A Hire Cause

ThinkstockPhotos-177236858As a military veteran myself, I’m very familiar with the value that veterans can bring to the corporate world. The character, confidence, discipline and dedication that are instilled into those who serve in the armed forces are essential traits in the workforce.I’ve witnessed those qualities firsthand during my time in uniform, and I’ve seen them translate to a range of different professional environments during my work with Pinkerton.

As a result, I was thrilled to hear about the efforts of an organization called Work for Warriors, a California employment initiative aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among California Service Members (SMs) in the Guard and Reserve by directly placing them into fulltime employment. In just three years, Work for Warriors has helped place just under 4,000 Service Members into gainful employment.

At Pinkerton, we became involved with Work for Warriors when a member of our executive leadership team — a former Marine — ran across the manager of the Work for Warriors program on LinkedIn, Semper Fi. This connection has yielded tremendous dividends for our organization, as Work for Warriors has done remarkable work identifying promising candidates for available positions in our organization.

That work is more important for us because of the unique and demanding nature of what we do. Pinkerton is an industry leader in developing innovative security and risk management solutions for national and international corporations, providing everything from sophisticated corporate risk management strategies to high-level security services for clients across the globe.

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Consequently, we have highly specialized requirements for potential employees, and we are looking for a very specific set of traits. Individuals with a military background tend to embody those traits. Many Pinkerton employees deal with high-stress situations as a regular part of the job, so anyone with that kind of meaningful experience/background is an appealing candidate to us. Other characteristics we look for include maturity, discipline and esprit de corps (a background in protection skills doesn’t hurt).

Work for Warriors has worked closely with us to identify prospective candidates with the background, experience, qualifications, characteristics and certifications we require. We were able to describe our ideal candidates for positions we had available, and Work for Warriors would perform what amounts to a rigorous initial screening of applicants — all at no cost to us.

This service has been invaluable, saving Pinkerton significant amounts of time, money and resources and allowing many of our employees to dedicate more time to operational priorities. Our closure rate on Work for Warrior candidates is dramatically higher than with standard applicants, and we have hired 15 successful full-time employees this year alone. The results have been outstanding, and our new hires have been operational and professional success stories.

For decision makers looking to make smart and strategic hires of veterans or any other select group, it’s important to look closely at your success factors: What works best for your business model and what personality/character traits are keys to making that work? Identify commonalities shared by your successful employees, and develop a profile of what your ideal candidate looks like — both for your organization as a whole and for specific roles within that organization.

Once you know what you’re looking for, working with an organization like Work for Warriors can help eliminate the tedious, expensive and time-consuming step of sifting through thousands of applications to find a few qualified candidates. Working with a program like Work for Warriors is basically all up-side: It’s free. They help you focus on a pool of candidates that is preselected for success, and you have the satisfaction of providing new professional opportunities for those who have served in uniform and made sacrifices for their country.

While Pinkerton has highly specialized characteristics and traits that we look for in employees — and veterans tend to fit that bill perfectly — there is sufficient value in hiring veterans for nearly any company in any industry. When you hire a veteran, you are getting someone who has real-world experience. There is an inherent level of maturity there that you simply cannot find in those who are coming straight from an educational environment or training program. Veterans obtain an outstanding work ethic and have a level of discipline and a sense of service that is difficult to find.

MORE: Hiring veterans good for the country, your company

Jason Porter

Jason Porter
Jason Porter is regional managing director for Pinkerton, a global risk management firm.

Jason Porter

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