Military Career Transition: Thriving In Your Next Job

With a concerted emphasis by many employers to hire veterans, the unemployment rate for veterans has dropped to its lowest rate in over a decade. But many still find the military career transition to a fulfilling private sector career to be a challenge. We recently caught up with Sean Lau, U.S. Navy, Retired and now Veteran Recruiter at GoDaddy to learn how he managed his own military career transition, as well as his career progression at GoDaddy and the support he receives and provides to Veterans at GoDaddy.

BCAZ: Was it challenging for you to find a job after retiring from the Navy?

SL: In April 2014 I retired after more than 22 years active duty in the Navy.  As I was looking to start my career transition from the military, I was fortunate enough to have my pension from the Navy so I didn’t have to chase a specific salary, I knew that I wanted to be part of an organization that I could be proud of and grow with.  It was a bit of a challenge at first finding a job, but I utilized the resources available to me and did a lot of research online to make myself more marketable.

BCAZ: What attracted you to GoDaddy?

SL: I had quite a few options that I was looking at and I did my due diligence and did a lot of research and spoke to employees at the different companies that were making me offers.  The two most important factors that I was looking at was the company culture and the room for career growth.  After a few months, I chose GoDaddy and it was the best decision that I ever made.  The company culture is second to none, and my career growth just in the past 3+ years has been tremendous.  I am truly happy here and get a ton of job satisfaction in what I do daily.

BCAZ: How did your initial role at GoDaddy prepare you to move on to another position?

SL: Once I made the decision that GoDaddy was the place for me, I accepted an entry level role as a Customer Consultation & Care Representative (Inbound). I had career goals for myself but most importantly, I wanted to work for GoDaddy in any capacity.  After working in our Inbound department, I moved to GoDaddy Talent Acquisition as a Recruiting Coordinator and then eventually as the Veteran Recruiter.  I found that working as a CCCR was invaluable because it helped me build a base for my understanding of the business as well as giving me the insight to the role that I hire most of my candidates to.  GoDaddy loves to promote within.  Our company culture is very important to us and if we can promote from within our ranks with people who are already a part of our exciting culture, we will definitely do that before hiring externally.

One of the programs we have in place to promote internal career growth is our shadowing program.  Every employee gets 4 hours every two-week period to allow for shadowing of any other department or specific role.  If an employee hears great things about a certain department and they want to see what they are all about, then we allow the employee to see what it’s like in the shoes of someone in that department.  They are able to speak to people already in that role as well as the leadership for that role and see if that is where they would like their career to progress.  We encourage this cross training so each and every employee can see all that we have to offer at the company.

BCAZ: What kinds of skills did you develop during your time in the military that you have used in your roles at GoDaddy?

SL: I feel that all branches of the military ingrain attention to detail, good work ethic, and drive, which are all very important to be successful here at GoDaddy.  I also believe that most Veterans are mission or goal oriented which fits very nicely into our job profile.  GoDaddy is very metric driven and in general, our Veterans perform about 10% to 15% above our non-Veteran coworkers in our Customer Care Center.  It is the reason why we love to hire Veterans to the company and put the resources we do at attracting them to come work with us.

BCAZ: How does the GDVets Employee Resource Group support you and veterans, spouses, etc. at GoDaddy?

SL: Started in October of 2014, GoDaddy Veterans has quickly become one of our great successes for our Veterans and Veteran supporters here at the company.  We currently have around 550 Veterans at the company but along with our Veteran Supporters, our GoDaddy Veterans organization has about 1200 members.  I was one of the founding members of the group and I currently am holding the position of Vice President of the organization.  When we started this group, our goal was to be recognized as the most sought after “Veteran Friendly” company to work for both internally and externally.  Internally we wanted to see true inclusion and opportunity as a benefit of the GoDaddy family.  Externally, we are proud to be named one of the Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work in the U.S., but also be recognized by the military community in the same regard.

Each year we have 3 main showcase events which are the Memorial Day Picnic, our Halloween Truck or Treat (which is led by GDVets, but all ERGs are involved), and the Phoenix Veterans Day Parade.  We also hold other events like periodic Ice Cream Socials, our annual Letter Writing Campaign (writing letters to deployed Veterans overseas during the holiday season) and also family movie nights on our campus with the outdoor inflatable screen and projector.

BCAZ: Describe how you feel GoDaddy supports veterans in all areas of the organization.

