Erica Scott is the answer for 67 percent of women veterans that feel financial transition from the military is difficult. With her award-winning techniques, for 20 + year’s she has been able to help them transition back into the civilian workforce. Erica Scott is a Human Resource professional who specializes in creating strategic hiring programs for employers focusing on veteran talent. She is the founder and CEO of Civilian Connections, a human resources and business culture coaching firm. Through her guidance, companies increase productivity and reduce costs.

A native of Phoenix Arizona, she has a genuine passion for bettering the lives of others. Through serving veterans, Scott was able to realize her true passion is in strengthening the connection between veterans and employers. Scott has since assisted veterans by helping them to secure private sector employment and also help employers incorporate veterans at all levels within all levels of their companies. Erica Scott shared with me some very helpful tips as to how companies can incorporate veterans into the workplace as well as how female veterans can better transition back into civilian life.

Share with us how women veterans can increase their chances of being hired.

Female veterans need to make sure they have translated their skills into civilian terminology.  Some of my volunteer work was reviewing resumes for veterans and many recruiters do not have any familiarity with military terminology or jobs.

On average, the person screening resumes for roles will spend about three to five seconds reading it and if there are terms they do not recognize, they will move onto the next candidate.  Many non-profits and state programs have staff that will assist with rewriting the resume for free if women veterans need assistance. Many veterans tend to skip networking before they get out of the military and that is a very good way to get in front of the right people and companies.  HR knows which positions the company will need to fill for the year so veterans can get in front of everyone else by just networking.

What are the 5 ways that companies can incorporate veterans to create an inclusive working environment?

  1. Mission, Vision, and Purpose (MVP) – People want to know that they are a part of something great and will make a difference.  A mission drives veterans and all companies should have something that inspires your employees.  Your MVP is why you exist and how the world will look different when you achieve.  It is something that should be a part of every conversation and something that the entire organization works towards achieving.  
  2. Culture of Inclusivity – Companies should create avenues where people have a sense of belonging and it should be woven into every fiber of the organization.  Employee Resource Groups (ERG) help to bring individuals together with similar experiences and backgrounds to minimize the feelings of isolation.  Many companies have resources groups for remote workers, minority groups, working mothers, young professionals, LGTBQ+, and veterans.  ERG’s is a very important aspect that will help veterans interact with people who know and understand their experiences in the military.
  3. Skill Matching – It is important to create a structure where your jobs have the key skills identified (i.e., leadership, project management, relationship building, team orientated, risk management, etc.).  These skills transcend beyond their specific jobs in the military and will give you a good idea of their abilities and how the veteran will handle the specific duties in the role. This process will allow the company to match their needs to the skills veterans making the transition into jobs easier.
  4. Career Progression – Veterans are very loyal and dedicated, so the company needs to communicate their long term commitment to helping them build a career of advancement or opportunities for growth.  Companies should have a career plan or the requirements to progress in your organization identified and communicated.  Many veterans are looking for a company where they can use their skills so you will want to ensure that you have a roadmap for success.
  5. Leadership Development – It is important that your leaders know how to support employees from different backgrounds and is a servant leader.  Servant leadership puts the employees first with the desire to take them to a place of greatness.  My philosophy is to manage everyone equally different, which means that the leadership will have to be engaged and aware of the unique aspects of each person.  Veterans are not any different from employees that may have things going on in their personal lives that require changes. Leaders will need to build in contingency plans so they have a plan unexpected.

Connect with Erica Scott by visiting the official Civilian Connections website.

All images obtained on the Civilian Connections website