Bradley-Morris, Inc. is the leading military recruiting firm specializing in transitioning military and veteran talent. We make the translation between military skill sets and civilian talent profiles for top leadership, technical, sales and operations career opportunities with Fortune 1000 employers.
Picture a successful oil and gas company with a talent shortage. Several field service technicians have departed for greener pastures and those roles are not backfilled right away. Accordingly, more work gets distributed among the rest of the maintenance department. Because business is booming, work orders have increased but the staff shortage means there are delays in filling them. The result could mean dissatisfied customers and an overworked staff looking to move on. After all, the economy is booming, jobs are plentiful, and unemployment is at record lows. It’s a buyer’s market, so why should they stick around?
The bottom line is this: not filling a position can come with a hefty price tag, and it’s not just in dollars and cents. Are you willing to pay it? Can you afford to pay it?
Hefty Price Tag
Calculating the cost of open positions sheds light on how much money a company could expect to lose each day a position remains unfilled.
Formula: (Total Company Annual Revenue) ÷ (Number of Employees) ÷ 365 = Daily Lost Revenue
A company with $30 million in annual revenue with 100 employees will suffer a daily lost revenue rate of $822 per employee. According to assessment and video interviewing firm HireVue, the average time to fill a position in 2019 sits at 42 days, bringing daily lost revenue to a whopping $34,524 for just one open position.
A talent shortage also brings other repercussions to the workplace. They take the form of lost creativity and ideas; a diminished company culture brought on by overworked, stressed, and dissatisfied employees; lost leadership; and damage to the employer brand and lost customer satisfaction.
Gallup research found that on average, 17.2 percent of an organization’s workforce is actively disengaged, meaning that they are unhappy, unproductive and potentially toxic to other employees. Gallup determined that they cost an organization $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, or 34 percent, meaning an actively disengaged employee with a $60,000 salary costs their company $20,400 a year.
One way to reduce employee disengagement and keep customers happy is ensuring your departments are adequately staffed with veteran talent. When you hire veterans, you gain a loyal employee who wakes up every morning ready to execute the mission at hand. Veterans are highly effective, with superior time management and multitasking skills. They also receive more high-technology training than their age-group peers and are better at using it across a variety of fields and tasks.
Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary can help solve your talent shortage with access to over 1,000,000+ military job seekers. The solutions they offer perfectly complement one another, providing a 360° approach to any employer’s hiring needs.
Job seekers today have many choices, and their behavior reflects it. As unemployment keeps hovering at historic lows (including veteran unemployment, which is much lower than the overall rate) the labor market will likely remain tight in 2019 and companies will continue to slug it out for the best hires.
A side effect of this statistic is “ghosting,” a term previously used for friends or a date who suddenly become unresponsive and don’t give a reason. This trend has taken flight within the recruiting world. Companies are filling job roles and seeing applicant falloff by failing to show up for work on their first day or even quitting shortly thereafter without giving notice.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job ghosting is on the rise. The rate of workers who quit jobs each month (usually to work elsewhere) is at the highest rate in 17 years. It’s forcing many companies to modify their hiring practices by nearly doubling the number of hires they make in the hope that one of them shows up for work.
Although the practice was somewhat more commonplace in low-paying service positions, blue collar and manual labor jobs, it has started to trickle upward. USA Today reports that while vanishing acts are happening across all occupations, it’s especially so for the construction, manufacturing, and truck driving industries, with up to 20 percent of white-collar workers in those industries now joining the ghost ranks as well.
So how can businesses avoid ghosting in the new year? Basically, it boils down to three C’s:
Communication: Let Candidates Know Where They Stand
What kind of touches do candidates receive throughout your company’s application and interview process? Must they hang on for weeks without hearing anything? If the answer is “yes,” expect to be ghosted. After all, why wouldn’t a candidate move on when it appears to them that your organization isn’t interested?
Job one is to let candidates know their application has been received. Tell them how long this stage will take and walk them through any next steps. Same with an interview. And if it’s bad news, don’t ghost them.
