THE BLOG
11/08/2013 09:13 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014
IMPACT X

Connecting Qualified Veterans To The Jobs They Deserve

Résumés don't say much about what you really did and what unique skills you might bring to a potential job. Yet, most hiring processes start with software that scans résumés to find job titles that match the position to be filled. For returning military, this method essentially tosses them out of the civilian hiring process before anyone even looks at their accomplishments.

Better Service for Service Members

We expect 1.2 million veterans and reservists to enter the civilian job market in the next few years. While unemployment is high in general, it is even higher for veterans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 10.1 percent jobless rate for post-9/11 veterans and over 18 percent for veterans ages 18 to 24. Those who do find work are often mismatched to their jobs and do not get to use their specialized skills and training.

I met a former soldier who had highly specialized mathematical skills used for laser targeting. He was stocking shelves at night for minimum wage - the only job he could find after sending out many résumés and getting no response. We need to do better for the men and women who honorably serve our country and for their families.

Changing Lives, One Job at a Time

As the CTO at Futures, Inc., I had the opportunity to make a real difference in the way people get hired and the way companies find talent. We created Pipeline™, a software solution to match military occupations and skills to civilian positions and rank candidates and jobs for relevance. Pipeline provides the backend to job portal and talent exchanges dedicated to IT, manufacturing and different service groups. For example, we support Hero2Hired (H2H.jobs), which has quickly become a leading online resource for military-to-civilian hiring. Here's how Pipeline works...

More Needles, Less Hay

It takes about four minutes to create a profile on H2H.jobs or one of the other portals. Job seekers enter their rank and military occupation codes (MOCs), skills, education, security clearances, interests, languages spoken, and where they would like (and are willing) to live. Pipeline starts pushing relevant jobs to their dashboard immediately. They can check their dashboard from a computer or smartphone any time, any day to discover the latest opportunities ranked by match to their skills and experience. With the input of a few more details, the system translates military experience into civilian terms and generates a résumé that can be understood by a civilian recruiter.

Employers looking to hire veterans or simply searching for a new source of talent take two minutes to sign up on H2H.jobs, get approved, and post jobs for free. Candidates with the most relevant experience and skills are available via the employer's dashboard. Companies who require more sophisticated tools and would like candidates pushed out to them have the opportunity to sign up for more advanced and customized tools and capabilities.

More than 125 case managers from nonprofits and agencies dedicated to helping transitioning veterans have created accounts on H2H.jobs. Pipeline automatically assigns veterans to relevant caseworkers, so they can reach out and offer their services more efficiently to more men and women.

We like to say that everyone benefits from more needles and less hay. Our service members see fewer, but much more relevant jobs, while employers connect immediately to the best military personnel for their job requirements.

  • For job seekers, offer-to-interview ratios are 52 percent on average, about 10X over traditional models.
  • Employers get a list of 10 qualified candidates with 80 percent matches vs. a list of 100 unfiltered candidates.
  • Case managers know when someone who needs their service is in their area.

Found through Translation

Behind the button is cloud-based technology that has the power to quickly match massive amounts of data and deliver meaningful results. We spent six years researching and mapping 9,200 MOCs to more than 950 careers. Our patent-pending algorithms leverage 580 job types mapped to 3,700 skills and certifications. An Army reservist who wants to live in Arizona can create a profile with a rank of E7 and an MOS of 88M. We know he can drive heavy equipment including trucks in stressful environments, and automatically match him to a caseworker in Phoenix with relevant job openings in transportation and logistics.

Remember the veteran who was stocking shelves? He created a profile in our system and discovered several jobs that fit his unique talents. He quickly located the right job opportunity for him, nailed the interview and won a 6-figure job in logistics for a global company and a reserve position with the National Guard. We all benefit when his training and experience are put to use in the economy and the service. He had great training and experience, but just didn't know how to tell civilian employers what he could do for them. Pipeline connected him to the right opportunity, right away, and didn't bury it in a long list of less relevant jobs.

No One Left Behind

Military people are disciplined, highly trained, problem solvers who have proven themselves in very stressful conditions. In September, Futures' technology helped more than 23,000 veterans find the right job with the right skills. I'll say it another way, in one month, we helped companies fill 23,871 jobs with highly skilled, experienced veterans. The results are real and lasting for veterans, their families and our economy.

A few months ago, I visited Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A lady stopped me in the hall. She hugged me and then her daughter hugged me. Her husband was a veteran who had been so discouraged by the job search that he had stopped looking for work. They were living on unemployment when she convinced him to register for a hiring event. Pipeline converted his background and connected him to a specific employer. His wife convinced him to go to the interview. In one afternoon, he had an interview and a job offer. This is what keeps my team going: the chance to produce real results that positively impact peoples lives. They have served us well so the least we can do is serve them equally well.

The Futures Pipeline technology was developed with funding support from Cisco. Veterans and transitioning military personnel can create a free profile at H2H.jobs to take advantage of these career resources.