recruiting veteransEvery year, nearly 250,000 service members transition out of the armed services. They take with them knowledge and skills that not only benefit military organizations, but any company serving the federal government. They tend to be educated, disciplined, and professional individuals with strong work ethics. Focusing recruiting efforts on them makes sense on every metric.

However, simply working with the government is not a strong enough recruiting tactic. Providing a military-friendly work environment is what attracts them and focusing recruiting efforts around that message is important. recently published an article called Five Things to Help Recruit Veterans to Your Business. Here are five recruiting practices that will help your company draw in veterans:

  1. Develop a winning military recruiting strategy.This strategy can be as simple as attending job fairs on military installations and advertising on military-centered media properties, such as’s Careers Channel.
  2. Leverage networks and your existing team members.Your veteran workforce is a great referral network. Develop a strategy to encourage (and reward) referrals.
  3. Market your organization as an employer of choice.Building your brand for this demographic is different than other prospective employees. Understand what value you offer and create specific recruitment materials around it. (This recommendation ties in directly with recruitment research, and information on our upcoming webinar on the topic follows at the end of this article.)
  4. Utilize existing government and private initiatives.Venture out to new recruiting websites, such as and As with any kind of marketing, you need to go where your prospects are.
  5. Know how to translate military jargon into civilian skills.The transition from military life to civilian life can be challenging. Throw in new vocabulary and it can be overwhelming. You’ll stand out as a military-friendly company if you use current veterans in your company to mentor new employees through this transition. That support will make them more likely to help you recruit their friends (tip 2).

Learn How Recruitment Branding Research Can Help You

What will make your company really stand out for veterans seeking jobs? Recruitment research can give you the answers. Join the next webinar in our Best Practices series on “Using Research to Recruit and Retain the Right Talent for Your Company” to learn how.

Join Market Connections Vice President, Laurie Morrow, as she shares how using this type of research can help you understand:

  • How top candidates perceive your organization and your competitors
  • Candidates key needs and wants for an ideal workplace
  • Barriers to attaining and retaining staff

Thurs, October 12, 2017
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EDT

Register Now

Jean O'Brien on recruiting across generations

Jean O’Brien,
The O’Brien Group

Recruiting is complex for many reasons, not the least of which is individuals from different generations are often looking for different things in their work environment. That means savvy companies need to understand what appeals to their talent based not only the actual job, but a host of factors.

Jean O’Brien, PHR and President of The O’Brien Group, LLC works with companies to create effective career development programs and increase retention. As a career strategist and career transition coach, she also works with the job seekers, giving her a keen understanding of what they value in the workplace. Jean sat down with us to provide her perspective on how to recruit across generations.

MC: What are different generations looking for in a work environment?

recruiting across generationsJean: There are some generalities that I have seen whether you are recruiting individuals from a specific generation or recruiting individuals into an existing environment.

  • Millennials (1980-2000) are very entrepreneurial and are looking for an environment where they feel the organization is truly making a positive difference; they want top leaders to be involved with the community. They move fast and want to be included in all decisions and actions, which is not always possible. They want to learn and be challenged to move their career. They seek collaboration and don’t want to work alone, and they value diversity.
  • Generation X (1965-1979) right now is feeling the weight of being in the middle between the boomers, who may still command and run the company, and the millennials. They want independence and are self-reliant. A work-life balance is very important. They face challenges with creating new environments, keeping pace with technology, and strategically moving the corporate culture forward.
  • Many baby boomers (1946-1964) remain comfortable in the more traditional work environments. They like doing their job and being productive, and they want to be valued for it. They value the corporate structure and the hierarchy of leadership.
  • And it’s not too soon to think about Gen Z, who will enter the workforce in a few years. Early predictions indicate they will be better multi-taskers, more entrepreneurial, born into a world overrun with technology, have more in common with global peers than adults in our country and want companies that make a difference.

MC: These are very different needs. Where are some of the most common disconnects you see when you work with organizations, particularly in relation to generational differences?

Jean: One of the biggest challenges is accepting the differences and finding the flexibility to address them. For example, Millennials want the freedom and choice to work where and how they want, which means not being tethered to a single workstation all day. They favor open floorplans and collaborative workspaces where they can be connected and management is approachable. The Baby Boomers often resist this; they want a private space where they can do their work without interruptions. The Boomers especially feel they have earned the window and private office. They don’t want everything to be tech oriented and would like more respect for their accomplishments from the younger generation.

The Gen Xers are straddling the middle, making the changes and trying to keep everyone happy while keeping the company productive.

I’ve been working with some large companies planning how to incorporate these open office concepts. The companies that acknowledge the challenges and provide the leadership coaching to overcome a resistance to change are having more success.

MC: What are the most important things companies can do to recruit and retain good talent?

Jean: I think this hasn’t changed over the years. To attract the right talent, be clear about what is truly needed for the position and be realistic about the different skills required. I see so many job descriptions that just aren’t realistic—nobody could have all of those skills. I think clearly defining required leadership and communication skills for management level people is also critical.