SL: As a whole, GoDaddy does an OUTSTANDING job supporting our Veterans in all areas of the organization and making their military career transition successful.  On top of our already generous PTO program, our active reservists get an additional 10 days of paid time off for attending military training or deployments. I don’t know of any other company that does this.  Also, back in October of 2017, we (HR) reached out to all our Veterans and asked the question “If there was something that GoDaddy could do to make your employment here even better, what benefit, perk or policy would you like to see?”  We of course got some replies like “increase all Veteran’s pay!”, but one constructive suggestion was based on increasing child care benefits for our single parent Reservists during their deployments, which is currently being looked at.  So in summary, even given a “blank check” for suggestions, our Veterans are very happy and well supported here at GoDaddy!

Meet Sean and others from GoDaddy at our 4th Annual Military Career Event, Wednesday, March 7. Get all the details and register here.

VETERAN JOB RESOURCES

A Veteran Job Search Made Easier by USAA

The job hunt is different for veterans. BestCompaniesAZ caught up with Patrick Fitzhugh from USAA who has made the transition from military to civilian work. Patrick hopes his story helps others who are transitioning out soon or have done so recently.

What was the job hunt like for you as a veteran?

In short, very difficult. The easiest thing was to fall into a government contracting job. But after deciding to get out of contracting work, I spent months without a job and was turned down time and time again. More frustrating, no one would give me any specific feedback as to why. With my skills and prior level of responsibilities, it just didn’t make sense.

What were the specific challenges you faced in looking for a civilian job?

Creating a resume that made sense to non-military, learning how to limit military speak, checking my ego, finding a good culture fit, and effectively translating my skills into what was desired in the civilian marketplace.

How did you find USAA? What was the hiring process like for you?

I grew up knowing about USAA and was a member well before I could even drive, thanks to my dad who is also a veteran. I knew when moving to a city that had a USAA office that this was the only company that I wanted to work for. From day one, the process was unbelievably smooth and easier than any administrative process the military ever put me through. USAA’s hiring process made me feel appreciated right away when interviewers took a genuine interest in my military background and thanked me for my service. It was very impressive with how much they incorporate the military into every phase of training.

Did you experience anything different during the hiring process at USAA, as compared to other companies? If so, what and/or how?

At other companies, military service is just a checkmark on a hiring form. All the way through training and to this day, I have people reaching out to me for my perspective as a veteran.

What has it been like for you working at USAA?

The transition from military and government to a corporate culture like USAA is never going to be easy, but I think this was the healthiest place it could have happened for me. USAA has not tried to replace my leadership background and experiences, but instead has built on them.

How have your military skills and experience transferred to a civilian career?

I worked as an instructor in a very specialized, small, and high stress environment, so public speaking, adapting to change quickly, and high stress situations have never slowed me down. It turns out that these are highly desired skills that don’t come naturally to most people in the civilian workforce. As a veteran, you can also bring a culturally diverse perspective to most situations, and finding an environment that embraces this perspective has been key to my success.  

How have you felt supported by your employer?

USAA has an amazing veterans’ organization that I am actively involved in. It creates a platform and network for the veterans and family of military members to come together. USAA keep us true to our mission, and focused on the reality of what our veterans go through. Outside of this, the communications, events, and recognition of military birthdays and events create one of the most supporting military cultures that I’ve found outside of the military itself.

What advice would you give to those who are about to separate from the military?

Be proactive, and don’t expect someone to instantly want to hire you because of your veteran status, or extensive resume. Hire a professional to put your resume together, and do your research on how to translate your military experience into terms the company will understand. Finally, look at the culture of the organization above the position or title. Your first job or career out of the military will be short lived if it’s not a good cultural fit for you, regardless of pay and title.

What advice would you give employers about hiring veterans?

Learn that veterans bring an infinitely diverse range of experiences, perspectives, skills, and strengths to the marketplace. They won’t always know how to translate this into your language, so learn what to ask and how to speak some of their language. Otherwise you run the risk of passing up on some of the best talent out there. With a focus on diversity in the workplace, veterans offer a distinctly unique set of values and perspective than you will find anywhere else outside the military community, and your company will only be stronger for tapping into it.

Meet hiring representatives from USAA’s Phoenix campus at the BestCompaniesAZ 4th Annual Military Career Event, Wednesday, March 7. Open to all veterans, transitioning military, spouses and significant others who are looking for a career with an employer that values the service of our military members and their families! Get more information and register here.


