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How to Hire, Train Military Veterans for Your Security Company

U.S. Marine Corps veteran Paul Boucherle explains why military veterans are perfect job candidates, as well as how to deploy a vet hiring program.

For those who follow my work and read Business Fitness, you probably know I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has leveraged my military training into a successful 40-year security industry career.

The intensive electronics training, coupled with immersive practical workloads, honed my critical thinking and troubleshooting skills in challenging conditions to complete the mission at hand — even in a monsoon!

Pilots and navigators were counting on me with their lives to make it home. There’s no better real-world experience than that! Let me tell you how my tenure as a military veteran and security industry consultant can help your company be more mission-ready in 2018 and beyond.

Here are some steps to help you evaluate, consider and deploy a veteran hiring program … now get down and give me 50!

1. Start by looking in the mirror of your company. What reflection do you see? What reflection would a veteran see? Is the image accurate or are you looking through rose-colored glasses? This step is important to better understand how a veteran may size up the cohesiveness of the company “unit” and opportunity to contribute. Take a few minutes to review, refresh and update the vision and mission of your company so you can pass muster during the interview process with a military veteran.

2. Every veteran likes a clear understanding of their role, responsibilities and mission parameters. Ambiguity here is not a good idea. While uncertainty is a reality in a theater of war, the role they are trained to perform under pressure and the authority to do it is not uncertain at all. Immersive training kicks in when the chips are down. Make sure when you define their new technical, sales or operational primary and secondary job responsibilities you do it with clarity. Objectively take a look at the job description for various roles and responsibilities you need to accomplish with “next-gen” talent in mind. Hint: if it is a simple list of tasks, it needs fixing to attract veterans.

3. Do you have the right company culture to attract skilled veterans? For civilian Millennials, your culture may need to be nurturing, provide flexibility for work-life balance, ensure you don’t hurt their feelings or provide an aggressive career path up the chain of command. Veterans have a different point of view. They are loyal to those who are loyal to them. Integrity, honesty and a clear path of promotions that lead to pay increases is important — based on their actual performance, more than simply seniority. They can better tolerate demanding and harsh working conditions, longer work hours and rapidly changing conditions. They have been trained to do that already, with your tax dollars.

4. Do you understand their training schools and the transferrable skill sets well enough to recognize a good fit for your technology, operational or sales needs? It can be helpful to have someone with experience and those insights guide you, or if you have military veterans currently employed at your business, ask them to help. This is the biggest gap in translating how a military veteran can contribute to so many different roles in our industry.

5. Does your team have the right interviewing skills to attract, recruit and properly immerse military veterans? The training that you offer will be important to veterans who want to be competent in their new role. They are very active learners of complicated technology and processes. Taking a volunteer that is 18 years old and trusting them to work on a $100M aircraft in 12 months of training pretty much is the proof in the pudding.

6. Lastly and most importantly, do you have the right stuff when it comes to the onboarding of a military veteran? They thrive on unit integrity, high morale and trust to do their best work. Is your team ready to welcome them into the company? If you have veterans working in your company, assign them a mentorship role for the first year. Lay out for them an aggressive and challenging training schedule. Show them the paths of demonstrated competence they will need to master to get their next stripe and a pay raise.

Each of these six steps will help you determine if your veteran hiring program needs a dedicated diving instructor to enter into deeper military talent pools in the future.

Matterhorn is focused on helping the entire security industry ecosystem do a better job of bringing qualified military veterans to feed your current and future talent needs. Visit salesmarines.com for more information to start your veteran hiring program and nab a “next-gen” military veteran, or just give me call at (330) 702-8292. I specialize in high diving platforms!

About the Author

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Paul C. Boucherle, Certified Protection Professional (CPP) and Certified Sherpa Coach (CSC), is Security Sales & Integration’s “Business Fitness” columnist. A principal of Matterhorn Consulting, he has more than 30 years of diverse security and safety industry experience including UL central station operations, risk-vulnerability assessments, strategic security program design and management of industry convergence challenges. Boucherle has successfully guided top-tier companies in achieving enhanced ROI resulting from improved sales and operational management techniques. He is a charismatic speaker and educator on a wide range of critical topics relating to the security industry of today and an accomplished corporate strategist and marketer whose vision and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the security industry sector.

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