Candidate Experience: Roll out the Welcome Matt
Cultivating strong relationships and positive impressions at every phase of the hiring process is vital.
Is your company’s interview/office visit experience red-carpet worthy? Today’s job seekers have lots of options, so first impressions count. Are they greeted and offered a beverage, or do they have to wait in a lobby forever? Do you offer a quick tour of the office? If your candidate is a veteran, do you provide an opportunity to speak with other veterans working at your company? These small touches can make all the difference in forming a positive first impression.
Culture: Increase Employee Engagement
How would your employees describe your organization? What steps have you taken to ensure their loyalty? Cohesive corporate cultures give employees a positive environment where they can grow and learn. Do you offer opportunities for professional development?
Finally, act quickly if you’re hiring veterans. These candidates are highly skilled and get snapped up fast. Is your offer competitive enough?
If employees don’t care about where they work, they won’t care if they ghost you. Candidates who feel undervalued or get no updates will move on. Employers must remain vigilant about providing experiences that woo job seekers and turn them into loyal and happy employees.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated, valued, and recognized. Studies have shown that appreciation (or the absence of it) directly impacts employee performance and retention. “The Last Lecture” author Randy Pausch said, “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.”
This is a theme of ours at Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary. In fact, every Monday morning our CEO, Tim Best, creates a short, informal “shoutout” video from his desk recognizing employee achievements and those who have garnered praise during the past week. Whether it’s closing a big sale, exceptional customer service, or the fantastic job that a new employee is doing, the video helps those of us who work remotely to feel connected and part of the team. It raises morale and brings a positive vibe to the Monday morning grind.
“One of Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary’s organizational values is that we are all on the same team, and it’s imperative that we celebrate the wins as a team,” said Best. “At the end of each week, I ask each department head to provide me with a big win from their team – someone who went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Appreciation is one of the cornerstones of some of the America’s top companies. A Glassdoor survey showed that culture and values are the biggest driver of employee satisfaction, with career opportunities and senior leadership coming in second. Other studies have found that appreciation is one of the strongest motivators around.
Employees also respond well to being singled out for their efforts. In fact, 81% will work harder, and more than half of employees said they would remain with their employer longer if they felt more gratitude from their bosses.
“More than 50 percent of our employees are remote,” Best added. “It’s important that they feel ‘in the know’ about the activities happening company-wide that are contributing to our success as a team. It helps us to emulate the talk around the water cooler or breakroom for remote employees.”
Susana Mendez served for five years in the U.S. Navy and worked in several civilian roles before landing at Bradley-Morris/RecruitMilitary and moving up the ladder to become its Director of Client Support, garnering accolades and awards along the way.
“While in the military, I would often be told that I did a great job. Sometimes our leaders would recognize one of us for our hard work during weekly meetings, and we would applaud them. It always made that person feel appreciated for their hard work. It boosted morale and made us give our best,” said Mendez. “Recognition whether big or small goes a long way in keeping your team motivated and having pride in the work they do.”
“I find that when employees feel valued and acknowledged, it makes their level of productivity rise. Our regular acknowledgement of employees is key to Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary being a world-class organization to work for,” said Best.
While many laborers today worry that the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) may take their jobs away, humans still possess something that computers can’t replicate: soft skills. A 2017 joint study from Boston College, Harvard, and the University of Michigan suggested that soft skills training in areas like problem solving and communication increases productivity and retention by 12 percent, with a 250 percent ROI.
LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report concluded that among the trends transforming today’s workplace, 91 percent of survey respondents agree that soft skills are very important to the future of recruiting and HR. In addition, 80 percent believe soft skills are increasingly important to company success.
The research clearly shows that there’s no replacement for soft skills, but employers continually struggle to measure and recruit for them. While hard skills are important, employers increasingly find that what they really need are employees who are adept at teamwork, loyalty, precise communication, and, especially, leadership.
Furthermore, soft skills are evergreen. The report points out, “A particular programming language may go out of fashion, but creativity, adaptability, and collaboration skills will always be valuable. Many companies still struggle to accurately assess soft skills, despite their growing value. If companies want a hiring strategy for the future, they need to change how they identify and hire for soft skills.”