Patrick Fitzhugh is an insurance manager in Member Solutions Department supporting after hour employees and that particular book of business. Patrick joined USAA in March of 2011 as a frontline servicing agent and has worked in several areas within insurance area to include Insurance Servicing, Deposit Servicing, and New Member Solutions. He currently supports a USAA Diversity Business Group called Elevate as a core team member, a Veterans Network Employee Resource Group called VETNet, and has been heavily involved with Learn 2 Lead (supporting frontline employees to advancement to leadership). He is a graduate of the 1st cohort of the Drive 2 Director program.

Patrick is third generation military, and entered the United States Air Force as a Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Specialist. As a veteran, Patrick worked for the Department of Defense and Department of the Army working in support of the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency as a SME in personnel recovery and rescue.

Veteran Job Resources: 5 Tips To Help You Land Your Next Career

We know transitioning to a civilian job can be tough for our military service men and women. Employers want to hire veterans, as demonstrated by the continued decline in the veteran unemployment rate – the lowest it has been in over a decade. But it still can be challenging to find a workplace that utilizes your diverse skills and values your military service. And many veterans find themselves underemployed – meaning working in a job they’re overqualified for. Read on to discover specific veteran job resources and tips to make your military career transition less bumpy.

Veteran Job Resources: 5 Tips To Help You Land Your Next Career

Ensure your resume is easily understood.

Chances are that the recruiter reading your resume has never served in the military. Civilians don’t understand military acronyms, MOS codes, and jargon. The more impressive your resume looks from a military standpoint, the less desirable you’re going to look on paper to an untrained civilian. Unfair? Yes, but true.

How to do it? Translate your specific skills into key words specific to the job you’re seeking. Here’s one  translator tool to try.

Target your job search.

You might be open to different career paths, and you may be perfectly capable of performing a number of diverse roles; but hiring managers don’t take the time to consider that. They’re overworked and overwhelmed, looking for a round peg to fit a round hole. That means each resume they see gets twenty seconds of attention, tops. Just the summary and the last two job titles, in many cases.

How to do it? Laser-focus each resume on the specific position you’re applying for, so you make it easier for the recruiter to move you to the next step in your veteran job search. Don’t try and turn a recruiter into your career counselor, that doesn’t work.

Prepare yourself for the culture shift.

You think you’re being respectful; an employer may think you’re too formal. You may run up against the common stereotype that veterans are too rigid.

How to do it? Practice your interviewing skills with a friend or family member who understands business culture in the civilian world. Research business culture in industries that interest you. Ditch the “Sir” and “Ma’am”; first names are the norm in most business settings.

Focus on your future outside the military.

Maybe you’re still speaking longingly of your time in the service, or you slip up by speaking of your division or battalion as “we” in the present. This can also be an issue for civilians who haven’t mentally separated from their former jobs. It doesn’t sit well in a job interview, since an employer will think you aren’t ready to move on.

How to do it? Mentally prepare yourself for your new life outside the military. Think about how your experiences could benefit your next employer and what you’re looking forward to in the this next phase of your life.

Leverage strategic networking opportunities.

The majority of candidates do not get a job through a posting, we get jobs through people we know. This can be tough when you’ve spent the past several years, or your entire career, in the military.

How to do it? Get to know people who work in companies that are known to be military-friendly. Do they offer an Employee Resource Group for veterans? Do they have a dedicated veteran recruiter? Employers like this are out there! Fellow veterans can be an alumni network for you. Attend events like BestCompaniesAZ’s 2018 Military Career Event, where you’ll meet people who value your skills and abilities acquired during your time in the military. You just may land your next career with this event filled with veteran job resources!

VETERAN JOB RESOURCES

Arizona Cities Top The List Of The Best Places To Find A Job In 2018

Wondering where to make your next career move? You may want to pack your bags and head to the southwest. Nine cities in Arizona earned a spot on the WalletHub list of Best Places To Find A Job In 2018. And more impressively, four fell into the Top 5 for the entire United States!

The highest-ranking city outside of Arizona is San Francisco (ranked 3rd). Take a look at the top cities to find a job in Arizona.

Arizona Cities Top The List Of The Best Places To Find A Job In 2018

Chandler

Chandler, Arizona topped WalletHub’s list this year, thanks to high scores for the strength of its job market as well as favorable socioeconomic conditions for workers. The largest employer in Chandler is Intel. And other top employers include Infusionsoft, Bank of America, and PayPal.

Scottsdale

The booming healthcare and finance sectors — combined with older populations living in Scottsdale — makes it a huge hub for employment and came in at number 2 on the list. The largest employer in Scottsdale is HonorHealth (Scottsdale Healthcare). Others include Vanguard, CVS Health, Mayo Clinic and GoDaddy’s headquarters.

