This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0
 

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 28, 2004

Military Personnel Will be Targets for Corporate Recruiters

There is a growing emphasis among employers to build diversity in the workforce. This increasing interest means that corporate staffing professionals need rich pools of diverse candidates from which to draw. Data from the Department of Defense reveals that over 465,000 U.S. military personnel come from diverse backgrounds: Over 272,000 African Americans, 107,000 Hispanics, and 85,000 other minorities.

These people are well-trained and are held to high standards, so they are ideal candidates for hungry corporate recruiters. They are attractive because of the skills acquired through their highly-effective military training. In addition, these men and women offer the vital, intangible attributes of strong work ethics, resourcefulness, ability to follow orders, flexibility, accountability, and dedication to mission. Employers of members of the National Guard and military reserves have observed that those employees often add value to their organizations; they have unique experiences and perspectives not usually found in workers who have not served in the military.

Over 200,000 military personnel transition into the civilian workforce annually. Some have completed only one enlistment period; others have considerably more experience. Military personnel completing 20 years of service are usually still in their early forties, with at least 20-30 years of additional career opportunity awaiting them. A recent survey showed that young military officers, completing their first or second tour of duty, are considered to be prime candidates for corporate leadership positions.

Even though we have an all-volunteer military force today, the intensity of combat experiences may well encourage some personnel to consider leaving the service earlier than they had planned. As economic conditions improve and corporate recruiters step up their search for top talent, we may see some employment shifts from military to civilian occupations. Government agencies, including the Department of Defense, will be particularly interested in these candidates.

To maintain strength and needed talent and experience, wise military leaders will strengthen efforts to retain career personnel. And, of course, it will be to their advantage to encourage first term members to reenlist and look at longer-term military commitments as valuable preparation for civilian careers later in life.


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