, VetCentral. And you talked about that a little bit earlier, the delivery of those job listings, it helps to satisfy the OFCCP and VEVRAA compliance for the employers that are in our association.


But more than that, it helps you meet your objective of veteran and eligible spouses employment. So I know that when I was a LVER, it was a great resource for me because I had all the info I needed in that position to begin my advocacy on that veteran’s behalf. And the DVOPs like yourself were integral in that process by identifying the job-ready vets on their caseload and then matching them with the opportunity, and making that veteran aware of the opportunity. So how has VetCentral supported your efforts, defined jobs for veterans with significant barriers to employment?

Jeff Tabb (00:18:09):

One thing about the program, it’s very detailed and significant of providing information from employers. I send emails numerously to my veterans and also inform my LVER of what that type of job that veteran wants to get into.

Kim Lott (00:18:28):


Jeff Tabb (00:18:29):

Yes. I try not to give them the whole entire list, but I try to at least cut and paste the exact type of job that they’re searching for. And a lot of times, some of my veterans do have difficulty with searching for jobs. I believe VetCentral is very more significantly straightforward than dealing with Indeed or Glassdoor, or any other type of job banks that are out there. But that’s always my go-to as far as making sure that to assist them, or to give them a jumpstart into looking better as far as looking at employment.

Kim Lott (00:19:07):

Very good. And thank you for not sending that entire list to them. They’ll get overwhelmed. Sometimes there’s hundreds of jobs on that daily email that you receive and you can identify the position that matches with your veteran. You can click into it, go up to the right-hand corner and forward that individual opportunity to them. So you’re going about it the way that we love for you to go about it.

Jeff Tabb (00:19:31):

Good to go.

Kim Lott (00:19:34):

So employers are going to be listening to this, how can employers support JVSG vet reps in their line of work?

Jeff Tabb (00:19:42):

The biggest thing is to know that if you’re working with a veteran, you’re getting a good product. Most veterans still uphold their military values as far as being to work on time, following orders, taking the initiative. And they are people that have fought our country and know how to keep fighting to deal with a good job. And I’m not saying physical fighting, I’m talking about as far as keep it moving, keep it moving forward.

Kim Lott (00:20:17):

That’s right.

Jeff Tabb (00:20:19):

And a lot of employers, you’re also helping out the community as well besides the veteran itself because you’re helping that veteran’s families, people they know and working around veterans, it’s a different world.

Kim Lott (00:20:37):

And they can connect with that LVER that you’re working with because is truly the LVER is the one that’s advocating and building those relationships with employers, and essentially shopping that job-ready veteran around. But those are veterans that you have helped to prepare. You’re partnering with the LVER, the LVER is partnering with the employers and that makes a beautiful situation. But integrity too. I have to tell you, Jeff, I was on travel this past weekend. I was with a group of people, I got very excited and we were on a bus going to like a tram from a hotel, going out to eat, excuse me, and I left my purse on the bus.


Didn’t realize it until I got off and was so flustered about that. I had to call the hotel and they had to call dispatch. Long story short, the driver of that bus was a Marine and he came back to the hotel, I met him at the hotel, gave me my purse, and I was just so grateful. It was just talking with him, you just discover veterans in every facet of life, every industry.


But that integrity part is there. Like you said, there’s so many things that we carry over from our military service that employers get to benefit from in their workplace. So wonderful. So what type of agencies do you partner with to achieve your veteran employment goals? I know you have partners out there.

Jeff Tabb (00:22:15):

Oh, yes. One, like I said, the American Jobs Center here at WorkOne. I partner with them as far as providing veteran with training. Sometimes they also vice versa supply me with veterans when they have programs like RESEA which deals with unemployment insurance. We help each other and assist each other of ensuring that veterans needs or may because they might have also employment resources for me. They might have job openings. They also assist me with interviewing skills, resume, resume preparation.


As far as other partners, like I said, HVRP, Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program, I got about three or four organizations that I work with that. And then also the veteran service officers in the county that I work in, they’re very integral because sometimes I might have a veteran that doesn’t have any qualifications for veteran significant barriers. But what I’ll do is encourage that veteran to at least file for a claim with the veteran service officer.


We do not do any VA claims. That’s not our job. We’re here to provide that resource. So on a monthly basis, I connect with those individuals to ensure that these veterans are getting taken care of.

Kim Lott (00:23:33):

Very good. Now, you know DirectEmployers partners with the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to have created and we maintain the National Labor Exchange. Do you incorporate the National Labor Exchange or NLx in your job-seeking efforts for your clients?