Not all recruiting energy is focused on recruiting younger generations. There are positions for which the skills that can only be gained through work experience may really be more valuable than the tech skills entry-level employees bring. Again, being clear in the positions descriptions will help recruit the person who will add the most value to the company.

It is also important to accept that retaining good talent has changed. Employees may not stay for years and years, and keeping employees may require investment from the company. I have a list of 11 things that help retain employees. Some of them may seem small, but they are all important.

  1. Retaining good talent begins by recruiting and hiring the right person for the right job
  2. Have strong internal branding so all employees understand the core values
  3. Value good communication
  4. Work with people so they understand change
  5. Be approachable
  6. Offer opportunities to grow and be valued
  7. Challenge everyone to be good supervisors (whether they are a supervisor or not)
  8. Recognize accomplishments
  9. Provide active participation for all generations
  10. Enhance community development
  11. Have good coffee and food

Thank you Jean! These are great tips. If you need some advice on how to recruit and retain employees across generations, contact Jean.

Learn How Recruitment Branding Research Can Help You

While Jean’s advice is universal across industries, you can drill down to more specifics for your own company with recruitment research. Join the next webinar in our Best Practices series “Using Research to Recruit and Retain the Right Talent for Your Company” to learn how. Join Market Connections Vice President Laurie Morrow as she shares how using this type of research can help you understand:

  • How top candidates perceive your organization and your competitors
  • Candidates key needs and wants for an ideal workplace
  • Barriers to attaining and retaining staff

Thurs, October 12, 2017
11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EDT

Register Now

Every year, Fortune unveils a list of the 100 best places to work, and Great Places to Work analyzes the factors that land companies on this list. These factors are the kind of things companies and agencies are looking to uncover when they commission recruitment branding, because these are the very things that attract bright talent.

A few weeks ago, we looked at the first prediction: a fairer place to work. Today, we look at the second prediction from the report.

invest peoplePrediction 2: Increased Focus on Developing All Employees

Companies and agencies that thrive will invest in their people. All of them.

The study shows over the past 20 years, Best Companies consistently stand apart for their efforts to help employees reach their full potential. Perhaps this isn’t as much of a prediction as a solid truth.

Here is some data: In 1998, the average company on the list offered employees approximately 35 hours per year of training and development — basically a full work week. There has been 76% increase in that number since the first Fortune list. Today, best companies offer more than 58 hours for hourly employees, and 65 hours for salaried employees. These organizations don’t limit training opportunities to leadership or “high potential” employees. Success comes from offering access to real-time feedback and growth opportunities to everyone, regardless of their role.

In the workplace of the future, best companies will offer consistent professional development across the workforce, with an emphasis on mentoring and easily accessible training (including “self-serve” lessons employees can access in short segments online).

Download the full Predictions report for more in depth information on the prediction.

fair workplaceEvery year, Fortune unveils a list of the 100 best places to work. As researchers, we like to look at the data and see the trends. That’s why we are thrilled Great Places to Work analyzed the various factors that landed companies on this list to come up with three predictions for the workplace of the future (hint: a fair workplace is at the top of the list).

When companies come to us for recruitment research, one of their key concerns is what type of culture will attract the best and brightest? A Deloitte survey reinforces: Nearly seven in ten executives said company culture will be critical to realizing their organizational mission.

Over the next several weeks, we will look at the predictions from the report and what they mean.

Prediction 1: A Fair Workplace for All Employees

People want a fair workplace. They wanted to be treated fairly in all aspects of their life, and work is absolutely no exception. Over the last 20 years, the best places to work place a value on fairness employees notice and appreciate. For example, here are some results from the 1998 list versus the 2017:

  • Promotions go to those who best deserve them: 56% versus 75%
  • Managers avoid playing favorites: 55% versus 74%
  • If I am unfairly treated, I believe I’ll be given a fair shake if I appeal: 68% versus 81%

The conclusion in the report: “In studying the 2017 100 Best and the non-winning contender companies, we found the more consistent and inclusive an organization’s culture of trust is, and the more diverse it is demographically, the more likely it is to outperform peers in revenue growth.”

Are you seeing the impact of an atmosphere of fairness in your company? We’d love to hear about it.

Download the full Predictions report; it’s an interesting read.

Learn How Recruitment Branding Research Can Help You

Our next webinar, Best Practices: Using Research to Recruit and Retain the Right Talent for Your Company, is coming up on Thurs, October 12, 2017 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EDT

Join Market Connections’ Vice President Laurie Morrow as she shares how using this type of research can help you understand how top candidates perceive your company and your competitors, what their key needs and wants are for an ideal workplace, as well as barriers to attaining and retaining staff. Learn how this research can help your HR team develop and improve the right strategies to recruit and retain the best candidates for your market.

Register Now

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