For the longest time, it was assumed that only members of the technical trades who use a computer in their daily routine would also use the Internet to meet their career aspirations. However with the number of new Internet users growing by one every six seconds, it’s obvious that not every web visitor can be classified as a “techie.” We’ve seen the job boards expand from advertising primarily technical positions to specializing in all sorts of fields, as they do now. Yet we have yet to see the power of the Internet impact recruiting strategies in a key segment of our basic economy: hourly service roles that eventually lead to management opportunities. Presently, organizations invest recruitment budgets for these type of positions into “Now Hiring” signs, or expensive classified advertising, and hope to attract applicants that actually have a pulse. A leading employer confided to me recently that his pre-employment test has now been reduced to “fogging a mirror,” as the need for high-profile workers takes precedence over the need for the not-so-glamorous, even though open positions continue to climb in both categories. Yet a key talent pool has been vastly overlooked for filling positions like termite inspectors, customer service agents, and others. Each year, the military transitions nearly 200,000 ready-made employees, who qualify for a variety of opportunities due to their training and educational backgrounds. Those in key computer or telecommunication fields are gobbled up almost instantly, if not before they re-enlist. However, there still remains a large number of trainable, motivated, and highly skilled candidates hitting the job boards who don’t see opportunities that value the sacrifices they have made in the past, but who are nonetheless willing to put in “an honest day’s work for a good day’s pay.” These candidates have served in the military within roles not readily translatable to positions available in the civilian community. Yet while putting on a uniform each day, these candidates learned valuable lessons in leadership, planning, and meeting mission requirements. Most went into the military to learn valuable skills, but for the average infantryman or boatsman’s mate, actually got more than what they bargained for, like the development of core values such as self-esteem, confidence, and discipline. Wouldn’t these same qualities be of value to your organization? In order for an employee to develop into a good manager, it helps for that employee to have been exposed to good management principles. Good management is best obtained by using common leadership principles and teamwork development techniques, both of which are stressed in the various military services. Through military transitions, employers can obtain not only excellent candidates for entry-level positions, but also candidates who, with additional experience, will make excellent managers in tomorrow’s competitive organizations.
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