Win the Talent War – Evan Guzman of Verizon
Evan Guzman is Verizon’s Global Head of Military Programs and Veterans’ Affairs/Talent Acquisition, and he is passionate about his mission. Verizon was named the number one Top Military Employer by the Military Times. Last year alone, Verizon representatives attended 211 Military recruiting events looking for top talent. They have a dedicated web page for those seeking post-military careers. Guzman offers information for veterans seeking jobs at home in America, and advice for those wanting to hire them.
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[00:00] Introduction of Evan Guzman, Global Head of Military Programs and Veterans’ Affairs/Talent Acquisition at Verizon.
[02:05] Guzman conveys his enthusiasm for talent acquisition of service members returning from military service, and discusses the marketing and branding for the active pursuit of hiring service men, women, and their spouses.
[04:45] Advice to veterans coming out of the military and pursuing employment in the private sector. Be clear and concise about your strengths and weaknesses, your skills and potential.
[09:15] Opportunities for employment with Verizon are numerous and go beyond “military-friendly,” hiring ex-service people, military spouses, and wounded warriors. They provide mentorship from past military employees as well.
[17:30] Service people who show courage halfway around the world are often scared when coming home to face the American workforce. Having team members at work who are also ex-military provides a bond that helps them feel safer.
[21:00] The VETERATI mentorship platform using cellphones was recently introduced by two ex-servicemen and a spouse.
[26:02] How Guzman finds service people to hire and how other companies may be able to find them. Businesses need to make themselves attractive to those coming out of the military because they are a valuable part of the workforce and make excellent employees.
[31:12] Creating websites for service men and women to assist them in finding their way back home and building their futures in America.
Post-Military Careers for Veterans
As Verizon’s Global Head of Military Programs and Veterans’ Affairs/Talent Acquisition, Evan Guzman is on a mission to hire top ex-Military talent. And it’s not just about the bottom line. Yes, great talent is good for business, but he has a sense of commitment to vets who put their lives on the line for Americans. Military Times awarded Verizon the top spot as #1 Military Employer, and last year Verizon personnel attended 211 Military recruiting events.
A Webpage Just for Veterans Seeking a Civilian Career
In an effort to provide veterans with all the tools they will need to re-enter the workplace, Verizon developed a webpage just for them. A feature connects prospects with others working at Verizon who are ex-Military, giving a mentor to help them make the transition. There is a job skills matching tool so they can list their service job description and Verizon matches it up with possible jobs that may be a good fit.
Verizon’s Commitment to Hiring Ex-Service Men and Women
Guzman says their dedication to hiring veterans hinges on four key commitments: Support, Engage, Attract, and Retain. These are the pillars upon which their military program is built. First, support is important so that veterans feel supported at a huge transitional time in their lives. Guzman reminds us that vets are people coming back from combat missions where they faced things most of us thankfully never will. They exhibited courage and dedication. Now, coming back home, they are afraid to face the uncertainty of diving into the workforce in America. They supported us and now we need to support them.
The second pillar is engage. Verizon reaches out to vets through military recruiting events and by teaming up with other initiatives.
The third pillar is attract, and Verizon does this with military recruiting events, through their veterans’ webpage, and mentoring by others who at one time stood in their shoes and have successfully made the transition to a civilian career.
And finally, retain is all important, because there is no point in attracting ex-military talent if you cannot offer them a workplace that is welcoming and offers both growth and challenge. These are the important factors in employee retention.
New Pilot Program with Veterati.org
The excitement in his voice is obvious as Guzman describes a pilot program they were recently involved in which was started by two ex-Marines and a spouse. The idea was to “build a mentorship platform that will allow conversations to happen using mobile phones.” It was essentially a digital mentorship platform that users signed in on by using their LinkedIn profile. The initial pilot was for 30 days. Before users took part in the program, they were asked how often they felt they might refer friends to Verizon, and the average was 20% of the time. Once they completed the pilot period, that changed to 96% since both the mentors and the veterans received high satisfaction from the program. Guzman is one of the mentors and he puts aside time for it every week. The program also includes military spouses.
What Types of Careers Can Verizon Offer?
Some people think that jobs with Verizon are limited to a call center or sales. Not so, says Guzman. “We offer a plethora of career opportunities,” such as project management, supply chain, logistics, government regulations, marketing, and liquidations. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the top jobs at Verizon are held by veterans. The CEO is a Navy vet. The Chief Security Officer is a Marine vet. They didn’t just fall into those top jobs. Their military training and hard work got them there. On their veterans’ web page they point out that if you’ve been in the military, you have transferrable skills. In fact, they state, “85% of military jobs translate to Verizon civilian jobs.”
Guzman’s Advice on Finding Veteran Talent
Verizon often teams up with other organizations to let military personnel know that they are happy to hire them. They have worked with such programs as Hiring Our Heroes, e-Veterans.com, Military.com, and service academies. Of course, they are also actively represented at recruiting events across the nation. Guzman says that “72% of job seekers research companies before they apply,” so social media engagement and local engagement are important factors in reaching potential candidates.
Guzman’s last bit of advice for companies seeking to hire vets: “If you create a website, you’ve got to make it worthwhile to the service members, because they deserve a pathway to talk with people and connect with them. What I realize is that there are a lot of people willing to talk to service members and help them find their way.”
How Hiring and Supporting Veterans Attracts Others to Your Business
Right at the top of their website, Verizon makes this statement: “We’re one of the most military-friendly employers in the world.” Not only does this create a space for veterans to feel confident about applying for civilian work, it sends a message to everyone else as well, that this company honors and supports our vets. It says it to their family and friends, and to anyone who is considering using any of Verizon’s services. There is the very real connection that if you give your business to Verizon, you are also supporting veterans after they return from service. Guzman provides some statistics on this. “94% of U.S. households hold veterans in the highest regard and trust. 88% of consumers believe that companies should support military hiring, and that the public should support their brands when they do.” Verizon is taking a powerful approach, and building their brand around being military-friendly. Not only is it profitable, it is the right thing to do.