Peoria

Ranked number 4, this west Phoenix city has some large employers as well, including the Peoria Unified School District and the City of Peoria, along with several other contractors and retirement centers (again, indicative of the demographics and job market).

Gilbert

Located east of Phoenix and coming in at number 5, Gilbert has a quaint downtown, but also boasts large employers like the Gilbert Unified School District, Banner Health, Fry’s Food Stores, Dignity Health, Walmart and another GoDaddy campus.

Tempe

Ranked number 20, Tempe is home to Arizona State University, recognized as the #1 university in the US for innovation. Other employers in Tempe include GoDaddy’s Global Technology CenterDirect Energy, State Farm, Insight and many more.

Additional metro Phoenix cities that made the list of 182 US cities ranked by WalletHub include Mesa (56), Phoenix (61) and Glendale (81). And just two hours south of Phoenix, Tucson landed at 102 on the list.

If you’re asking yourself, “Is Phoenix a good place to find a job?” this year’s WalletHub list is pretty solid proof. Not to mention Arizona’s beautiful weather (well, with some hot summer temps) and reasonable cost of living – 84% less than San Francisco. Building your career in metro Phoenix, also dubbed the Silicon Desert, provides for more disposable income than working in Silicon Valley, 296 days of sunshine each year and an average winter temperature of 60 degrees. Learn more great facts about Arizona in this great infographic.

Learn more about the best employers in Arizona and consider making a move to one of the best places to find a job, perched in the beautiful southwest!

How To Convince A Candidate To Join Your Team

So, you’ve completed the interview process, made an employment offer and are waiting for the candidate to accept. With everything on the table, is there anything you can do now when it comes to how to convince a candidate to join your team?

With the country’s low unemployment rate (4.1% as of October 2017 — and 4.5% specifically in Arizona), employers are currently gravitating toward hiring passive candidates. It’s important now more than ever to provide benefits, a winning culture and other perks to recruit new hires.

Wondering how to convince a candidate to join your team? Keep reading for actionable tips to use during your next hiring cycle.

How To Convince A Candidate To Join Your Team: Top Tips

What are the best ways to convince someone that they should make a significant life change and switch jobs? It essentially boils down to these tips:

  • Highlight the perks
  • Listen well
  • Be honest
  • Make connections
  • Follow up

Highlight The Perks

Does your company have employee resource groups, perhaps for LGBT team members or for military veterans? Does the company take part in fun events and outings, or take time to volunteer in the community, much like the Charles Schwab team does? Highlight what it is that makes your company a desirable place to work — from a focus on diversity to an emphasis on health in the workplace, like USAA. Perhaps you have a solid leadership development program, like Direct Energy, or amazing work-life benefits (like Vanguard does). A passive job seeker is looking for a fun, inclusive, meaningful place of employment — so showcase why yours is!

Listen

Candidates want to feel like they’re completely understood. Do you know what their career goals are? How does this role with your company stack up against their goals and motivations? If it doesn’t, seek to understand why not and see if there’s a different opportunity available at your organization. Finally, listen and understand whether the role is a career move for them, or a stepping stone. It doesn’t make sense to invest in someone if they are going to leave in the near future.

Be Honest

No one likes to hear a total sales pitch when considering taking the job. Give a candidate an accurate picture of your organization and the role. Remember: nobody is perfect, no company is perfect. Speak about the strengths and weaknesses of the organization to help the candidate decide. By sharing both the good and the bad, candidates will know exactly what they’re signing up for and won’t second-guess themselves.

That also goes for the candidates — allow them to be honest, too. What would change their mind and convince them to accept the job offer? Is the timing simply off for them to make this major career change? Is it the day-to-day work itself that didn’t appeal to the applicant? Did something go wrong in the interview process that turned the candidate off? Be receptive and respectful — never pushy.

Make Connections

It’s one thing for a candidate to hear something from one hiring manager or interviewer, and it’s entirely different to hear it from someone on the team they’ll potentially be working with. Connect the job candidate with a current employee — ideally on the team they’d be working on — so candidates can ask more specific questions about the company, team and role.

And, by connecting the candidate with a team member, you’ll gain additional feedback about the candidate from that current employee. This additional insight can be very valuable when it comes to how to convince a candidate to join your team.

If it’s a really excellent candidate — one you don’t want to categorize as “the one that got away” — take them out to lunch to go over the offer again (and to talk up the role and company) and show the candidate you would love to have them on board.