A 2017 Forbes piece cited Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends report in which executives regarded soft skills as important for fostering employee retention, improving leadership, and building a meaningful culture. In fact, 92 percent of Deloitte’s respondents rated soft skills as a critical priority.
Where New Grads Fall Short
A 2106 PayScale survey of more than 64,000 managers revealed that 60 percent believe new graduates lack vital critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Other areas where soft skills fall short include:
• Attention to detail
• Communication skills
• Lack of leadership qualities
• Interpersonal and teamwork skills
Given their relative lack of experience, recent college graduates can’t be expected to leap immediately into proficiency in these areas. But veterans can.
Cue the Veteran Experience
No single group shines brighter in the soft skills category than military veterans. Just a few traits veterans bring to the civilian workplace include these attributes, noted in Syracuse University’s IVMF study, “The Business Case for Hiring a Veteran”:
The military experience is replete with making fast, tough choices in the face of uncertainty – especially in combat environments.
Veterans’ resiliency allows them to adapt in the face of adversity, overcome hardships, and excel, even in harsh environments.
As team builders, veterans excel at organizing, defining goals and team roles, as well as plans of action in order to accomplish any task or mission.
Many veterans have gained cross-cultural experiences from working with groups internationally and have a higher level of cultural sensitivity.
Veterans commit to their organization and bring loyalty to their civilian jobs, which can lead to lower attrition rates and contribute to higher work quality.
Veterans are great at transferring their skills to new tasks. They’ve been trained to plan for contingencies, different environments, and new scenarios.
As the labor market remains tight, employers must branch out and examine candidates who may not possess every hard skill needed for a role, but who have the ability via soft skills to quickly learn what they need to know on-the-job and make a positive impact in the organization at large.
Although the U.S. construction industry is growing at a healthy pace, there are challenges facing the industry. A lack of skilled workers coupled with retiring baby boomers means attracting younger talent is imperative to fill construction jobs. The solution? Hire veterans. Many transitioning servicemembers possess the desirable skills, and many executed or managed construction projects while they served.
Finding Quality Talent
According to the Association of General Contractors, 82% of construction firms expect difficulties in recruiting and hiring qualified workers in 2018. That’s an increase from 76% in 2017. Moreover, 78% percent report challenges finding qualified workers to hire, up from 73% at the start of last year. About 21% of employees in the construction industry are age 55 or older, compared to just 9% who are 24 or younger.
Roughly 206,000 military service members transition to civilian life annually. The technical skills and training military veterans acquired while in the service make them ideal for construction jobs including project managers, crew leaders, operations supervisors, maintenance technicians, and machine operators.
Veteran Hires Come Equipped with the Right Skills
Veterans have strong technical, analytical, and creative building skills. Military construction specialists build and repair buildings, bridges, foundations, dams, and bunkers, and work with engineers and other building specialists as part of a military construction team. They are trained in carpentry, building and masonry materials and construction, joints and braces, and how to interpret blueprints and drawings.
Pipe systems for water, steam, gas, and waste are used in buildings, as well as on aircraft, missiles, and ships. Plumbers and pipefitters learn to install and repair plumbing, pipe systems, boiler controls, hydraulic, and pneumatic systems, as well as soldering, welding, silver brazing and cutting.
Heavy equipment operators work in every military branch in the construction of airfields, roads, dams, and buildings. Military electricians receive instruction on how to install and repair electrical wiring systems, electrical circuit troubleshooting, safety procedures, and techniques for wiring switches, outlets, and junction boxes.
Further training in the construction, building, and extraction fields occurs on the job and through advanced courses.
Veterans are Built to Lead
How a team operates determines its success. Stacking them with the right talent directly affects any construction project’s bottom line. Veterans are uniquely qualified to assume leadership roles in the construction industry, and many already have experience with government contracts.
