When reviewing resumes of prospective employees, Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator is hardly an element of experience that Ramona Poole, Recruiting Coordinator at management consulting and information technology firm ISF, typically looks for. But with the growing number of veterans re-entering the workforce, this is one of only a handful of military-related positions she has seen listed on the resumes of recent new hires.
“Over the last year and a half, approximately 22% of ISF’s new full time employee hires have been veterans,” Poole says. “That percentage doesn’t even take into account our contracted staff. As the company continues to grow and the number of veterans returning from overseas climbs, I think we’ll see even more veterans added to our team.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey, there are more than 21.7 million veterans nationwide, with more than 1.6 million living in Florida and more than 90,000 in Duval County alone, home of ISF’s corporate office.
Many veterans return to civilian society unsure of how their military experience will translate in the marketplace. But for those that recognize their military experience as an asset and play up the strengths their service has afforded them, the marketplace is their oyster.
“At ISF, we see military experience as an asset,” says ISF CEO Cyndy Loomis. “The veterans we’ve hired over the years seem to share several common attributes. They tend to be driven, focused, and committed team players that aren’t afraid of a challenge. We’ve seen these employees step into leadership roles with ease. Going above and beyond seems to be part of their normal routine. Simply doing enough to get by isn’t part of their culture. ”
The case for hiring veterans is perhaps best made by the vets themselves.
Recent ISF hire Tim Thacker served as an Aviation Antisubmarine Warfare Operator (Aircrew) on S-3 Viking carrier-based jets. He was deployed in the Mediterranean in 1989 and again in 1991 during Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Operation Provide Comfort. His primary role was as a sensor operator for the S-3. During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he participated in various direct and support combat missions while stationed off the coast of Kuwait, and was ultimately awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for Valor and the Navy Air Medal, among other commendations.
“While there’s not much need to drop bombs, torpedoes, or missiles here at ISF,” Thacker quips, “there are two key things that I feel my time in the Navy taught me: a sense of working for something larger than myself and teamwork. The Navy provides that sense of working towards a goal that is bigger than the individual. Here at ISF I have the same. Our work with the National Guard, through the Integrated Emergency Operations Management System (IEOMS), provides a vital service that allows the National Guard to focus on its primary mission, while still providing for each individual soldier and airman through IEOMS. As for teamwork, I find that ISF provides an excellent environment where teamwork is not only fostered but encouraged. No one person has all the abilities required but by allowing individuals to utilize their strengths, passions, and abilities, teams come together quickly. This atmosphere allows for the creation of products that creatively, effectively, and efficiently solve our clients’ complex business needs.”
Long-time ISF employee and veteran Adam Sikes, who served in Bosnia-Herzegovina during Operation Joint Endeavor in 1995-1996 as part of the 146th Transportation Detachment of the Army Reserve, agrees. Sikes says his military experience gave him “confidence that I can get the job done successfully, no matter what challenges are encountered, a strong sense of organization, leadership skills, and a strong sense of loyalty and service. I am very committed to providing above average service to my clients, to my employer, and to the team members that I work with.”
“This can-do attitude is common among many of the veterans we interview at ISF, and in all of those we hire,” Poole says.
Under the administration of City of Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, the city has established a Jobs for Vets website, which is “designed to facilitate the connection between local employers interested in hiring our military veterans….” ISF is proud to be included among the companies on this list.
For a current list of ISF job openings, please visit www.isf.com/careers.