Part III of this series continues my list of suggested military recruiting sources to help you target qualified veteran applicants. It begins with a fifth recommendation to encourage employers to build relationships with military bases and Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offices. Working with military bases and TAP offices often go hand-in-hand. Following through with this recommendation can prove to be a vital part of your company’s veteran recruitment outreach program.
5 – Military Bases and TAP Offices
Military bases or installations are communities that can range from small outposts to military cities containing many thousands of people. Many of these military installations have Family Centers or Community Service Centers that will often help veterans and their families with job search assistance and other employment services such as Transition Assistance Program (TAP) programs and classes. The National Veterans’ Training Institute (NVTI) has a helpful military base locator which includes TAP centers as well. A particularly helpful online resource offered by the Department of Defense is a Military Installations Directory that provides detailed information about each military installation. This directory also allows you to view the directory of installations by branch of service.
As you target military bases for recruiting purposes, it’s important to learn and understand the primary mission of each military base. To explain, I once had a recruiter come into my office and ask to attend a career fair being held at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. We were specifically looking for mechanics and electricians in Texas. Upon the completion of the event I asked him how it went and he replied, “Not as well as I would have liked. You know that’s a medical base so most of the military personnel there who were looking for jobs had medical backgrounds.” Well no, I didn’t know that. So the lesson learned is—before you attend a TAP class, career event or are seeking to build a relationship with your nearby military installation—make sure you first learn more about the mission of the base as well as the experience, skills and general backgrounds of the majority of the military personnel who live and work there, or who will be attending the event. Keep in mind these are often large communities, so all kinds of occupations are represented on base. However, if I would have done my research beforehand, I would have realized the primary mission at Fort Sam Houston is as a medical training and support post and is home to the Brook Army Medical Center. So it’s probably not the best installation to find as many mechanics and electricians, but a better source if we had been looking for emergency medical technicians, nurses and other healthcare workers.
Many military installations offer Transition Assistance Program (TAP) services on base. The next post, Increase Your Pool of Veteran Applicants – Part IV, will provide you with specific resources and contact information for TAP offices by service branch.