The military experience translates directly into other construction jobs as well: field superintendents, production managers, maintenance schedulers, and lead product engineers. Veterans bring a formidable skill set to the civilian world, among them:
Goal setting, tracking, and achievement
Strong decision-making ability
Organizing people and prioritizing tasks
Ability to pivot and change course as circumstances warrant
Clear communication of expectations
Experience learning new technologies
Worker safety will always be a focus in the construction industry, and safety in the military is an integral part of all activities. Military members use risk management processes and after-action reviews (AARs) to identify and analyze situations to create a safer work environment. An AAR gathers an entire unit to review the mission, identify improvement areas, highlight safety concerns, and create a plan to fix problem areas.
Play the Long Game
The military stresses teamwork and safety, so veterans come to the table with a heightened sense of duty. Simply by serving, they’ve proven that they can think beyond just themselves. Many veterans have managed and maintained millions of dollars of equipment and led small teams. They simply need training on industry-specific roles.
Military training programs focus on objective and task-based training. Veterans come equipped with troubleshooting and soft skills. Industry experience is a short-term problem, but hiring military veterans presents a long-term solution.
Sourcing the Right Candidates
Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary, the national leaders in military-to-civilian recruiting, can connect construction firms with highly-skilled candidates to add to your team. Our candidate database provides us access to more than 1.3 million veteran job seekers, many of whom are ideal for positions in the construction industry.
Just a note, as it is my pleasure and privilege to express my sincere appreciation for the entire Bradley-Morris, Inc. team as a whole, for their excellent work and dedication in, not only developing and building favorable relationships with transitioning service members, but with also building coalitions with top tier employer clients. I would be remiss if I did not shine a special spotlight on Greg Kern (Vice President, Sales), as he displayed great professionalism and masterfully connected me, an Army veteran who is wired for performance, with the perfect opportunity in corporate America. Greg’s communication and expertise in this transition process from day one exceeded my expectations and I want to thank him and the rest of the Bradley-Morris team for their earnest support. I strongly endorse Bradley-Morris and encourage all veterans of the Armed Forces to utilize the services of the high caliber professionals at Bradley-Morris.
Employing principles of collective leadership is an emerging trend in the workplace. Although not a new concept, collective leadership champions diverse perspectives and contributions. It leverages internal motivation and shared responsibility when groups work together toward one vision, with everyone using their unique talents and skills to contribute to the process.
This will sound very familiar to a veteran, as the very definition of collective leadership outlines the military experience. The concept that everyone can and should lead has long been the tradition of the military, wherein each branch is essentially a large team that contains many smaller teams. Whether officially designated as a leader or not, every member of even the smallest teams assumes a leadership role at some point. And no one knows better than a veteran what it means to be committed to a mission rather than to individual achievement.
Benefits of Collective Leadership
Collective leadership has been used in a variety of fields, including community development, healthcare, educational leadership, environmental sustainability and science, and nonprofit management. Just a few of the benefits of collective leadership include:
Members who are invested in the goal/mission
Motivated team players
Better self direction
When organizations grow their leadership capacity by developing leadership at all levels, they empower employees and make them feel valued, trusted, and motivated. They perform more effectively, think more creatively and can be more innovative.
Veterans Fit Naturally
Similarly, the military understands that people are motivated by autonomy, purpose, and mastery. This means that people are most motivated when they feel trusted to make decisions and develop solutions, when they feel connected to the purpose of their work, and when they can do things that are challenging and that help them to grow and develop. Allowing people opportunities to develop mastery, align with purpose, and increase autonomy increases motivation and satisfaction.
Veterans are trained to understand an important component of collective leadership: success depends on the leadership skills of the whole group rather than just one person. Shifting scenarios and environments forces veterans to be agile, to think on their feet, and to take control of situations. One Marine remarked,
“When something happens you evaluate the situation, create a plan of action, and execute the plan, reevaluate, establish a new plan, and execute the present plan. Veterans never wait for someone else to be a hero. If you are there, you are up.”
Companies that possess the wisdom to hire veterans will gain employees who are already familiar with collective leadership concepts, who are engaged and committed to continuous improvement, and who enrich their organization.
