I was asked the question recently why our company specifically targets veterans in our recruiting efforts and what we do for them once they come onboard. This is a topic I enjoy talking about because I see so many meaningful endeavors here at Shaw.
First of all, why wouldn’t we want to target veterans to come to work for our company? The fundamental tenet of military life is honorable service. Any company would be proud to have men and women who hold that as a guiding principle. The armed forces teach teamwork, efficiency under pressure and the persistence needed to overcome obstacles. Those are qualities that every organization needs and the reason we recruit at veteran career fairs and military bases and consider how military service may translate to our positions and requirements.
In recruiting, whatever is listed as a “requirement” must be visible in an applicant’s materials or they cannot be considered for the role. What we know, though, is that someone who has been in the military may have similar expertise or transferable skills without necessarily meeting the requirements as stated. This is why our job postings say, “Our Nation’s veterans bring an extraordinary array of skills and training to any position. Shaw actively works to understand how these skills can translate to our job categories. Shaw will consider an applicant’s military service and work experience when determining whether a candidate meets the requirements of a posted job.” We recognize that while the nature of the experiences may be different, the competencies that military service brings with it are not. By thoughtfully considering how a veteran’s experience relates to our requirements, recognize transferable skills that their service has provided them. By doing this, we have acquired some very talented people that we may have otherwise missed.
Recruitment is not a one-way street. There has to be something about our organization that makes our new hires want to stay. Recruiting veterans is no different. One way we support our military associates is with an employee resource group we call ShawVET.
ShawVET started as a recruitment initiative designed to bring more military veterans into the fold of our organization. Over time, it has grown into a support system to also serve veterans once they are employed with our company. Currently at 150+ members strong, ShawVET provides services to deployed Shaw associates and their families as well as support in the greater community. There are company-wide collections for care packages to be sent not only to Shaw associates, but to family members of Shaw associates who are deployed in efforts around the globe. This year ShawVET contributed to a school supply drive alongside the National Guard in the North Georgia area and participated in a house build initiative called Steps to Hope also in North Georgia. Our goal is to expand our efforts to outlying areas to further our impact in the future.
In addition to ShawVET, our company honors service members with a Veterans Day luncheon and hosts networking opportunities, leadership speakers and other activities to bridge the gap between service and civilian life. As a result of these efforts and others, Shaw recently received the Pro Patia award as well as the Seven Seas Award, which recognize our significant support of associates in the National Guard and Reserve.
So, any time I am asked how Shaw supports the military, I am grateful I have so many efforts I can discuss. Our organization values the skills, talents and experience these men and women bring with them to our workforce and does everything to support them once they honor us by choosing to come onboard. If you check back with us over time, I know you will see many more exciting initiatives and programs. Happy Veterans Day to all who have served. You have our company’s as well as our country’s respect and gratitude.