Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Veterans


Advance Praise for Field Tested:

Field Tested provides a solid foundation for capitalizing on military talent. The book helps reshape perceptions of organizational culture while providing insight into how to build a deep talent pool that aligns with business goals and vision....Page after page provides reflection and a call to action. Field Tested is on the leading edge and a must read for business leaders, HR professionals, hiring managers, and even transitioning military ...

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Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Veterans

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Advance Praise for Field Tested:

Field Tested provides a solid foundation for capitalizing on military talent. The book helps reshape perceptions of organizational culture while providing insight into how to build a deep talent pool that aligns with business goals and vision....Page after page provides reflection and a call to action. Field Tested is on the leading edge and a must read for business leaders, HR professionals, hiring managers, and even transitioning military members.” — Glen Williams, Disability & Military Outreach/Talent Acquisition & Diversity, Walgreen Co.

“This book is an essential resource for organizations that wish to ‘recruit to retain’ veterans. I particularly found the chapters on On-Boarding and Performance Management of tremendous value. They provided tools and information that are practical and can serve as a catalyst for creating a military-friendly environment.” — Texanna M. Reeves, Vice President, Corporate Diversity, Sodexo

You wouldn’t normally ask your employees to parachute into enemy camp, engage in battle, and devote their lives—above all else—to the absolute good of your organization. But when you hire veterans, you stand to bring people into your organization who are infinitely resourceful with little thought to their own self interest, accustomed to having to get things done, and always attuned to your organization’s priorities and mission. Service members share attributes such as loyalty, integrity, a penchant for teamwork, and the ability to thrive under pressure.

If you’re smart enough to hire veterans, you owe it to yourself and your employees to understand the unique considerations involved. Complete with real-world examples, practical models, and savvy advice, Field Tested gives you the insight and tools you need to recruit and retain veterans, and enable them to shine in your workplace. Practical and supported by in-depth research, the book shows you how to: attract and interview veterans • on-board them quickly and effectively • position them for success in your company • understand key cultural differences between the military and civilian workplace, and help veterans make a smooth transition • be aware of legal issues, and establish best HR practices • maintain your new employees’ interest, engage­ment, and motivation • support new military hires through coaching and performance management • help them develop lasting careers at your organization.

Far from mere patriotic duty or a diversity issue, it simply makes sense to include service members in your workforce. Field Tested gives you the insight and tools you need to attract and retain the best candidates our country has to offer. Packed with straight-shooting insight and powerful techniques, this book paves the way for veterans to succeed as civilians, while helping your organization succeed as an employer of veterans.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

excellent guide that explains subtle, but critical, cultural differences between military and corporate environments...must-read for leaders, managers, and human resources professionals across industries.” --HRWorldToday

"King issues a call to duty for businesses." --Jim Pawlak,The Career News column

“…must-read for leaders, managers, and human resources professionals across industries…This one-of-a-kind guide reveals how to make the most of America’s top talent.” --SHRM blog

“… provides a powerful and results oriented base, for both job seeking veterans and employers, to ease and enhance the transition for individuals from military life to civilian careers.” --BlogBusinessWorld

" real-world examples, practical models, and savvy advice in this book of insight and tools intended to help civilian employers recruit and retain veterans.” --Military Officer

The Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity selected Emily King as recipient of their Diversity Award 2012

"…Field Tested by Emily King, you’ll learn how to keep the best employee you may ever have.” --Terri Schlichenmeyer, Nationally Syndicated Columnist

The Axiom Business Book Award 2014

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814417799
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 11/10/2011
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

EMILY KING is a nationally recognized expert on the transition from military service to civilian employment. She has worked extensively with veterans and civilian hiring organizations, and is a frequent speaker at industry events including SHRM and ASTD.

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Read an Excerpt


THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN for organizational leaders, managers, and human resource professionals, all of whom play an essential role in an employee's decision to stay or to go. I want to distinguish the book from my audio course for veterans themselves, titled "Your Military Transition," which speaks directly to the individual veteran about some of the same topics you'll read here. The audio course is intended as a self-paced learning tool for job seekers or new-hires transitioning from military service to civilian employment.

Throughout the book you'll hear me refer to "recruit for retention," which means recruiting for lasting talent versus recruiting for immediate relief followed by recruiting to replace those who were hired and quit. I use a variety of terms to refer to the veteran, such as "veteran," "service member," and "military new-hire." These are interchangeable. The reason for using multiple terms is that many civilians and veterans alike do not relate to the word "veteran." It seems to bring to mind World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and isn't easily relatable to the gulf wars. Therefore, in an effort to be inclusive, I have provided alternative terms, and I hope it doesn't confuse readers.

Another term you'll see is "veteran-friendly." It refers to organizations that deliberately set out to attract and retain veterans. They invest, to varying degrees, in programs and marketing meant to brand them in the job market as welcoming to service members. Currently there are a relative handful of companies hitting it out of the park in this regard, but I hope and expect to see an increase with the availability of this book.

The book's primary objectives are to increase your organizational capacity by:

--Anticipating and heading off challenges related to the military-to-civilian transition

--Gaining maximum leverage from the strengths brought by military service members

--Positioning them for success in your organization.

These are three important drivers of satisfaction and retention among military hires, and they are your keys to success as a veteran-friendly employer of choice. Further, the book is aimed at increasing your own professional capacity as a translator of culture and master of making the implicit explicit. You will learn all about this concept as the book continues. Whether you are an organizational leader, line manager, or internal human resource professional, stepping up to the translator role will set you apart from your peers and directly impact the retention of your top talent. Many of the concepts and suggestions in the book apply to any and all new-hires and will strengthen your organization across the board. That said, my particular interest is in the success of veterans, so I'll leave it to you, the reader, to broaden the context to include other new-hires.

Excerpted from FIELD TESTED by Emily King. Copyright © 2012. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission.

All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents


List of Figures: vii

Acknowledgments: ix

Foreword by Sean Collins: xiii

Premise: xv



Chapter 1:

What You Get When You Hire a Vet:7

Chapter 2:

It's All About Culture:16

Chapter 3:

Common Challenges of Military-to-Civilian Transition:38

Chapter 4:

Military Transition as a Matter of Diversity and Inclusion: 48

Conclusion: 61


Chapter 5:

The Military Transition Framework: 65

Chapter 6:

Detaching: 71

Chapter 7:

Regrouping: 80

Chapter 8:

Integrating: 92

Conclusion: 97


Chapter 9:

The Veteran Retention Lifecycle:101

Chapter 10:

Recruitment: 106

Chapter 11:

On-Boarding: 129

Chapter 12:

Performance Management: 141

Chapter 13:

Career Development: 157

Chapter 14

The Veteran Retention Lifecycle and Re-engagement: 163


Appendix A:

Action Plan: 171

Appendix B:

Resources: 175

End Notes: 177

Index: 181

About the Author:187

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