Jeff Tabb (00:23:53):

Yes, I do. Like I said, it’s another great job bank, but I’m also very impressed in case just when a veteran say they want to move somewhere else, “I want to move to Wichita, Kansas.” There’s an actual map of the United States where you can click on that state and go and find out who the exact counterpart is and connect with them that way. I think is very good. And plus you also learn about your counterparts, what they’re actually called in their states. So yeah, it’s a great program. And like I said, what I like about it, it’s straight direct to the employer. You’re not going around somebody else to get to that employer.

Kim Lott (00:24:34):

That’s right.

Jeff Tabb (00:24:36):

Plus the majority of the people on that list also are already veteran-certified or by HIRE Vets. So you know that those organizations are willing to employ veterans, not just a run around saying, “Oh yeah, thanks for your service.” It’s straight to the point. That’s what I like-

Kim Lott (00:24:55):

That’s right. Because you can filter by HIRE Vets Medallion Award recipients through there. So yeah, that’s wonderful. I love that you use it that way. My colleague, Mike Witt and I, we have relationships with all of the states and territories, JVSG programs, and we really love to be a good resource by helping to connect your veterans that are looking for work outside of Indy with other state staff.


But you’re using the platform in a great way by providing the resource directly to your vets and empowering them to use it. Because when they move to wherever they’re moving, when they want to switch jobs, again, they have that resource. And like you stated earlier, you’re not doing everything for them, but you’re empowering them and helping them in that job search.

Jeff Tabb (00:25:39):


Kim Lott (00:25:40):

Jeff, it has been a pleasure to meet you, good sir. Thank you for sharing your story with us and very candidly noting how you came into the program. I’ll tell you your personal story is a true testimony to the benefit of the JVSG program and how it changes lives for all the veterans to include those with significant barriers to employment such as homelessness. Thank you for your service then and for your continued service now, good sir.

Jeff Tabb (00:26:09):

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Candee Chambers (00:26:14):

Veterans employment representatives truly impact both employers and veterans seeking employment in immeasurable ways. The work they do is endless. And as an organization, we are happy to be able to bridge the gaps to create connections. When it comes to connections, building relationships, much like what vet reps do daily with organizations serving veterans is another avenue employers can take to support their veteran hiring efforts.


I might be a little biased, but no one offers outreach management tools quite like DirectEmployers. Our partnerships team is dedicated to making the first contact with partners, vetting them for employment programs and the resources offered to assist employers. Thanks to their work, our partner library within the partner relationship manager is chock full of organizations serving not only veterans, but disabled veterans, military spouses, individuals with disabilities, females and underserved communities.


But don’t take my word for it. Listen to this next segment as Mikey Meagher, DirectEmployers manager of Diversity Equity and Inclusion chats with Toby McIntyre, senior Communications Compliance Analyst at Oracle, about how she uses this tool to successfully fulfill outreach and record-keeping obligations and build relationships that support their workforce diversity goals.

Segment Two

Mikey Meagher (00:27:36):

Hi, Tobi, welcome to the DE Talk Podcast. I’ve been excited to talk to you more and learn about your role within Oracle and also how you utilize the partner relationship manager with your outreach management partner connections and so much more. So if you’re ready, I’d love to get into it and have you walk us through your background at Oracle and let you know, even though you’ve turned into an Amazonian, you were also a former Hoosier.

Tobi McIntyre (00:28:06):

That’s right. I actually graduated from Indiana University, so I’m very familiar with the area. Quick story, it’s funny because when I graduated, I graduated with a degree in business management, which has not really much to do with HR. My college roommate and I threw at a dart board, it landed on Phoenix and here I am. But you know what, when I came here, business management is so broad that I wasn’t sure where to take it. I landed a job with a staffing agency that does only government contracts and that really brought me into the realm of HR compliance.


They did use the competitor’s tool of yours. I’m not going to say their name. But I worked for them for several years and I actually started with Oracle back in 2016. My project was really to start the outreach program. They gave me a great… An open book, basically, to create this relationship manager and manager, of course, I began using DirectEmployers immediately. So I’ve been using your tools since about 2016. But my heart is in compliance, my heart is actually in outreach. And I use your tool quite a bit as you can see.

Mikey Meagher (00:29:29):

Yes, I know. And you’re definitely involved with our outreach in terms of the happy hours. We see you participate on that all the time too, which is also wonderful to see and be able to foster connections sometimes outside of those direct tools that lie in the background. And as you were saying, the federal contractors outreach really is the heart of your compliance efforts.


And like you’ve said, you’ve been a supporter long time using the tool. Walk me through and maybe for other employers that are utilizing this or maybe new to the PRM, how you got started using it, but more so how you organize the way you use the tool within the outreach.

