What does "Military Ready" mean?
I've been asked this question before, and I've tried to give a solid answer to why "Military Ready" is different than "Military Friendly." Now, with this blog, I've got an opportunity to really expand on this topic.
I see this a lot with businesses that are wanting to attract military talent. They are out there flying the flag of being military friendly hoping that that alone will draw in the former military professional population they are trying to appeal to. Sometimes it works and they can get some veterans to apply for jobs that they might get hired into. However, a lot of times, companies don't fully understand what military service means or how the things that service members and military spouses do correlate to civilian roles.
I'm not saying that a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy, or even a Lieutenant Colonel, should be able to walk out of the military and into a senior leadership role in a corporation, but they both have skillsets that companies are looking for. They bring leadership knowledge and experience, which can be hard to find outside of the military. They have a different way of approaching problems and tasks that, initially may be seen as too direct or abrasive, can help companies get over hurdles they may be facing internally or externally. They also know the value of building strong, cohesive teams made up of diverse people and how to leverage that diversity to the betterment of the organization.
What I am saying, though, is that very, very rarely will the hiring manager or recruiter in a company have a military background. That means they don't know a First Sergeant from a Major. They don't understand the scope of responsibility service members have, and they don't understand the values service members leave the military with and how that can benefit their company. More often than not, when a job application gets in front of the recruiter, they're looking to see if you have met the basic criteria of the job description, nothing more. The same with the hiring manager. They're not looking at whether or not someone is self-identifying as a military spouse or former military professional, and they gloss over anything that lists military service.
I know, this sounds super depressing and discouraging, but there is a bright side to all of this, so don't stop applying to jobs if you're a veteran or military spouse. Companies that are sincere in wanting to hire from the military community will make an effort to learn about the military and pass that knowledge down to their recruiters and hiring managers. Most of the time, however, this is done through trial and error in finding accurate information. This is a good start, but there are thousands upon thousands of resources out there on the interwebs. In fact, there are over 45,000 different veteran service organizations out there in the transition space to help service members and military spouses set themselves up for success when it comes to finding a job.
With all that information, though, it's overwhelming for companies, which is why they would much rather fly a "Military Friendly" flag and hope to attract the kind of talent they're looking for.
Unfortunately, hope isn't always the best answer.
Now, here's where the pitch comes in. I've developed a program that will get companies certified as "Military Ready." I know, the question now is, what does that mean? What it means is that companies who invite Suiting Green Consulting to come work with them, get run through my Boot Camp for Business course. This teaches them the basics of the military so that they have an understanding of what military service means. It helps them get to know the difference between that First Sergeant and Major. (And it doesn't come with scary drill sergeants yelling in their faces.) Once they've completed the Boot Camp for Business program, there is a continuing consulting aspect, using our proprietary Keys to the Drop Zone program, that really helps these companies identify how to target, attract, employ, onboard, engage, and retain the top talent that comes from the military community.
Hanging a "Military Ready" certification on your business is a sign that your company not only wants to hire former military professionals and military spouses, but also that you truly understand what this community brings to your organization. Your company is going to look to hire for talent instead hiring to "fill seats," which makes a world of difference when you approach the military community. Your company, if applicable, has employee resource groups that are utilized as partners in the hiring process, making it easier to decipher military resumes. And your company has the knowledge of how to utilize the various programs the Department of Defense has to bring that top talent from the military into your ranks.
I say all of the above, not to bash military friendly companies, but to highlight that there is a difference between saying you're military friendly versus actually being military ready. If this intrigues you, let's talk. I'd also like to hear from folks about what they consider military friendly to mean.