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Partnering with Veterans Organizations

My first post discussed my first partnership development experience with a veterans’ group and why I do what I do. Since that initial meeting, I’ve met with representatives from several other veteran organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project, U.S. Vets and other Veteran Affairs Hospitals. They all ask me the same thing – am I there to “check the box,” showing I’ve reached out to veterans, or am I really looking to hire veterans? They’ve been burned before. The company sends an email with job listings, a sharp looking recruiter hosts a job fair and tells the vets to go apply online and/or someone like me visits their office, talks a good game and is never heard from again. Box checked. Vets hired: zero. My answer is always, I’m looking to partner up. That means we are going to work together. I’m not going to send job links and expect you to send me some winners. I’m not going to get frustrated because you don’t have any applicants for what I need right now. But I am going to keep reaching out to you — even though your first, second and third referral didn’t turn out to be the star we thought they were when they were hired. Partnerships take time and work and I’m paid to work. So here are three simple tips for better partnerships and better placement results.

Partner Tips

1) Communication:

It’s been said before – communication is a two way street. We need openness and honesty or we both lose. I’ve been commended for the feedback I receive from my partners because without this feedback, I’m going to keep letting them make the same mistakes. Respond in a timely manner. What’s working and what’s not? Communication breakdown is a constant burden in all business and personal relationships. “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” – Cool Hand Luke

2) Quality Not Quantity:

I’m sure you have a huge caseload of veterans, but when I’m looking for a specific position I need those who are qualified and those who are ready for employment. I need you to pre-screen the candidates and bring me your best. “Great men are not born great, they grow great.” – The Godfather 3) Commitment:

If I’m committing to you, I need you to commit to me — and my outreach plan. If there was a simple formula for success I’d be out of a job, your veterans would all be employed and the company would have a low turnover while meeting their compliance needs. Good times, bad times, you know we’ve had our share. If we keep our commitment to the project and goals, we will see the outcomes. “You complete me.” – Jerry McGuire We all have goals and metrics we need to hit…and we will. Let’s start by understanding what it takes to be in a partnership, so one day we can walk off into the fog, side by side and declare, “I See the Beginning of a Beautiful Partnership.”

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