Tobi McIntyre (00:30:19):

Oh, sure. So starting with it, to be honest with you, I start outside the tool. I actually go through our AAPs when we do those and I have to get… Like you said, it’s got to be organized. You can’t just go into this tool and randomly select things. So you got to kind of have a mindset. When you go through your AAPs, it gives you a good idea of what areas are lacking in what groups. So I take that information and I would log into DE and say for Chicago, we are actually trying to recruit a higher volume of women.


So then I can go through the tool, use your partner relationship manager and seek out women’s organizations through that in the Chicago area. From there, I reach out to them and build a relationship with, same thing with disabilities and veterans. They do reach out to me directly sometimes through the portal system, which is great. So I’ve made some great relationships with that.


But the main thing is get yourself organized, understand your company’s needs and what your goals are, right? You don’t want to go in there and just start picking things because it’s never going to hurt to use the system to reach out to anybody. We’re not going to say that. But obviously, if you have goals, that’s where your time would be best focused.

Mikey Meagher (00:31:44):

And I love that you brought up, you are going back and looking at your AAP first, so it’s giving you a starting point on where to look. And I think that’s a perfect way to manage it and really good advice for, again, those listening that are just new to this or just started using it or maybe just haven’t really figured out the best way for their company’s needs yet.


If you have that AAP, definitely go take a look at it. And just being able to really track your efforts throughout the year as well. Are you able to share maybe even an example or a success story of using the PRM and how that has supported your efforts, whether that be veterans, individuals with disabilities?

Tobi McIntyre (00:32:37):

Absolutely. One of the first people that reached out to me was a guy named Jose. He was a LVER or a vet rep in Texas, and he reached out to me through the PRM tool and we created this relationship. And what happened was, even though our headquarters is in Austin, he had a lot of questions because Oracle does have a lot of jobs and because we do offer national, he says, “I just wanted to touch base with you and understand all of the jobs that are coming through.” So we had this wonderful conversation. He wouldn’t have known who to contact if it wasn’t for the PRM system. And with the relationship that he built, he says, “Oh, by the way, I’m also friends with the LVER in Minnesota who was friends with the LVER in Indianapolis. He was friends with the LVER in San Diego.”


So that was such a success for me because I created this network of LVERs or veteran reps around the us which because we are national and a lot of this are virtual, provided us the opportunity to really get that hold. Because again, with us having a lot of jobs, a lot of people I think dismiss those as not real when in reality the fact is they’re just, they’re open nationally. So it does show a lot of openings because they could sit anywhere in the us. And having this gentleman from the LVER reach out to me, he understood and he was able to relay the information to other LVERs that he worked with, and they then contacted me and they were like, “Oh, hey, this is great explanation. I want to have you.”


And so I then connected a lot of those folks with our veteran hiring team. And I also now have a network to where we do. When we do our veteran internship program, I can go through the DE tool and just send out… Well, it’s email, but it goes directly into the tool. And I can send them, “Hey, this upcoming veteran internship program, keep folks that you may have in Oracle in mind.” So that has really opened up the door for that personal relationship with that vet rep and for those agencies. So absolutely, to me, that’s a total success.

Mikey Meagher (00:34:45):

And I love that. So bringing it back to this one individual reached out to you, yet in return, you’re able to connect with more levers just through that one contact. And I think sometimes with outreach efforts, maybe employers get caught up in thinking that they have to do outreach to a thousand different organizations when sometimes within that one unit or that one contact reaching out to 12 more people, that’s also getting the outreach to expand just through that one conversation. And I love that you’re having that experience, and especially for a small company of 160,000 employees.

Tobi McIntyre (00:35:33):


Mikey Meagher (00:35:36):

That outreach definitely matters in terms of the expansiveness of starting with one contact and having it filter outwards. So that’s really cool that you were able to have that experience with it.

Tobi McIntyre (00:35:50):

And it is like you said, it’s just kind of almost like a spiderweb. Once I got started and when I started, I used the OCCP library, your PRM, your new library is a lot better. I will give you that for absolute certainness, but it’s great to have that. Because once you know your goals, sometimes you have to think, “Oh, my goodness, where do I go?” So that library is invaluable as far as starting points, and not all partners are going to be a good fit. It may be they’re too small for a company like Oracle or they don’t have the same, maybe they only hire construction where we’re looking for more technical. So it gives you a place to go.

Mikey Meagher (00:36:43):

Yes. And coming from the partnership team and playing an active role in getting these organizations into the PRM along with the rest of my team, we really do take the time to talk with these individuals and vet them. And DE serves a lot of different industries and employers. So it’s not always going to meet everybody’s needs, like you said. There’s different organizations or nonprofits, rather, that will match up with an employer. But overall, and full disclosure for you, we can take it, but how would you rate the caliber of partners that are in the PRM? Do you feel like this really is a great place for employers to go without having to do a lot of the legwork and finding the contact and making sure they’re legitimate?

