As I walk into a major corporation to pitch my idea around veteran recruiting, I anticipate that the client is going to be so over the moon with my newfound approach. After all, these citizens go to war to protect us, to protect our freedom, and to protect others around the world—they see unimaginable things and come back as warriors, you get my drift. I spoke with such enthusiasm, such passion. I had the data to support my argument and some unique recommendations backing me. This is a win-win situation, I thought to myself, this is going to be an easy sell and I feel great about it! I can take my ideas to other clients. I can change the world!
Back to reality: “No, we are not set up for “that.’”
I cannot believe what I hear; my initial reaction is fueled by anger. “That”? You mean the data I just showed indicating veterans are highly skilled and underemployed? I must remain calm. Let me try this again; maybe the client didn’t hear me right.
Pitched again: still no.
I walked out of the meeting feeling totally defeated. After everything veterans sacrifice for you, the client, this is how a major corporation repays them?
And the real kicker is this: while you can implement fancy résumé software, train recruiters, and improve their onboarding experience—all which costs money—the only real investment needed is understanding. Don’t get me wrong here. There are many companies—some of which are my clients—that are hiring veterans and seeing great success through adding them to their teams.
However, I will never give up the fight for the underrepresented veterans who fight so much harder for us than we do for them. For those companies who say they are not set up for “that,” I say that you are missing an opportunity here and it might just be that your competition is all over “that.”