The U.S. Department of Labor has named 239 inaugural recipients of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, the only veterans hiring honor awarded at the federal level. Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI) was honored to receive this award for 2018. The prize rewards employers committed to recruiting, employing, and retaining veterans. Small businesses, community-based nonprofits, and national companies received 2018 medallions.
The award recognizes a standard for excellence in veterans hiring and was established under the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act, which became law in May of 2017. Job creators must demonstrate a solid commitment to providing veterans with the opportunity to build a meaningful career.
Recipients for 2018 were evaluated based on a range of criteria, including:
Veteran hiring and retention
Compliance with veteran-specific labor laws
Availability of veteran-specific resources
Dedicated human resources
Not only did BMI earn the award, it was also one of several companies that helped shape the awards and was an early promoter of the opportunity. The award mandates that 7% of employees hired in the qualifying year must be military veterans. Of the new hires at BMI in 2017, 51.72% were former military. Roughly 58% of all employees working at BMI are veterans; and when employees who come from military families are included, the number rises to nearly 80%.
BMI also provided information about how veterans are integrated into its company. Veterans report to a department head who is also a veteran, and the company uses Microsoft Teams to house its veterans’ resource group, where members can share resources and exchange information.
“When we heard the Department of Labor was going to establish the HireVets Medallion as a recognition program for businesses dedicated to hiring and retaining veterans, we made it a priority to get involved from the ground up. As the leader in the military-to-civilian hiring industry, we take this responsibility seriously and wanted to help the Department of Labor create a solid framework and sustainable program,” said Michael Arsenault, Senior Vice-President of Organizational Development for Bradley-Morris Inc. and its subsidiaries, RecruitMilitary and MBA Veterans.
“We’ve been walking the walk for a long time,” he added. “The purpose and practices defined through this initiative have been part of our company for decades. We are happy that an initiative now exists at the federal level, and we’re proud to be one of the few businesses awarded the HireVets medallion in its inaugural year.”
BMI previously qualified as a certified company with Virginia Values Veterans (V3), a statewide training and certification program for employers that assists in implementing best practices in hiring and retaining veterans. RecruitMilitary, a BMI subsidiary, is the strategic employment partner of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and is an official sponsor at the annual DAV 5k race held in seven cities across the United States.
If your organization is interested in applying for the HIRE Vets Medallion Award, we can help. Recognition criteria varies by level (platinum or gold) and employer size (large, medium, or small). Recipients receive a certificate stating the year of the award, as well as a digital image of the medallion for company use in branding, marketing and advertising.
Employers should allow adequate time to complete the application process. Criteria and application timelines are available here. For more information, visit https://www.hirevets.gov/.
What keeps your CEO up at night? The answers are both old and new.
Years may come and go, the names may change, but much of what keeps CEOs up at night remains the same: talent management and a solid talent pipeline. With unemployment at a 50-year low and a paradigm shift to a job seeker’s market, managing people and keeping them around are what many CEOs deem their biggest challenges.
CEOs worldwide view the future with both optimism and anxiety. A 2018 survey by PwC found that in North America, roughly two-thirds of CEOs believe global economic growth will improve, and a majority are ‘very confident’ about their own company’s revenue growth this year.
They also think more globally than just five years ago. They now worry more about what trust (or lack thereof) means for their organizations. In 2018, 58% of CEOs are concerned about how a lack of trust in business could harm their company’s growth, rising from 37% in 2013.
What Are Their Other Concerns?
A 2016 Inc. study revealed that a majority of CEOs cite “human capital” concerns as their top challenge. Four of the top 10 most critical human capital strategies:
Improved leadership development programs
Enhanced effectiveness of senior management teams
Improved effectiveness of frontline supervisors and managers
Better succession planning
The Global Marketplace
Many CEOs worry about maintaining a worldwide brand, managing different currencies, economic stability across the globe, and maintaining a consistent company culture across different regions. In today’s global marketplace, CEO’s must ask themselves whether their strategies, values, and processes work on a worldwide stage.
