Finding Success with the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative: A Case StudyTo celebrate the one year anniversary of the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative on Aug. 20, 2014, NVTC is conducting several case studies to identify successes within the companies that have been involved in the Initiative. The first in the series features ICF International.
ICF International, based in Fairfax, Va., has been a supporter and participant in the NVTC Veterans Employment Initiative (VEI) since the early planning stages before the Initiative's launch on Aug. 20, 2013. According to Tonia Patt, the senior director of Global Talent Acquisition and Career Mobility, ICF's philosophy and approach when recruiting and employing veterans has shifted as a result of the company's involvement in the Initiative. Her level of involvement as a member of the Initiative's task force allowed ICF to take advantage of veteran outreach through VEI events, such as hosting a V3 training event for recruiting managers, and the online community powered by Monster.com.
According to Patt, the Initiative's online community, www.novatechvets.org, is the feature her company uses most. The online community has benefited ICF, she says, by helping the company "proactively get our jobs in front of the veteran candidate." ICF HR/recruiting employees have participated in instructional webinars offered by Monster, and many have utilized the free job postings on the site. In addition, through the online community, ICF has access to Monster's database of more than 950,000 veteran resumes.
The biggest change ICF has made since joining the Initiative was with the veteran recruiting process. Through her involvement in the VEI, Patt learned that many veteran applicants are discouraged by a lack of response from recruiters and HR. She instituted a new process at ICF to address that issue, providing a daily feed to ICF recruiters of job applicants who self-identify as veterans. The recruiter then may give special attention to veteran applicants, ensuring they are aware and are communicating with veterans.
According to Patt, "we wanted our recruiters to be able to go to those applicants, really give them a special eye, and hopefully accelerate the outreach to the veterans." Making ICF's application process easier for veterans is a step towards doing something different to recruit veteran talent, Patt says. "If I can get the recruiter to look at the applicant, the chances of them then potentially getting an opportunity to speak with somebody have increased," she says. Ultimately, Patt says ICF's new practices have been "100 percent directly related to ICF's partnership with NVTC on the veterans initiative" and the network she has made as a result. Through ICF's participation in the initiative, she says, the company not only became aware of industry practices and philosophies, but also was able to access the Initiative's free resources.
Patt hopes to continue improving veteran recruiting processes in the future, utilizing the programs and resources of the VEI.