Tobi McIntyre (00:37:41):

I like the idea and the tool is great. As far as to rate it for what it is, it’s an excellent tool. I just feel that sometimes the contractor does need to do a little legwork on their own as well, but the tool is a fantastic starting point for the contractors. It’s not that the tool is bad. Honestly, I would say 4.7 out of five, that would be probably my rating.

Mikey Meagher (00:38:14):

All right. We’re going to do our best to get you at a 5.0 next year.

Tobi McIntyre (00:38:19):

I’m a tough cookie.

Mikey Meagher (00:38:21):

We’ll revisit this next year on November 16th. But no, I appreciate the feedback because that is important. I know definitely for our team as well, and we want to make sure you’re measuring your outreach effectiveness as best as possible and having the resources that you need. And you’re right, sometimes the contractor, they do have to do legwork on their own because we can’t always account for every city in the US to support a specific women’s organization.

Tobi McIntyre (00:38:58):

What you guys do though, honestly, is fantastic job. You’ve really covered a lot of bases. But yeah, absolutely, I agree with you 100%. There’s nothing that you could do to cover a specific company 100%, and that’s because every company’s different has different needs. So like I said, I think the tool is fantastic.

Mikey Meagher (00:39:18):

Awesome. Well, really glad to hear that. And with this month’s focus being heavily placed on veterans hiring, you already shared example of an outreach experience you had in the PRM with a LVER and how it’s impacted your recruitment efforts. Has that interaction resulted in any hiring for Oracle? Or maybe not necessarily that particular contact, but have you had a direct result or hire from the PRM?

Tobi McIntyre (00:39:53):

Yes. We don’t have an exact number, it’s nationwide. And sometimes when they apply, they don’t always choose the correct thing. But yes, we have had hires from all over the US. We’ve had a couple of folks come in our veteran internship program through my contacts that I made through this LVER. Yes.

Mikey Meagher (00:40:16):

Very cool. Yeah, we’re always curious to hear that too. So if you specifically ever have that experience or know that somebody was hired because of the PRM, we’d love to know that so we can kind of track as best as possible how that’s working and what partners are engaging. So that’s very cool to hear that. You use the partner library for those listening who are new?

Tobi McIntyre (00:40:46):

I do. I do use the partner library every time we do an AAP, we do them twice a year. I always evaluate those and I evaluate my partners that I have, and I look for where that gap is, and I go to that partner library, yes. And if it’s not the partner library, again, like I said, I’ve made other contacts through them through the network, and even that is beneficial. So even if it’s not directly in the partner library, a lot of times I get other contacts from people that are contacted through there. So it is a great networking tool.

Mikey Meagher (00:41:21):

Perfect. And we touched on where you start. When you go into the PRM, that’s with your AAPs. For those listening and really wanting to put this tool to work but don’t know where to start, maybe they’re a brand new Member or maybe somebody even new to the industry or their job in itself, and they’re sitting here saying, “Oh, what’s an AAP and-“

Tobi McIntyre (00:41:49):


Mikey Meagher (00:41:49):

“… how do I apply there?”

Tobi McIntyre (00:41:51):

Your affirmative of action plans. When you ran your affirmative action plans or if you’re doing your workforce analysis, however your company would do that, you’re going to look statistically to see where there may be goals, where you think that… Where the numbers take you. You’re going to look at your numbers of those folks that you’re hiring, those folks that your workforce is made of and find your goals. Again, like I said, if you’re looking… Let’s just grow broad, and you’re looking for, I think it’s 5.5% now for veterans, they just changed it.


And you look at your veteran workforce and you think, “Wow, I’m only at 4.1.” So at that point, you know that you need to be looking for veteran workers, and you can go into the system at that point and click that you’re looking for veterans in the area you’re looking for, and then you’re able to begin to look at some of the partners that are available in the agency and when you reach out to them, that was probably really kind of interesting for me because the first dozen or so, I wasn’t sure what to say. It’s like, “Yeah, I’m with Oracle.”


But the more you do it, the more you really become confident and you really understand what you’re asking for. And that’s what you have to portray to that person is, “Hey, this is who I am. This is what my company does. We’re hoping that maybe we could find out what your nonprofit does and hopefully partner together.” And that’s what it is. It’s not anything more than creating those partnerships. To be honest with you, you can send people your jobs all day long, but if you don’t have that connection with them, which I think this tool allows you to do easily, I don’t think it would result in any hires. I think at that point you’re just marshmallowing it through.

