Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Veterans

Field Tested: Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Veterans

by Emily King


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As the founder of consulting firm Military Transitions, Emily King applied over a decade’s worth firsthand HR knowledge to pioneer the charge of helping military professionals migrate from military service to civilian employment. Now, in this thought-provoking book, she’s equipping leaders with the tools they need to recruit and retain some of America’s top talent—and understand the unique considerations involved when working with employees from a military background. Field Tested uncovers key cultural differences between the military and civilian workplace and reveals how these differences can affect employee performance, satisfaction, and retention. You’ll discover best practices for interviewing veterans, on-boarding them quickly and effectively, positioning them for success, ensuring a smooth cultural transition, managing performance, and helping them develop lasting careers. With a wealth of unique talents and experiences, veterans add value to your team beyond your typical civilian employee. Complete with real-world examples, practical models, and savvy advice, Field Tested gives readers insight into veterans’ exceptional abilities so you can maximize their benefit in any organization.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814417799
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 11/10/2011
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

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.

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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