Follow Up

Follow up and stay in touch with the candidate. If the time isn’t right now, keeping in touch will show that you care about them as a person and not see them as just another position to fill.

If you’re still figuring out what exactly it is that draws employees to work at your company, take a page from the Best Employers in Arizona and explore what elements of these great cultures you can incorporate into your own business model.

What other tips for how to convince a candidate to join your team would you add? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram!

No More Excuses – Why You Should Hire Veterans

The unemployment rate among military veterans is now at its lowest level in the past seventeen years. That means one thing for employers: increased competition for the best veteran talent. And with many U.S. businesses not having formal programs in place to hire veterans, there’s opportunity for savvy employers who understand that hiring veterans is a smart move.

Despite research that shows that military veterans are more productive and have less turnover than others, biases persist that are roadblocks to hiring vets. If your company is not actively pursuing veterans to join your workforce, hiring managers might need to overcome barriers like these:

“I can’t tell what they did from their resume.” The military has over 7,000 jobs across more than 100 functional areas. Most of these jobs have a direct equivalent in the civilian job force. Hiring managers need to understand what skills they’re looking for in order to understand how a veteran’s experience might fit. It might be more work for the hiring manager, but if you can uncover fresh talent in the market, won’t that be worth it?

“They don’t have the experience we need.” Are you sure? What questions did you ask? Asking directly about a veteran’s customer service experience, for example, may elicit a brief and unsatisfying response. Asking how they solved problems for teammates may tell a different story about their customer service-related crossover skills. Hiring managers increasingly need strong interviewing skills to get the most out of interviews with veterans, who typically don’t brag about their accomplishments. The need for stronger interviewing skills comes into play when recruiting other non-traditional candidates like career changers and early career professionals. Employers just need to get better at interviewing.

“I need someone who can lead, not just take orders.” This persistent stereotype has deterred some hiring managers from considering veterans. In actuality, the military provides leadership experience and great responsibility at a young age. For example, the average age of a Marine is 19. At 20, most Marines become non-commissioned officers who are placed in leadership positions. In the military, leadership training includes learning how to foster cultural inclusion, motivating a diverse workforce, solving complex problems, and accomplishing goals – all under stressful conditions.

“I don’t want to deal with PTSD.” While combat-related PTSD is a serious issue, it’s important to keep it in perspective; only 2% of veterans will be impacted by PTSD.

On the other hand, here are five reasons why hiring a veteran could positively impact your company and your culture:

  1. Veterans are adaptable. While on active duty, military men and women deal with varied circumstances that require versatility. Veterans have often traveled, worked for diverse bosses, learned different cultures, and faced adverse situations.
  2. Veterans take their responsibilities seriously. At a young age, military people learn that there are serious consequences to their decisions – sometimes involving life or death. Veterans have faced trials that most people haven’t, and as a result they learn to be responsible individuals.
  3. Veterans are loyal. While many workers jump to a new job every year, the military takes a multi-year commitment. With the high cost of hiring and training, a veteran could prove to be the best choice.
  4. Veterans truly understand teamwork. Their lives may depend on how well they work together. Increasingly, managers recognize the need to hire not only smart, talented people, but those who work well in teams and are dedicated to something larger than a paycheck.
  5. Veterans have learned resilience. Resilient people bounce back in the face of failure and setbacks; they don’t crack under pressure. Veterans have developed courage in the face of fear, which will help them face up to challenges at work.

Examples of veterans living out those principles are abundant in the work world. One example is well-known businessman and philanthropist Bob Parsons, who enlisted in the Marines in 1968.  He credits that experience for his extraordinary success: “I graduated magna cum laude in college after the military. I would have never done that without the Marine Corps. I taught myself how to program a computer. I would have never done that without the Marine Corps. Everything I’ve ever done I owe to the Marine Corps.”

Consider how your staffing challenges might be solved by hiring veterans. One way to improve or increase your veteran recruiting efforts is by participating in BestCompaniesAZ’s 4th Annual Military Career Event.  Learn more here.

About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.

BestCompaniesAZ’s 4th Annual Military Career Event Set for March 7; Over a Thousand Jobs Available with Arizona’s Veteran Committed Employers

PHOENIX – Jan. 16, 2018 – BestCompaniesAZ is hosting its 4th annual Military Career Event in conjunction with Career Connectors and Birdies for the Brave® on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at the North Phoenix Baptist Church Conference Center, 5757 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, 85012.  The Career Expo will be held from 9 AM – Noon where veterans can meet hiring representatives from more than 40 military-friendly, award winning employers. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in the hiring event that conducts job matching and potential interviews with hiring companies from 9 am – 3 pm on the day of the event.