Mikey Meagher (00:43:49):

Yeah, you bring up such a good plan. I’m so glad you actually hit on that because that was going to be my next question about conversation starter. Because you’re right. I think at first you’re like, “What am I going to say to them and are they going to be reluctant?” And sometimes you do find that because we already have that relationship with the partner, so they’re protective of their clients and the population that they work with, and as they should be. We’re trying all to have inclusive hiring and getting into companies that are going to be the best fit for these individuals. So building that relationship first is so important instead of just going straight at it with like, “Well, we feel we need to hire here, so we’ve got these jobs available, help us out.”

Tobi McIntyre (00:44:45):

And that’s not what it is because a lot of times they may have questions about your jobs, what does this mean in your job? Or, “Hey, are you flexible on your experience?” So it’s having to build that again with a relationship with them to where they are comfortable asking you questions just as much as you’re comfortable going to them with your questions.

Mikey Meagher (00:45:06):

Yes, very good point. In a transcript, I would put that in capital letters in bold.

Tobi McIntyre (00:45:15):

Yes. And I’ve learned, like I said, using this for the last, oh, my gosh, seven years now, that that is a huge factor. And then, of course, the DE tool allows us not only to keep that contact, but to monitor it and store it for us. But yeah, it stores that contact. So when we do get those audits or those requests from OFCCP, the data and the stuff that we’ve done, we’re able to retrieve easily.

Mikey Meagher (00:45:46):

Yeah. Do you find it though better, more as a record-keeping tool or communication tool?

Tobi McIntyre (00:45:53):

I use it for both.

Mikey Meagher (00:46:02):

Okay. Yeah. Again, each company is different. So don’t really know, some only use it for communication, some only use it for evaluations and assessments in their record-keeping.

Tobi McIntyre (00:46:13):

It does help when we do our evaluations because those of you who are new, or those of you who are… Or OFCCP contractors know that recently they added that we have to do evaluations of our outreach, and this gives us the information to do that.

Mikey Meagher (00:46:27):

Again, love to hear this, love the feedback. And before we close out, we’d love to hear areas of improvement that either our partnership can do in getting more partners into the tool or any recommendations you have that way, or any updates you would love to see if you were like, “Gosh, this tool would be… I would give it the 5.0 star rate if it had this.”

Tobi McIntyre (00:46:59):

I told you I’m a tough cookie, I’m not [inaudible 00:47:02]. I think the big thing is keeping that partner relationship library fresh. And I know that’s difficult and probably almost a full-time job because people come and go out of agencies. The one piece I would love to see, we can run a report of your active partners, but to able to run a report of only the partners that are receiving your save search emails would give you definitely a 4.8.

Mikey Meagher (00:47:32):

All right. Anything to bump us up a star, or half a star?

Tobi McIntyre (00:47:37):

A 10th of a star, right?

Mikey Meagher (00:47:39):


Tobi McIntyre (00:47:39):

No. In general, honestly, I know that getting a tool like this, it’s just keeping it up to date. And you guys do a phenomenal job of that.

Mikey Meagher (00:47:50):

Thank you. We appreciate it. Yeah, we want to make sure everything is smooth and you guys have what you need. And thank you so, so much for joining me today and giving us the feedback and sharing with others the way that you utilize the PRM and partner library. I think you have it right in terms of the organization. Everybody does things a little differently, but I love the angle that you come from it and how it’s helped you with your outreach efforts and hiring veterans and individuals with disabilities. It just truly gets us excited and we do our best to present quality partners. So having conversations like this, and I know when my team listens to this, they’re going to feel really good about this conversation as well.

Tobi McIntyre (00:48:45):

Good. And like I said, it really is extremely helpful, especially when you don’t have a starting point. So something like this is very beneficial for those folks that need that.

Mikey Meagher (00:48:58):

Great. Thank you. And thanks again for joining us and I hope to see you soon on another partner happy hour, and you’ll have access to yet another organization to connect with.

Tobi McIntyre (00:49:10):

Absolutely. I look forward to speaking to you as well. It was nice speaking to you again.

Mikey Meagher (00:49:14):

Yes, you too.

Candee Chambers (00:49:18):

Building true connections with organizations is the turning point to aid in your efforts, as you heard from Toby. While building job awareness and relationships helps attract candidates, there’s another strategy employers all around the nation have adopted, and that is Recruitment Marketing. Recruitment Marketing is a powerful tool that can help organizations save money, enhance their employer brand, streamline the hiring process, and create an all around better candidate journey.


While your employer brand is tied to culture and a company’s reputation, Recruitment Marketing promotes job opportunities to potential candidates using that employer brand as a foundation for success. Luckily, we have the right flock in place for this, and those individuals are on our Recruit Rooster team. While Recruit Rooster offers a multitude of recruitment marketing services, one of their longstanding solutions is centered around veteran recruitment.


