Fostering Excellence
Bringing out the best in each of us
As a leader of business professionals, you may not work in your company’s HR department, but you probably have been involved in many HR processes such as performance evaluations, interviews, promotion selections etc. If you have years under your belt as a leader, these processes are probably second nature to you. For your up-and-coming supervisors, however, conducting an evaluation may be their first experience implementing an HR process. Ensuring that your company has the best possible HR posture and that it is effectively executing all those critical processes can be a challenge.

Your military employee can be a great asset to your company in those roles that involve HR processes, specifically because in their military careers they will likely have been heavily involved in a number of HR processes. Your military employee will have conducted numerous performance evaluations, likely have spent years as a recruiter, and will have spent a great deal of time in promotion selections and other interviews.

Four HR Processes Your Military Employee Has Already Used for Years  

Evaluations - After the first 4-5 years of military service, most military employees will have assumed a leadership role and will have conducted yearly evaluations on all of their subordinates as well as numerous impromptu and documented developmental counseling sessions. This accounts for an average of 4-10 evaluations on a yearly basis for the duration of their career representing a lot of experience in conducting formal evaluations. Place them in a leadership role and watch them shine as they develop their team members!

Hiring - Many military employees will have performed recruiter duty for approximately 2-3 years as a part of their military careers. In this capacity, they will have walked candidates through initial assessments, provided career advice, and matched up talents, interests and the occupational needs of the military. This constitutes a great deal of experience in the fundamental hiring tasks that almost all companies have to execute in order to maintain a vibrant work force. Use their experience to meet your company’s hiring needs!

Promotion - Either in local or central promotion procedures most military members will have participated in the process of selecting promotes from among a candidacy pool. They will have compared these candidate’s experiential data with a set of preferred characteristics, making hard decisions about who will best lead the organization and/or a functional field. These military members have a lot to offer your company as you make your promotion selections, especially in small business environments. If you need someone to lead or participate in promotion selection iterations, consider leveraging the experiences of your military employee.

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Interviews - Interviews are the foundation of many HR tools and processes. Interviews are involved in evaluations, hiring, promotion and other HR processes. This is another area where your military member will have had extensive experience. Whether in promotion settings or awards competition (employee of the quarter etc), your military employee will have participated in numerous interviews (called military ‘boards’). Leverage your military member in this fundamental aspect of many HR processes important to your company, you will see them do great things!

There are other HR competencies your military veteran will have in addition to these. The best way to leverage all of their skill sets is to meet with them (best over lunch), have a good dialogue about their military history and identify common ground between his or her experience and the current needs of the organization. In this way, your military veteran can best be leveraged to help your organization reach its potential and exceed its goals.

Do you need help aligning your military employee talents and experiences with your organizational needs? I would love to help you; I can be contacted at [email protected]

Michael Farr, PMP, is a Chief Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force and founder of He is passionate about recognition and enabling professionals to motivate their organizations through recognizing their member’s excellence. When he is not slaying dragons with his kids, he can be found at @fosterxcellence on Twitter and @fosteringexcellence on Facebook.