Employers encourage veterans to apply for open positions

November 10th, 2017

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Chron

For military veterans, transitioning to civilian life can come with many challenges, a big one being beginning a search for a new career.

However, much of what they learned while serving their country can be applied to personnel training in a variety of industries.

As such, many Houston-area employers welcome and encourage these veterans to apply for a variety of openings.

The Harris County Sherriff’s Office actively recruits military veterans via military veteran job fairs throughout the year, and its past employment history with these individuals has proven to be successful.

Candidates should have a good moral character, be punctual, goal-oriented, disciplined, familiar with rank structure and chain of command, present a professional image in uniform, and be a team player.

“For detention officer and deputy positions, it does not matter which industry the applicant comes from,” said Karen Nuchia, sergeant, HCSO recruiting. “We have excellent employees from all walks of life who have a calling to serve in law enforcement. The majority of employees, who are military veterans, have become exemplary additions to our law enforcement family.

“They are usually disciplined, used to our rank structure, present a professional image, are team players and are determined to succeed in any job assignment.”

The biggest demand at HCSO is for detention officers to work at its three main jails and it constantly has openings for these positions. HSCO also will be opening an inmate-processing center in spring 2018 and will need detention officers to work at that facility.

Additionally, all detention officers who meet specific requirements can attend a Basic Peace Officer Academy, where they can become deputies.

To be eligible for an opportunity to attend the academy, a detention officer would need to have at least one of the following prerequisites: At least 30 college credits or two years of military service or have two consecutive years of service with the HCSO.

For candidates applying to a HCSO position, Nuchia advised that they promptly provide the requested documents so they can get them through the hiring process as quickly as possible.

Health care is also an area that welcomes veterans. MD Anderson Cancer Center currently hires everyone from entry level to the very experienced level in oncology nursing.

These candidates should have technical competence and experience, especially if the area they are going into is nursing. MD Anderson also is actively hiring CT, MRI and surgical technicians; in those areas candidates will need to have the appropriate certifications.

For the hospital’s business, finance and administrative positions, candidates should have customer service, critical thinking and communication skills.

MD Anderson’s candidates don’t always necessarily come from other hospitals within the industry.

“We encourage candidates from any industry that matches the job they are applying for,” said Larry Perkins, associate vice president, talent and diversity, human resources administration, MD Anderson Cancer Center.

When applying for open positions, Perkins advises candidates to make sure the information they have posted on their LinkedIn profile matches what’s on their resumes, as hiring managers are often reviewing both.

“It’s also important to be able to demonstrate your achievements,” he said. “Metrics help a resume more than a resume that might be more subjective in nature.”

Another great way for veterans to start their job search is through a staffing agency. Murray Resources in Houston is seeing a resurgence of hiring almost across the board in the area.

“As the price of oil has been relatively stable over the last 12 months, there’s a particularly strong demand in the manufacturing and midstream sectors,” said Keith Wolf, managing director, Murray Resources. “Plant managers, maintenance managers and production managers are again in high demand. Our professional division, which places office personnel, has seen a slight uptick in hiring.

“Accounting roles are in the highest demand, from CFOs to accounting staff. Demand for sales professionals has plateaued, but we typically see sales roles pick up after the new year.”

Digital marketing is another area gaining momentum, Wolf said.

“Companies are seeking professionals who can acquire customers through search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing and social media,” he said.

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