From military skills translators to career sites dedicated to veteran employment, this team does it all. Let’s hear Kelly French from United Rentals as he shares insights into their veteran recruitment and retention programs with Recruit Rooster’s chief operating officer, Heather Hoffman, and how their veteran career site has supported his efforts to attract and hire veterans across the nation.

Segment Three

Heather Hoffman (00:50:40):

All right, everyone, welcome to the DD Talk podcast. We have Kelly with us here today, and before we get started, I wanted to thank you for your service as a Marine veteran. I can’t wait to hear how your military experience has led to and supported your efforts as a recruiter. So we’re going to go ahead and kick off with our first question so that we can get to know a little bit about you. If you could share some about your background and your role at United Rentals.

Kelly French (00:51:12):

Absolutely. My name’s Kelly French and I have been with the company for about 12 years in various capacities. I am a marine veteran and I am currently the veteran talent acquisition program manager for United Rentals for North America.

Heather Hoffman (00:51:33):

All right. So if you could share a little bit about how your past service supporting the community really affects your role today.

Kelly French (00:51:44):

Absolutely. As a Marine, I had to quickly learn how to work with very large, heavily matrixed organizations, learning how to work across different units and commands, how to adjust to be flexible to changing environments, agendas, and even mission requirements. And that’s not too much different from what I do today. The industry’s a little different, but all the skills and experience that I learned in the Marine Corps definitely apply to my role in the civilian world.

Heather Hoffman (00:52:20):

And that actually is a nice little leeway into our next question, which is focused around just transitioning military and the veteran community transitioning into civilian life. So how can you or how have you used what you learned through your experiences in supporting the veteran community?

Kelly French (00:52:44):

That’s a great question, Heather. We all have to end up making that journey at one time or another in our career. And I think the military is a fantastic opportunity for veterans to learn valuable life and trade skills and focusing on the easy things to set yourself up for success actually starts before you start your transition period, which is typically your last six months of service. Some of the things you could do is look for internship opportunities like through CSP or skills bridge learning opportunities offered through the DOD.


Also, there’s free certifications that you could obtain and earn that are only available to you while you’re in the military, like the career skills waiver. Very valuable to be able to utilize that skill certification to perhaps get your CDLA or CDLB. May not necessarily want to make that a career, but definitely a nice skill to have on your resume. And I think a lot of us lose sight of the fact that we work with a lot of people that are similar to us and we miss out on the opportunity at making great contacts with, not only with our battle buddies, but with the higher-ups in our command, our senior NCOs and leadership that could support us in our futures.


And lastly, I think that we should, as veterans, target those companies that are targeting us. We go out to Brown Bag events. We have these companies come in to talk to us every month. And who are those companies? Obviously, those are the ones that have an interest in hiring people from the military for all the obvious reasons, the dedication, the commitment, the professional acumen that they bring to the table, the discipline. So I think that targeting those companies that target us is a great way to start your job search.

Heather Hoffman (00:55:09):

That’s a great tidbit. So you touched on training. If you could walk me through United Rentals training programs that you have revolved around veteran recruitment. Is there anything that you offer the folks that you’re bringing in?

Kelly French (00:55:24):

Oh, for sure. We have several different types of programs. Of course, I’ve already mentioned the CSP program, which is available through the Army. We have technician training and sales and operations training available through CSP and then also through Skill Bridge. We have an excellent technician training class that is available.


They get uniforms and they get to earn certifications or real-life skills on real-life databases with real-life problems, doing job shadowing and OJT. So by the time they finish the 100-day, 120-day perhaps training program, they’re really turnkey in our industry and ready to hit the ground running in a new role.

Heather Hoffman (00:56:14):

That’s great. And so inviting.

Kelly French (00:56:17):

And then after service, we have several programs to assist veterans with making that transition if they missed out on that opportunity for that internship. And they follow the umbrella of our vet to tech programs. And we have equipment associate to tech where we take somebody who’s basically did not maybe learn a trade skill while they were in the military and need to learn those types of skills so they can progress and grow. So we have a very entry-level program that supplies them with safety training, equipment training, equipment operation certifications and development to get them to a point where they’re able to make that leap into New York trade skills.


And then they can progress from that role into our tech training class called EA to Tech Equipment Associate to Tech, where we buy them a $5,000 Mac tool set, assign them to a technician where they’ll go through a few months of training, one-on-one with a certified tech at one of our locations where they’ll learn to become a service technician, and then continue to grow their role and expertise into higher level positions within the company.

