By Richard Morgan
(February 27, 2019, BALTIMORE, Md.) When it comes to leaving the United States military, there are a multitude of daunting tasks that have to be done prior to exiting— the foremost being finding future employment. The Center for a New American Security interviewed 87 people from 69 different companies. When asked what is the hardest part of hiring a veteran, the top answer was not being able to translate skills from the military to the job.
It begs the questions: How does a veteran get the job that fits their military skillset? Are human resource departments doing as much as they can to promote a veteran-friendly hiring process?
With the growing number of veterans entering the workforce, companies like Baltimore Gas and Electric have made this demographic their initiative. It’s changed both its approach on reaching out to veterans and also its training on understanding and translating a military resume.
BGE, Maryland’s largest energy provider servicing more than 1.25 million in electricity and 650,000 in natural gas, has created a program that reaches out to bring veterans in. It starts by having a presence at veteran job fairs, setting up booths and talking to veterans about the employment opportunities Exelon and BGE have to offer. During the interview process, BGE provides a tutorial for future candidates on how to dress, what to bring to the interview, interaction and body language during the interview and protocol on sending thank you letters afterwards.
Something that has helped set their human resource department apart is how they read a veteran’s resume. BGE utilizes the website Troops to Energy, a site that takes jobs that a veteran did in the military and translates them directly to what positions would best suit the candidate in the energy field.
The hard work of the BGE human resource department hasn’t gone unnoticed. The G.I. Jobs magazine recognized BGE as being a G.I. Jobs Military Friendly Employer Gold Recipient from 2008 to 2018. However, it’s through the veterans they employee, that they gain the reward BGE values most— work ethic and discipline provided through the military culture.
The National Center Veterans Analysis and Statistics projects the number of Gulf War Veterans entering the workforce will rise by 4 percent in the year 2023. With an increase like this, more veterans will be relying on companies like BGE to respect a veteran for more than just their duty to their country—but for the job experiences they can bring to a company.
Want to be one of those companies? On April 24, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce will be showcasing our event MD Spotlight: Veterans in the Workplace. This event will educate and inform businesses and human resource departments on hiring veterans. Hosted at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the event will feature keynote speaker Dr. Norvell Coots, president and CEO of Holy Cross Health, among others. Sign up today!