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The way to Assess a Veteran Job Candidate

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Hiring managers and recruiters: Use this three-step course of when interviewing veterans.

When solely 7.three % of the U.S. inhabitants has served within the U.S. navy, it’s not shocking that many company recruiters and hiring managers are uncertain or at the least unconfident about how you can assess a veteran job candidate.

The perfect means for evaluating a job candidate, no matter background, is to return to grasp if she is ready to do the work, keen to do the work and if she will likely be a cultural match on your group. Some name this a “can do, will do and match” evaluation. Navy veterans are not any totally different on this regard, however there are distinctive suggestions and ways that may support the interviewer when evaluating a veteran for a place.

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The veteran-hiring model of this course of may be described because the Three A’s: Achievement, Perspective and Ambition. The hiring decision-maker will obtain higher and fairer hiring outcomes by structuring his inquiry round these three ideas.


Of the three, assessing particular person navy achievement flummoxes hiring decision-makers essentially the most. Like some other applicant, and in contrast to mutual funds, previous efficiency is one of the best indication of future outcomes. The problem for the evaluator is knowing the character of the candidate’s achievements within the context of the navy expertise.

5 classes of feat must be reviewed:

Rank Development

Because the navy is a big and sometimes bureaucratic group, many facets of rank promotion are a operate of “time in grade” pointers. In some companies, just like the Navy for instance, eligible enlisted personnel can present initiative by learning for and passing examinations for promotion. Due to this fact, it’s a good suggestion to ask a veteran: Inform me about your promotion historical past within the service. Have been you promoted on monitor or forward of your friends?” Hear for responses that embody phrases resembling “meritorious promotion,” “sat for the examination” and so forth to be impressed.

Commissioned officer promotions are typically extra time-based, however one can ask: “What did your official analysis studies say about your efficiency?” Every service has a distinct identify for these studies, however all have them.


All navy companies like to challenge badges, ribbons, medals and different awards. Some determine the holder as a real fight hero (e.g., Navy Cross, Silver Star); some denote usually administrative or garrison accomplishments (e.g., Military Achievement Medal); and others are given to complete items or people for participation in campaigns or deployments. Lastly, there are some which might be mainly for displaying up or staying out of hassle (e.g.; Good Conduct or Nationwide Protection medals).

If you’re uncertain what decorations imply, and they’re listed on a resume, ask a veteran that will help you interpret, do on-line analysis or ask the applicant immediately. Most veterans are very sincere concerning the relative significance of sure awards and won’t be shy to share with you their true that means.

Do not maintain the absence of sure recognitions towards a candidate. For instance, a sergeant on a common’s workers is extra more likely to have earned formal awards than a front-line squad chief. Search to grasp the context through which recognition is granted.

Navy College Choice and Completion

Much more spectacular than most decorations and awards are the numerous navy colleges that characteristic rigorous choice and completion standards. Most hiring managers know that service academies like West Level are extremely selective schools, however what number of know that solely 42 % of those that try U.S. Military Ranger College full the arduous nine-week course? Likewise, there are colleges from Navy Nuclear Propulsion and Underwater Demolition to Air Pressure Para-Rescue and Marine Officer Candidates’ College that routinely display screen out giant numbers of beginning individuals.

Once more, ask colleague veterans, do your on-line analysis or ask the candidate himself concerning the programs he has accomplished.

Extracurricular Achievements

Whereas on lively responsibility, some veterans discover time to finish civilian certifications, levels and group service, and a few even moonlight in jobs. One must be favorably impressed by personnel who accomplish these kinds of achievements however sluggish to criticize those that don’t. Coaching and deployment schedules and the character of navy life usually conspire to make such actions inconceivable for these in in any other case very difficult roles and items.

Civilian Achievements

Like extracurricular achievements, a talented interviewer will search to grasp achievements and socialization that the candidate could have skilled earlier than or after their navy service. Maybe the veteran comes from a household of salespeople, assisted with a household retail retailer or has labored in a associated trade since getting out. By no means assume veteran has “solely” uniformed expertise. You will have to tease this data out throughout an interview, however chances are you’ll be pleasantly stunned by what you uncover.


One space through which veterans sometimes shine is angle. Teamwork, management and mission orientation are virtually certainties with most veteran candidates. However the expert interviewer will nonetheless wish to probe on this challenge. Study to distinguish between confidence and hubris, humility and self-effacement and gratefulness and entitlement.

Interview abilities on this regard are much like some other applicant evaluation, however one must be delicate to the context by means of which most service members expertise the civilian job market. From the second of their enlistment, most personnel are served doses of conflicting messages. Typically, they’re informed to count on to be embraced by a grateful nation who is keen to bestow high-paying jobs to any veteran. Different instances, they’re informed that veteran unemployment is power and overwhelming for even the strongest of their friends. After all, actuality is someplace in between, and the expert interviewer will interpret conversations with veterans accordingly.


Lastly, an interviewer should assess the relative ambition of the candidate. Is the 20-year retiring veteran actually keen to construct a second profession at your organization, or is he content material to sit back and coast?

Most veterans aspire to proceed to develop their management abilities, and they’re going to usually speak of “making a distinction” and “getting a seat on the head desk.” Do not be involved that this candidate is just too aggressive. Tradition match is vital, after all, however do not forget that many veterans see all development as largely a operate of management train. They might not but perceive that salesmanship, operational effectivity or administrative competence are equally and generally extra valued within the civilian realm. Be affected person and compassionate, however hear fastidiously for the candidates’ motivating ambition and the way nicely that matches your want and tradition.

Veterans actually characterize the best expertise our nation has to supply. Organizations of all stripes thrive after they embody veteran hiring initiatives amongst their greatest conceived and executed human useful resource methods. Do not be intimidated by the prospect of interviewing veterans. Observe the three A’s, and you’ll be one step nearer to figuring out and attracting the high-quality veteran expertise your staff wants.

Peter A. Gudmundsson is the president and CEO RecruitMilitary, a 16-year-old firm that helps organizations excel by leveraging the expertise of veterans. RecruitMilitary helps corporations appeal to, recognize and retain high-quality veteran staff and college students. Most of Gudmundsson’s profession has been devoted to management in media, schooling, data and mental property intensive companies. He has run a various vary of corporations and was president of and Primedia Office Studying. Earlier in his profession, Gudmundsson additionally served as Vice President of Company Improvement for Primedia Inc., KKR’s media firm, in New York. A former U.S. Marines discipline artillery and intelligence officer, Gudmundsson started his civilian profession as an funding banker at Morgan Stanley. He’s a graduate of Harvard Enterprise College (MBA) and Brown College (B.A.).

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