Human Versus Machine
Cyber threats and data protection are key concerns for CEOs, jumping from the No. 10 spot last year to No. 4 on the 2018 PwC CEO report. It was the top concern of CEOs in North America. As cyber attacks have grown in frequency and sophistication, many organizations are behind in their ability to detect and prevent them. More analysts will be needed to come up with innovative ways to prevent hackers from stealing critical information and creating havoc on computer networks.
The PwC survey also found that many CEOs find getting and keeping trust is harder in the digital era. They understand the need for transparency and want to see it visible across organizational values, culture, and behavior.
Too Much Regulation
This ranked in the top five globally in the PwC survey. From healthcare to big pharma, and telecommunications, data protection, reporting, pay, benefits/pensions, compliance is at the forefront (*incidentally, veterans understand how to keep the house in order. They are highly accustomed to following processes and procedures. And in areas where none exist, veterans know how to create them).
Staying ahead of the competition
Expanding traditional markets
Increasing operational efficiencies
Improving the bottom line
Whether it’s creating a solid talent pipeline or learning how to navigate the candidate market, the problems that keep CEOs up at night will be where attention is placed in the morning. And more than likely, it will be to strive towards a common goal: finding, motivating and retaining the right talent so that products and services meet customers’ needs.
Locking down top talent is no easy task, especially if you need them quickly and don’t have the manpower to secure multiple hires without dropping everything to search for them.
Picture these two scenarios:
Your company has just landed a major government contract. You need people fast. They’ve got to have solid training under their belts, the ability to adapt quickly, follow directions, take initiative, and own their responsibilities.
You’re a relatively new startup that has been gaining traction in your market. You don’t have a large HR department, but you need solid candidates to join your team.
We recommend a contingency recruiting firm, and here are three reasons why:
1. Time and Money Saved
Contingency recruiting firms deliver a solid pipeline of uniquely qualified candidates. Because contingency recruiting requires a low up-front investment and limited time commitment on behalf of the business, it’s a great option for growing companies. When you contract with a contingency-based recruiting firm, a fee is collected only after the job is successfully filled with a suitable candidate. You’re still in charge of the whole process – you hire only the candidates who meet your needs.
Contingency recruiting is also placement-oriented because it saves time and money by only presenting qualified candidates, which shortens the time to fill open positions. There’s no sifting through stacks of resumes.
Furthermore, the process doesn’t drain a company’s internal resources. It’s in the firm’s interest to send you the best candidates they can find as quickly as possible. When a candidate is required quickly or there are multiple positions to fill, contingency recruiting is an excellent choice.
2. Proven Process
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. When you hire a well-established contingency firm to find the best people, they’ll do it quicker, better, and cheaper than you can alone. This is because they utilize tried-and-true methods and have dedicated pipelines of talent from which to draw.
3. Lower Cost of Vacancy
There are dollar consequences when there’s a gap between the time talent is needed and the time it’s found. Unfilled positions can negatively affect profits, and the cost of vacancy measures that dollar impact. However, the cost of recruiting through the contingency process is much lower than that of a prolonged vacancy.
Additionally, talent shortages have a business impact beyond just dollars. A slow recruiting process can have detrimental results that cut across every level of an organization.
Just of few of those ripple effects include:
Lost productivity, experience, skills, and leadership
An impact on team cohesiveness affecting productivity
Employee frustration over prolonged vacancies, requiring more management attention
Lower customer satisfaction
Morale and workload can be heavily affected by employment gaps
Turnover may increase, due to any of the above factors
If we’ve convinced you to do more research on contingency recruiting firms, let us make one more suggestion: Choose a specialized contingency firm.
No one surpasses the military when it comes to equipping its personnel with valuable, real-world skills. Military-to-civilian contingency recruiting firms dedicate themselves to sourcing only from our nation’s finest talent: its veterans. They aid companies in leveraging military talent, while simultaneously providing meaningful opportunities for transitioning veterans. Plus, the tax incentives, workforce diversity, and OFCCP compliance are added bonuses!