The hiring and networking event is open to all military – active, retired, reservists — as well as their spouses and significant others. Visit MilitaryAZ.org for the registration link, event details, hiring companies, open positions and on-site resources.

“Military men and women are often celebrated for their leadership, team-building, organizational commitment, decision-making skills and advanced technical training skills,” says Denise Gredler, founder and CEO of BestCompaniesAZ. “Our goal is to bring together Arizona’s best employers and veteran resource groups to actively connect hundreds of qualified veterans with great companies who are hiring.”

BestCompaniesAZ’s Military Career Event is comprised of businesses, agencies and community partners that support the hiring, training and development of veterans. Veteran committed hiring companies include: Charles Schwab, Direct Energy, GoDaddy, Hyatt Regency Phoenix, Freedom Financial Network, State Farm, USAA, Vanguard, Allstate, NESCO Resource, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona, Staff Logic and many more. Many have won workplace awards such as Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, Top Companies to Work for in Arizona, FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® in America, FORTUNE Most Admired Companies, Military Times Best for Vets Employers, or US Veterans Magazine’s Best of the Best.

The hiring event is sponsored by Cisco and the Arizona Roadmap to Veteran Employment, an initiative of the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services and the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family and the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Additional event sponsors include Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University.

Arizona veteran committed companies interested in sponsoring and participating in this event may contact Denise Gredler at dgredler@bestcompaniesAZ.com or call 480-545-5151 by January 31, 2018.

 

About BestCompaniesAZ – Arizona’s Employer Branding Partner
BestCompaniesAZ specializes in helping corporate clients develop, strengthen and market their unique employer brands through a variety of events, awards and communications programs.  For more information, visit BestCompaniesAZ.com. Interested sponsors can email military@bestcompaniesAZ.com  or call 480-545-5151.

About Career Connectors
Career Connectors’ mission is to connect professionals in career transition to hiring companies and quality resources. As Arizona’s fastest growing job seeker program, the organization hosts no-cost monthly job seeker events in Chandler/Gilbert, Phoenix, Glendale and North Scottsdale. For more information, visit careerconnectors.org, or call 480-442-5806.

About Birdies for the Brave®
Birdies for the Brave® is a national military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR.  Birdies for the Brave was originally created in 2006 by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, to support combat-wounded veterans.  The PGA TOUR subsequently adopted Birdies for the Brave and expanded it to include a variety of military outreach initiatives, including military appreciation activities during PGA TOUR tournaments and a series Birdies for the Brave fundraising events conducted at the TOUR’s TPC clubs nationwide – an effort that has raised millions for military home front groups that are supported by TOUR players, which provide critical programs and services to meet the specialized needs of wounded heroes and military families.  For more information, please visit birdiesforthebrave.org or follow them on Facebook.

 

9 Stellar Questions To Ask An Interviewer

A job interview is a two-way street. If you get asked, “So do you have any questions for us?” at the end of an interview, never close it with “No, I don’t think so,” before parting ways. Coming prepared with questions to ask an interviewer shows you are curious about the company and the role. It also demonstrates how much effort you put into your interview prep process.

Take a look at nine excellent questions to ask an interviewer — plus a bonus topic to bring up in an interview if you’re feeling bold. Pocket these to ace your next job search!

9 Stellar Questions To Ask An Interviewer

What keeps you coming back to work here every day?

You might preface this by asking how long the interviewer has been with the company. This deep-diving question might catch the hiring manager off-guard — but it’s important to listen closely to their answer. Is it the perks that brings employees back each morning? The culture? Purpose and vision? The day-to-day work itself? Find out what keeps people on board.

What kinds of growing pains have you experienced while working with this company?

Whether it’s a small or large company, there have surely been “growing pains,” even specific to a role. Perhaps it entails missteps in hiring the wrong people, or the struggles of developing a winning culture. This is one of the top questions to ask an interviewer because, while not exactly intrusive, it opens the door just enough for a healthy discussion of what it’s like to work there.

What does a typical day in the office look like?

Though this question may seem generic, it’s important to cover. After all, you’ll want to know what your job will consist of. Who will you report to? (Can you meet this person today?) Are the hours typically 9-5, or are flexible schedules available? Does the team typically eat lunch together? Ask whatever you need to get a clear feel for what your workday will look like.

What qualities would make someone successful in this role?

Adaptability? A thick skin (perhaps for customer service-centered roles)? Collaboration? Self-direction (eliminating the need for micromanaging)? Find out what traits a successful, valuable candidate vying for this position has.

