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!