Heather Hoffman (00:57:55):

That’s amazing. So with the veterans that you’re looking to attract, all of these nice training opportunities that United Rental offers, do you display that anywhere as you’re looking to attract their interest in your organization?

Kelly French (00:58:10):

Yes, absolutely. A great question, Heather. We do a lot of marketing, of course, and I have an e-blast that goes out to all 132 military bases located in the US, as well as all the LVER and DVOP offices around the US and metropolitan areas. We’re also heavily involved with the ESGR and actually have five events we’re running this week. So we’re very involved out in the military bases, in the public sector, in social media, promoting our training opportunities and development opportunities to all servicemen and women.

Heather Hoffman (00:58:56):

That’s great to hear that you’re so active. If you could explain to me, and in those that are listening in today, why is veteran recruitment such a focus for United Rentals? You touched on some of the intangible benefits earlier on, if you could share some others, that would be great.

Kelly French (00:59:13):

Of course. Yeah. Actually, veteran recruiting has been a part of our culture since long before I joined the company, which was one of the things I was looking for as an employer of choice. And one of the things that actually drew me to United Rentals is they were one of those companies that was out looking for people like me. So if you take a look at the industry and what we do and what’s most important for us and how we do it, we need people that understand it.


Not only just the technology and the equipment, but they understand the other qualities that we’re searching for, like the commitment, like adaptability, ability to learn and grow new skills. Which we all know veterans from the moment you become a private until hopefully, the day you’re lucky enough to retire as a sergeant major, you’re always learning, developing and growing new skills to better yourself and to meet the goals and requirements of your unit. So I think that a lot of companies like ours are looking for those types of individuals that have come up out of those environments because they understand that. That’s the way we grow our people.

Heather Hoffman (01:00:38):

That’s great. So one huge component for recruitment is obviously your career site with your recruitment brand, your employment brand coming into play, and that’s ultimately what you’ve utilized, attract candidates. And thankfully, Recruit Rooster, we’ve been able to join alongside of you and be a part of that journey. United Rentals has a career site specifically geared towards veterans. So if you could share with us, Kelly, what elements on your career site you consider the most important components?

Kelly French (01:01:11):

I’m super stoked. I’m super proud of our veteran website, and I believe it’s one of the top websites out in the industry. And we’ve been able to leverage our relationship with the Recruit Rooster to help us build out an incredible site. I mean, we have a military skills translator, and it’s not just a military skills translator, it is custom made for us. It identifies all those roles that we have that are related to skills in the industry. So when you’re putting in your details and your MOS and your background into our skills translator, it’s relating and leading you to specific roles within the company that you would be successful at.


We also have a really great search tool that enables our veterans to search for jobs near where they’re stationed. So they can click on a military base and it’ll bring up all those jobs that are within a very close proximity to the base to make that search just a little bit more easy for them. And then, of course, we put together some great resources.


Recruit Rooster helped us put together some links and veteran resources that allow veterans not only to look for education benefits, but healthcare benefits and maybe legal services and other things that maybe not directly associated with United Rentals, but things that they can utilize to help them improve their situation, or marketability, or education, or all the above in helping them assist them, make that transition into the civilian world.

Heather Hoffman (01:03:14):

I love that. So even more so of a resource outside of finding employment, but what you’re stating is that you’re providing additional resources to veterans regardless of-

Kelly French (01:03:28):


Heather Hoffman (01:03:29):

… where they’re at within the United States.

Kelly French (01:03:32):

Yes, Heather, and we also have some other items built into our military career page that you assisted us with, like the videos. I can’t imagine anybody viewing our site and just not resounding with them. We have a marine, former Marine staff sergeant in a video speaking about the company. We have little news bits and tidbits about employees that we’ve hired, servicemen and women, the roles that they came out of, some information about the roles that they came into. So I think it’s very representative of the veteran culture that we have developed here at United Rentals.

Heather Hoffman (01:04:23):

I love hearing that. Whether it be face-to-face, obviously your digital presence, and then also training. You’re just sharing some amazing and advice for employers. It’s not just a check of the box. There’s a lot of work and effort that goes into, not only attracting veterans, but also hiring and then training and retaining those employees. So thank you for sharing that. What advice do you have for other employers working to build out a solid veteran outreach program or hiring program? Do you have any recommendations for us?

Kelly French (01:05:04):

Absolutely, you have to identify with your target audience. I think that that’s the most important thing. If you’re developing your company brand to be military-friendly, then it must resound on your website. You have to have those connections. You have to build in those features. So when people, when veterans and our military spouses are out there looking for great employers, it’s evident that you’re a home for them. And I think we’ve done a really good job of that. And Recruit Rooster has helped us tremendously in identifying United Rentals as a veteran employer of choice.

