How Small to Medium-size Businesses can Jump-start their Hiring and Retention of Military Employees

Christy Bertolo
Christy has a knack for doing it all and making it look easy. Managing over 500 Chamber members and providing them with connections and solutions? Piece of cake. Juggling a busy work schedule with three little kids? Done. And to top it all off, she does it with a smile. Christy received her Bachelor of Science degrees in marketing and business administration at Franklin University. She serves on the Children First Child Care Center Parent and Community Board, among being active with various organizations through her work with the Columbus Chamber.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council meeting “How Small to Medium-size Businesses can Jump-start their Hiring and Retention of Military Employees.” It was an engaging and informative conversation looking into some of the obstacles employers and Veterans alike face. Here are some of my biggest takeaways on how businesses regardless of size can jump-start their military employee hiring and retention practices.

Involve employees or retirees with military experience in your hiring practice. Build a small task force of employees that can help you write a job description and review resumes. Your team can be a wealth of knowledge helping to explain transferable skills. This can also be a great engagement opportunity to strengthen your existing team.

Talk with other local employers about their processes. In Central-Ohio we have many employers that have successful military and veteran hiring strategies. Mohan Viddam, President Halcyon Solutions provides free IT and business analysis training for select veterans. He works with local employers to place the candidates after they complete their certification.

Connect and work with local military and nonprofit organizations. Find out from other employers which resources work with them. The Institute for Veterans and Military families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and General Electric (GE) partnered to create a resourceful online tool kit.

Get connected. The Ohio National Guard Employer Advisory Council will be holding their next meeting on Thursday December 3rd. Join the conversation and attend.

To honor our Veterans is not to just say thanks, but to put that emotion into action. With Veteran’s Day being celebrated on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, our thankfulness doesn’t stop and end there. The skills taught and values learned from serving in the United States military has given these men and women a priceless level of accomplishment, and on behalf of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, we see it as Central Ohio’s duty to put our appreciation into action. Gain a valuable asset to your team and get a jump start on the your hiring and employee retention initiatives with military employees and Veterans.