What does upward growth (and training) entail with this position?

As one of the best questions to ask an interviewer, this invites the hiring manager to lay out for you the path of a dynamic role within the company. First, find out what training you’ll receive. Then, inquire about room for mobility — can you get your feet wet in other departments? What titles and promotions are available in your current path? You can learn more about pursuing a promising leadership path here.

How is everyone’s uniqueness here celebrated?

Without directly asking, “What is the culture like here?” (see next question), this starts a conversation on teamwork and diversity. Perhaps it comes in the form of Employee Resource Groups, or celebrating every individual’s personal goals.

What is the culture like?

Posing this question at your next job interview will provide you with a broader sense of what it’s like to work there. Company outings, volunteerism, work-life balance, office camaraderie, perks — you can discover a lot from this question.

What is the company’s management style?

Does your work need to pass through many approval gates? Will you be more heavily “supervised” and guided in your role, or are you expected to follow your own compass and be a self-starter? Ask the interviewer this question to help you determine what style you’ll perform best working under.

Do you have any reservations about my qualifications?

This will get the hiring manager’s wheels spinning. After the interview, do they feel you’re perfectly aligned with the role? Are there things you still need to work on, skills you need to hone or work experience you need to have under your belt? This question may garner a simple “no,” but it could also lead to a worthwhile discussion.

BONUS: Bringing Up Glassdoor Reviews In An Interview

If you’re feeling up to it — and you saw some questionable reviews left on the company’s Glassdoor page — you might consider asking briefly about the veracity of a few posts. After all, Glassdoor is a platform where current and former employees can leave anonymous reviews, give a CEO approval rating, and so forth. It’s therefore in any job seeker’s best interest that these reviews are honest — so it doesn’t hurt to inquire about some comments or ratings left about the company.

What other questions to ask an interviewer would you add? Let us know on our social channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn!

Health In The Workplace: USAA’s Focus On Wellness

According to SHRM’s 2017 Employee Benefits Report, 79% of employers experienced an increase in their health care costs from 2016-2017. Additionally, the report found that 91% of employees view health care benefits as important. So, finding ways to reduce costs — while also offering value to employees — is critical for employers to remain competitive in attracting and retaining talent in a tight employment market. Health in the workplace has become a paramount topic

A powerful example of a holistic approach to health in the workplace is USAA. Recognized by Arizona’s Most Admired Companies with a 2017 Spotlight Award for their Healthy Workplace, and also landing on The Valley’s Healthiest Employers 2017 list, USAA raises the bar when it comes to taking care of their employees’ overall health. BestCompaniesAZ recently spoke with Jennifer Griffin, Manager of RO Fitness and Wellness Recreation for USAA’s Phoenix Campus, to learn more about the variety of benefits they offer.

USAA’s Approach To Health In The Workplace

With access to a vast array of health and wellness benefits that extend far beyond health insurance, employees are set up for success at work and in their personal lives. One of their primary goals? To remove barriers for their employees and their loved ones to access physical, mental/emotional and financial health supports and resources. They look at the whole person and strive to offer benefits that not only improve their physical health, but also reduce stress and encourage greater well-being.

Improving Physical Health

USAA’s Phoenix campus features an onsite health services clinic, as well as onsite massage therapist and physical therapist. They also have a fitness center with a covered basketball court, volleyball quad and jogging/walking trails. USAA’s office of Fitness and Wellness coordinates events like a 5K that is open to employees, their families and friends. Located in North Phoenix with quick access to amazing natural resources, they also arrange group hikes in the spring and fall at local recreation areas. And “Zumba in the Dark” with glow sticks, music and your family and friends provides a fun (and healthy) way to spend a Friday night — all located on USAA’s secure campus!

The My Healthy Points program promotes healthy living activities in which participation leads to reduced health insurance premiums. Who doesn’t want to lower their healthcare costs? Participants earn points for healthy eating habits, physical fitness activities and more. And, when employees purchase healthy food at the onsite cafeterias, they get 50% off their bill!

Enhancing Emotional & Financial Health

One of the biggest stressors for people personally is financial uncertainty and strain. This stress also impacts the ability to bring your A-game to work. So as part of the My Healthy Points program, USAA employees receive an hour of free financial counseling. They are also provided resources and tools for setting up their will. Taking advantage of these benefits earns them additional points to reduce their health insurance premiums, with the added benefit of reducing stress and creating peace of mind for their financial future.

