Placing Vets in the Right Careers No Joke
After working closely with Bradley-Morris for a dozen years as part of her career in talent acquisition, Connie Metzger always joked about how she wanted to join the team. When a reorganization left Metzger without a job, she reached out to J.T. Blum, BMI’s Senior Vice President – Channel Sales.
“When she called me, I thought she was kidding,” said Blum. “I quickly realized she wasn’t, and it was a no brainer. To have someone working here who saw value in what do from a client perspective and wanted to be part of the fight as part of our company is an incredible and humbling thing to see. I’m so happy Connie is a part of our team!” The rest, as they say, is history.
“I loved the part of my job that involved recruiting veterans. I had worked with competitors, but I knew BMI was the best. So, I set up a home office, flew to Virginia for training and here I am,” she laughed. “I am thankful and blessed to now be part of the Bradley-Morris team and enjoy working to place veterans into great career opportunities,” she said.
No Plug and Play
“I always felt BMI was focused on placing candidates into the right quality of life and the right geography, while some of the others were more about making money and plugging them into a job,” she said. “We go to a lot of trouble to make sure it’s the right fit in every way. The comments we see on our BMI alumni surveys illustrate that all the time.”
What does BMI do best? “We are very consultative. We keep the quality of candidate’s life very much in mind when making placements. We communicate often with our candidates. Even though they hear from us a lot, it’s a good thing because they feel like we have their best interests at heart and we’re presenting all opportunities to them. I reassure them it’s because we present them with so many resources that they’ll come out with a good career opportunity.”
She added, “I always encourage candidates that it’s okay to say no. Not every company does that, but we don’t pressure them if it’s not the right opportunity.”
Tips for Success
When it comes to finding a civilian career, “Make sure the geography is right for you and your family,” Metzger said. Her best advice for interviewing is to strike the right balance between confidence and humility. “I once got feedback from a client that a candidate went into an interview and stated he would not need any backup or assistance in the role. It’s important to be humble about learning a new company’s process. You’re not going to be the expert right away,” she said.
“I talk to a lot of veterans who have had a 20-year military career, and they may have never had a job interview before. It can be a very scary time. We are an organization that cares about their transition and not just the placement. We understand what they’re going through and all the emotions that go with it,” she added.
Metzger sees coaching candidates about what careers their skills can bring them is a key part of her job. “If you are nuclear trained – it doesn’t mean you are only qualified to work in a nuclear power plant,” she said. “And just because someone was an aircraft or helicopter mechanic doesn’t mean they always have to work in aviation. Those skills are very transferrable to many other environments,” she said.
“I tell them, ‘You’re marketable. Your resume is great. Let’s get you into a position,’” she added. “Getting veterans placed and having them do well in their jobs, it’s just the most rewarding thing I think I can do.”
By Chris Newsome