Transitioning from a military career to a civilian career can be challenging. Often, it’s not a matter of talent, but a matter of translation. For veterans, being able to explain the skills and experience he or she has into civilian terms is critical. For hiring managers, understanding how those skills and their experience can benefit all companies is even more critical.
The Apollo Veterans Talent Network is designed to make the connection between a veteran and a potential employer easier. The Veterans Talent Network was built for Apollo Global Management, a private equity fund committed to helping veterans get a good job after they leave the military. Apollo’s investment portfolio includes dozens of companies in industries with in-demand jobs in health care, tech, energy, and airlines. These are companies searching for talented, skilled workers.
Connecting Veterans to Good Jobs
“We have over 350,000 employees that are essentially impacted by the work that we do,” explains Kate Migliaro, director of Apollo’s Diversity and Veterans Initiative. “When I traveled around to these companies, all of them were really well-intentioned and said, ‘we’d love to hire veterans, but quite frankly, we don’t have the resources or understand how to really tap into this talent resource.’”
Migliaro, herself a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, says she thought there must be a way that Apollo could use technology to help find a solution. “I said ‘how can we do this in a way that capitalizes on the recruiting efforts from across our portfolio and allows the veteran to go to one central location to look at all these jobs across our portfolio?’”.
So, she turned to one of the companies the firm has under management, CareerBuilder, to create the hiring platform. CareerBuilder is in the business of creating technology that eases a company’s search for good talent, then helps manage that talent once they are hired. It was a natural fit.
“We found a way that we could aggregate the jobs from all of the portfolio companies and bring them into a central hub. Veterans can go and look for jobs throughout the entire portfolio,” says Mark Tomasino, Strategic Account Executive for CareerBuilder “They can fill out some very basic information and then our algorithms will recommend job opportunities based off of the information they provided.”
Veterans can also enter their MOS, AFSC or NEC code (military occupation code) and military rank codes directly into the search bar of the talent network and instantly see civilian jobs that match their experience in any location, according the VTN website.
Easing the Transition
Scott Avery is a retired U.S. Army colonel who served in an armored battalion as a medical platoon leader, was a medevac pilot, and eventually ran military medical hospitals through the United States and the Pacific. Today he is the Chief Operating Officer for Paris Regional Medical Center, part of LifePoint Health in the Apollo portfolio.
He made his transition to civilian life in 2017. It wasn’t easy, despite his experience and talent. “I put in over a hundred resumes across the nation. It just so happens that I ended up getting some of the communication from one of the headhunters that I wasn’t quite supposed to get saying, ‘we looked at his resume as a great resume. But you know what, we like the military guys, but they’re just not one of us,” according to Avery.
He says he believes the stigma against veterans is that they “really know how to do one or two things and that’s shoot a gun, fight a wall. I think companies tend to struggle with understanding the level of skillset military veterans bring to the table because they don’t fully understand what it is these individuals do, how they are trained and the diversity of their capabilities.”
“Transitioning out of the military is an uncomfortable thing as you’re trying to overcome those obstacles and those biases. You should use all tools at your disposal (to find a good job), and I could have used the Apollo Veterans Talent Network as I was transitioning,” he tells WorkingNation.
“Many of the men and women who are leaving or retiring from the military are still very, very young and still have 20 to 30 years of work. I think it’s important for our military personnel to have an opportunity to serve their country honorably and then take those skills and the leadership that they’ve been taught and go into the civilian workforce and finish out their career.”
Read more of our WorkingNation coverage of veteran and employment issues here.