Whenever there is a ramp up of operations overseas, an increased number of military personnel is required. However, as operations begin to slow down men and women retire or go inactive for an indefinite period of time. These job candidates may have varying degrees of special ‘needs’ when being reintroduced to the workforce so it is imperative that HR be cognisant of what each person’s military history has been and how that can affect, for better or worse, job performance.
Fair and Impartial Recruitment Procedures
One of the issues which many ex-military members face is the inability of employers to treat them impartially. Some employers have an open-door policy to hire ex-military in recognition of what they have done for the country, notwithstanding that they may be unqualified for the job in question. Other employers are afraid of PTSD and will summarily ignore applicants who have just come back from war, albeit unintentionally ignoring that applicant’s qualifications.
It isn’t always a conscious effort to exclude ex-military who have just come back from locations in the Middle East, for example, but there is an underlying subconscious fear that the trauma of having lived through ‘war’ could affect their interaction with the team. Both are unacceptable practices and should be avoided at all costs, notwithstanding the legal ramifications of being found guilty of prejudicial hiring practices.
Re-Introducing Ex-Military to the Civilian Workforce
Depending on that person’s length of service in the military, it could have been some time since he or she worked in the private sector. One of the things HR will want to do is provide a thorough orientation process. Not only will it be necessary to reacquaint some military lifers with working for private concerns but their approach to certain tasks may need to be relearned due to advances in technology during their absence from the workforce. HR can expedite on-the-job training and orientation with videoconferencing and online courses.
Tracking and Analysing Employee Metrics
Some companies have reported that ex-military members actually make the best employees. Having spent a great deal of time following orders to the T and recognising an exact chain of command, these men and women are an asset to any industry. There is a growing body of literature that indicates that some functions within a company are best suited to those having spent time in the military than those who never served. If your company is looking to analyse demographics and weigh the behaviours of ex-military vs civilians who never served in the armed forces, HR solutions from companies such as XCDHR can literally automate the process once programmed to do so.
The purpose of analysing such metrics isn’t for purposes of discrimination but rather to look for patterns of behaviour that indicate jobs best suited for particular personality types. This is not discriminatory and when all is said and done, the majority of analysts feel that ex-military often make the best employees because of their ability to listen to ‘orders’ and follow them to completion. At one time their lives depended on this ability and in the workforce, their success may also depend on it. When hiring ex-military job recruits, the best advice is to keep an open mind and let the person prove his or her own worth. Obedience is good, but productivity is better.