The Moral Imperative is Now the Business Imperative:
As we continue into 2019, we will see a growing industry-wide shift taking place in the talent market that is driving new business strategy. With an overall projection of 20.5 million jobs that will be created by 2020 and the labor force growth rate slated to decline this year (Jobs Outlook), employers are now even more challenged in competing to attract and retain top talent. This shift has pushed employers to rethink their talent strategies to pursue a forward-thinking approach that will enable them to stay ahead of their competitors. Looking at the trends now taking place in the talent acquisition and human capital management space, we now see two major initiatives: a focus on more comprehensive diversity and inclusion programs, and the integration of new HR technologies.
The Impact of Diversity & Inclusion on Businesses.
According to a report issued by Deloitte, “Leading organizations now see diversity and inclusion as a comprehensive strategy woven into every aspect of the talent life cycle to enhance employee engagement, improve brand, and drive performance.” Diversity programs will continue to evolve, and so will an increased focus on a hyper-diverse group of high ROI job candidates such as military veterans.
Military veterans represent a uniquely skilled and finite segment of talent with approximately 200,000 military service members transitioning to the civilian labor force each year. Veterans now rank as a Top 3 priority to American businesses, and 90% of HR professionals and hiring managers feel veteran recruitment is essential to their businesses. The business case for hiring veterans has been well established and has driven employer demand for this segment of the talent pool.
However, recruiting and retaining military veterans is challenging. While many companies now have military veteran employment initiatives in place, a majority of them are struggling to achieve desired results. In fact, only 7% of the Fortune 500 are satisfied, or very satisfied with their veteran hiring program.
The reason: Traditional recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes do not allow organizations to compete for and appropriately place a veteran candidate in the right job. In fact, the number one reason why 43% of veterans leave their first post-military job within a year is due to job misalignment.
A successful military veteran program requires a strong foundation that runs much deeper than just recruiting. It needs a phased-approach that begins with organizational planning and preparation to deploy the right applications, processes, and tools required to execute effectively and maximize business impact. However, most companies today do not have a clear picture of the number of veterans they already have employed, and lack data on their current military workforce performance and the individual needs that may cause roadblocks for their military talent to reach full potential.
The Impact of Big Data & Predictive HR Analytics on Veteran Programs.
Building the right military talent strategy must first start with a comprehensive analysis and understanding of an organization’s current workforce and the overarching business objectives. When military programs are not wrapped around organizational needs and goals, they often result in performance decline, poor employee experience, and costly turnover.
The first step any business should take is to implement a basic analytics technology that can organize workforce data to baseline the current situation and identify the veterans that are currently employed. Once the organization can look at their veteran population discretely, patterns and gaps will be revealed that will drive the development of program strategy and the proper action plans that align to the business’s goals.
- Which groups of veterans are currently operating at a high level? What attributes and experiences do they have in common?
- What military and post-military training and experiences were those veterans exposed to that assisted them in their high performance?
- Can we replicate that experience that led to high performance in other veterans who may have missed out on such exposure?
- What overall patterns should we look for in our hiring process to both identify immediate top performers and, much more importantly, those that with exposure to training and experience will themselves become high performers?
Predictive analytics technology can play a vital role in this base lining exercise providing, for the first time in many cases, visibility into the value and opportunities that a focus on military talent reveals. This data-driven approach is the only way for an organization to accurately measure the growth of their military program and its impact on the business.
Once the analytics platform is established, and all veterans (and any other class of employee for that matter) are in the system, then the power of the analytics tool begins.
As the analytics platform reveals specific patterns and cause and effect relationships, immediate action plans can spring into action.
- Targeted training should be provided to fill any gaps within the organization to ensure the understanding of military experience, practical skills translation and matching, and industry best practices. This approach is required to properly prepare the entire organization to have the greatest success with their military program.
- Improved hiring profiles can be established to target veteran with specific configurations of life, military, and work experience.
- Untapped pockets of military talent, overlooked by other employers but that possess the trainable gaps can be targeted. Here is where solving the moral imperative becomes a competitive business advantage.
Moving forward, the analytics platform gets smarter and smarter. Machine learning will organize the data and make it more intelligent as new information comes in. New patterns, gaps, and opportunities can be revealed. New veteran leaders will emerge with other attributes and correlations that can be tied together back into the baseline to feed the hiring and employee development programs.
This is not a static one-time exercise, but rather a living breathing strategy. We are just barely scratching the surface of the potential of these types of programs to maximize all human potential, and that data will reveal a wealth of value to be tapped into for the company and the people involved.
Smart organizations will, over time, realize that by weaving veterans into the fabric of their organizations while leveraging big data analytics, creates the greatest reciprocal success and satisfaction rates that benefit the employer and military veterans, alike.
This approach will provide a significant competitive advantage in an already overheated labor market, which is forecasted to get much more severe in the years to come.