The Benefits of Building a Veteran Hiring Program for Wireless Infrastructure Jobs

By Learning Alliance Corp.

When it comes to recruiting as a wireless company, you must realize that diversification is necessary to the success of your hiring. Tailoring a specific message to different demographics allow you to identify with that group of people on a different level than just a broad message. When it comes to veterans, you must understand their mindset. By building a veteran hiring program, you can unlock the strength of this group of people and hire those that stay with you long term. So, what is a veteran hiring program?

Related: Honoring the Wireless Infrastructure Industry’s Military Veterans

Today’s recruitment initiatives involve many hours of scanning, documenting and grouping hundreds of resumes into pre-defined buckets. You will see a grading scale of pre-defined criteria and automated systems that dissect the data. Resumes may be swallowed up by that automation, and you, as a company, may be leaving completely qualified individuals sitting unanswered – even veterans.
A veteran hiring program dismisses the conventional, biased ways of recruiting and look to the demographic for success. Why should your wireless company focus and streamline hiring for veterans?

Veterans and Soft Skills
The wireless industry requires very specific skills from its technicians, foremen and top hands. Not everyone is a fit for climbing towers or working on construction sites, but veterans come with key soft skills that allow them to shine.
• Leadership – the military is all about train the trainer and building confident individuals. The wireless industry requires more and more foremen and top hand level technicians each month.
• Timeliness – there are several mottos in the military that veterans learn when it comes to timeliness: “If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late,” and “Move with a purpose.” Veterans take time seriously! A project has a timeline, so you want to make sure your new technicians are time oriented.
• Adaptability – the military aims to teach everyone “… to perform at a position two levels above his own.” – This builds individuals who can handle change and confront stressful situations. Tower climbers consistently put themselves in stressful situations, so this skill set is a necessity.
• Critical thinking and problem solving – when out in the field with limited resources, veterans are expected to solve issues with what they have. This also corresponds well to the wireless industry.
Veterans and Trade Skills
The majority of veterans leave service with expertise in a specific specialty. This is known as their MOS or Rate or whatever other military lingo that is used to mean their job. Are you aware that the military trains many of its members in mechanical-related fields? Here are some military jobs that veterans specialize in:
• Hydraulic Mechanic Technicians
• Electronics Technician for Radio Equipment (electricians)
• Electronics Technician for Navigation Equipment (electricians)
• Aviation Mechanics
• Satellite and Communication Technicians
• Engineering (Nuclear) Technicians
• Vehicle Mechanic Technicians
There are also many more. A high percentage of veterans undergo some form of physical work with hand tools where they utilize their mechanical skillsets to solve problems and repair equipment. This type of individual translates well to wireless life!

How Can You Build a Program?
Building veteran hiring programs requires a small-time investment and a willingness to see it through. Partnering with veteran-friendly organizations, like Learning Alliance, helps the process overall, and you can offset some of your cost for training or recruiting.
The key here is to give your veterans a chance. Each one has shown a commitment above and beyond a regular new hire by pushing through a 4-6-year contracted service agreement. Here are the main aspects to building a successful veteran hiring program:
• Identify your resume blockage – if you are held hostage to too much recruitment data coming in, determine ways to find and identify your veteran candidates. Once they are identified, move them along quickly to your hiring managers.
• Partner with key organizations that help recruit and train veterans for the wireless industry.
• Define a structured training environment for all employees – Veterans come from a structured training environment, so if you have one, they will prosper in it.
• Learn the benefits that come with hiring veterans from your partners. As a veteran-friendly employer, you can gain access to federal, state and local grant funds that help offset costs for the training and recruitment of veterans.

Learning Alliance Corporation (LAC) is focused on providing transitioning military service members and veterans with support to overcome the road-blocks associated with sustainable employment opportunities. The company has developed a program to cultivate skilled tower climbers, fiber splicers and broadband professionals and is helping veterans obtain careers in the wireless industry. Learning Alliance is a partner of the Telecommunications Education Center.