Another influence on personal stress? The everyday demands of life outside of work. To promote health in the workplace and outside the office, USAA offers employees an amazing Concierge Service. Whatever your need may be – whether it’s getting your personal grocery shopping done, getting the oil changed on your car, or doing research for your next family reunion – employees can schedule the concierge service to take care of those everyday, or additional, life projects. And, the best part? It only costs them $5 per hour! Wouldn’t you have someone get your oil changed if it cost you just an extra $5 to do it?!

The aforementioned examples are just a few of the ways USAA is providing a high level of benefits that improve the physical, emotional and financial health of their employees and their families. As USAA’s Phoenix campus looks ahead to expanding their workforce by nearly 1,000 IT professionals by the end of 2020, they continue to evaluate ways to meet the health and wellness needs of their employees and the talent they look to attract.

Are you thinking you would enjoy benefits for health in the workplace like these? Then head on over to scan through USAA’s current career opportunities!  

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona Partners with C ity of Phoenix for Multi – Neighborhood , 4 – Year Revitalization Project in Warehouse District

Phoenix, AZ – December 22, 2017 — Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) announced it received approval from the Phoenix City Council last week for a multi- year contract to develop and build new affordable housing and fix existing homes in Central City South neighborhoods in Phoenix.

Phoenix is contributing 30 vacant lots that will enable Habitat to build 31 new homes over the next four years. “We will be building homes and revitalizing neighborhoods and parks in Matthew Henson Village, the Grant and Central Park neighborhoods, and other contiguous areas. This expands our opportunity to improve the areas within these boundaries and engage with residents of several different neighborhoods,” said Jason Barlow, President and CEO of Habitat. Repairs can range from minor to major, but typically include such improvements as roofing, paint, landscaping, plumbing, air conditioning and window replacements which improve energy efficiency and help make houses more affordable for occupants.

The Phoenix City Council also approved a proposal for the allocation of $100 thousand dollars to execute the contracts. While Habitat does not have land for a community center specifically allocated within this project, it is evaluating various Central City South neighborhoods for Neighborhood Revitalization projects that would engage residents, Habitat volunteers and individual and corporate philanthropic sponsors.

Barlow said, “We’re grateful for the land as well as the partnership with the City of Phoenix, which is going to enable Habitat to jumpstart project development early in 2018. When this project is completed, over the next four years, we expect to see more families owning safe, affordable homes in the area.”

Linsie Kalland, Habitat director of grants, compliance and procurement said that this project was designed to help residents whose income is at or below 80 percent of the area’s median income. The homes within this program will be sold to qualified applicants at affordable prices with no interest on the loans which will be financed through Habitat. Recipients qualify by paying for the property and contributing “sweat equity” toward their own home and others through Habitat’s programs.

By upgrading the living conditions of these hard-working people, we’re improving the lives of families, individuals and businesses who want their employees to have safe, secure housing,” said Maribel Saucedo, director of family services at Habitat. “Habitat sells the homes based on their appraised value, but the price is also based on what the owner-occupants can afford. Most homes come equipped with all the necessary appliances, including refrigerator, stove, microwave and disposal.”

Phoenix City Councilwoman Kate Gallego, whose district the project is located in said, “We’re pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona to create quality housing for underserved populations. Their community engagement, programs, and broad support give us great confidence the results achieved under Habitat’s leadership will be exceptional.”

When Habitat begins outreach in early 2018, it will start with owner-occupied homes in need of repairs and upgrades. Habitat employees will canvas the community, going door-to-door to seek partnerships with residents who are seeking home improvements. The lots are primarily located between 7th Avenue and 15th Avenue as far north as Grant Street and as far south as Pima Street. An overlay is available to show the initial areas slated for development. (see below)

 Habitat for Humanity of Central Arizona

 

About Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona (Habitat) is a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, the renowned humanitarian organization based in Atlanta. Each affiliate operates as a separate 501c3 nonprofit, and is responsible for leading its own fundraising and operations management, while adhering to the Habitat for Humanity mission of serving communities within its area. Habitat also promotes volunteer programs with corporations, groups, churches and individuals. Their services include new home construction, re-constructions, renovations, repairs (even emergency repairs) and most recently, entire neighborhood revitalization projects. Consistently ranked among the Top 10 of 1,300 affiliates nationally, Habitat has built more than 1,100 homes in the metro Phoenix area. To learn more, please visit habitatcaz.org, or find us on Twitter @habitatcaz.

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Media Contact:
Dusty Parsons
Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona
602-448-5758
dusty@habitatcaz.org
habitatcaz.org