A Few Good Men…and Women

The common lament I hear from managers and small business owners is “It’s so hard to find good people.” This past Sunday, I saw a ballroom FILLED with “good people”.  The Hilton Pasadena was the site of a “Yellow Ribbon Reintegration” event.  The Department of Defense describes this program as:

“The goal of the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program is to prepare Soldiers and Families for mobilization, sustain Families during mobilization, and reintegrate Soldiers with their Families, communities, and employers post-deployment.”

As an employer for many years, I found the people who recently completed their military service to be a great pool of recruits for my business.  We never had to lecture them on professional haircuts, appropriate clothing and wardrobe presentation (clean and pressed), timeliness, dedication to tasks or manners.

Today’s military has lots of sophisticated skills, some immediately applicable to the civilian market.  However, for most positions within my company, attitude was far more important than skills. The software we used was industry specific and the product knowledge outside the scope they would have encountered not only for military, but other civilians as well. We could train “skills” but it was too costly and time consuming to try to “train” attitude.

Have you actively recruited recently released members of our military for your business? You could contact your local military base and find the person who coordinates the “Yellow Ribbon Reintegration” program to learn how to best reach this group of potential employees.  You can list “Military Exp Welcome” in your next on-line or print ad posting for positions.  Even adding that line to your “Help Wanted” sign in the front window of your business may attract some of the best and the brightest to your door.

Hiring the recently returned military veterans is a great way to say “Thank You” for your service.  It’s also a great way to build a winning team within your organization, a team of dedicated people who work together towards common goals and who never except defeat.


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