Heather Hoffman (01:05:57):

I love that phrase that you are a home for them, a place where they can be comfortable and come as they are. That’s great advice. So we’ve covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, but is there anything else that you would like employers to know or be aware of when it comes to veteran outreach hiring?

Kelly French (01:06:19):

I think really the employers, I think we’re pretty set there. I think one of the things that I would like to mention to you maybe about would be some of the challenges that I know that veterans go through.

Heather Hoffman (01:06:36):


Kelly French (01:06:37):

And maybe we could speak a moment about that. We had some of the largest challenge, I think, for veterans is that they’ve been in an environment where for 4, 6, 8 years or a career where they’re comfortable. And I think that when we all get ready to make that journey or that transition out of the military, that we all need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. And I think that kind of goes for everybody that has to make that transition. It’s just something that you’re going to go through and it’s just part of your learning curve.


But there are also some other things that I think you could look into that would help you a lot too. And it’s some of the things to set yourself up for success, like failing to engage. Going back to earlier comments, you need to engage with your transition manager on base. You need to speak with the local lead veteran employment reps in hometown USA, where you’re planning on relocating. Need to attend those career fairs that you’re seeing on base all the time. Start looking into those CSP and skill bridge internship training, like opportunities to set yourself up for success in the future.


And most of all, I think a lot of veterans out there need to eliminate roadblocks for themselves. I think they all want to go out and find great jobs and look for great jobs. And I think some of the things that we could do, we could do better. Some have no voicemail. And as an employer, if I can’t reach you and I can’t leave a message, I certainly can’t hire you. Or you have unprofessional social media. With social media being so prevalent today and the ability to look somebody up and find out a little bit insights about you, I think people need to take a look at their social media page and how they represent themselves. Having underdeveloped resumes or untargeted resumes with unclear information. So I think everybody could use a little bit of help with that. And it’s just something that we all have to work to strive better to do.


And poor follow-up. I think if you’re out there in the job hunt and people are reaching out and you’re not communicating back, you’re really hamstringing yourself by passing on those opportunities. So I think that as job seekers and those making that transition to the civilian world, we really have to throw our arms open and look at all the opportunities and do all those little things that add up to make us successful.

Heather Hoffman (01:09:44):

That’s amazing advice for transitioning veterans. So I love that you’re speaking to not only the employer, but also veterans that are looking to transition. So thank you for that. I’ve heard that outside of work, you’re rumored to be quite the triathlete. You’ve successfully completed how many Ironman triathlons?

Kelly French (01:10:10):

Oh, myself?

Heather Hoffman (01:10:12):


Kelly French (01:10:12):

I’ve completed seven Ironmans.

Heather Hoffman (01:10:16):


Kelly French (01:10:16):

And three M2Os and a lifelong endurance endurance athlete.

Heather Hoffman (01:10:29):

That is very inspiring. So what drew you into competing?

Kelly French (01:10:34):

I’ve competed my whole life. I started running track when I was young and I’ve always had the fitness and endurance, and competition has just always been a part of who I am. And I think that that was one of the things that makes me successful as my competitive nature.

Heather Hoffman (01:11:06):

That’s great. I love that. Gives you a challenge to work towards continual challenge. Well, Kelly, thank you so much for joining us. Your spirit and your enthusiasm toward veteran hiring is just truly admirable. For those listening, if you’d like to check out United Rentals Veterans Site, I’d invite you to, I’m going to give this URL a shot here, it’s And you can check out some of the tidbits that Kelly was sharing with us today. And we will also link to the site in our episode transcription as well. So thank you, Kelly, for your time today, and I hope that those listening walked away with some actionable items that they can put to use.

Kelly French (01:11:56):

Well, thank you so much, Heather. I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today and address the veteran community. Thanks so much.

Candee Chambers (01:12:11):

Veterans remain at the heart of what we do. As an association, we are continuously evolving to provide better connections between employers, vet reps, and veteran job seekers. From accurate job listing services that meet OFCCP compliance obligations to relationship building and recruitment marketing efforts, I’m proud of the work we do to provide varying parties the tools and resources they need for success.


A big thank you to our guests, Jeff Tabb from the Indiana Workforce Development team, Toby McIntyre from Oracle, and Kelly French from United Rentals for sharing insights into their processes and inspiring those around them with their work.


Each of them work at varying points in the employment spectrum, but their work is driving change for not only veterans with significant barriers to employment, to find their career paths and achieve their goals, but also assist employers who are actively working to attract, hire, and retain these valuable individuals in the workforce.


Thank you for tuning in for another episode of the DE Talk Podcast. Stay connected with DirectEmployers on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and subscribe to our emails by visiting to receive notifications of new episodes each month.

Candee Chambers
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