Welcome to Empowering Employment, where we celebrate the companies that are doing their part to bridge the skills gap, create jobs and help the economy. This month, CareerBuilder is proud to recognize Securitas Security Services USA, whose collaboration with the 100,000 Job Mission is creating opportunities for military veterans, their families and the communities they serve.
Long before its announced alliance with the 100,000 Jobs Mission in 2012 – a collective effort to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020 – Securitas Security Services USA already had a long history of hiring military veterans. “There’s something veterans see about our industry that interests them or seems to align with their values,” says Rocco L. DeFelice, Executive Vice President of Securitas USA.
The feeling is mutual. Like many of his colleagues, DeFelice grew up in a military family (and had even spent some time in the military himself), so he knows the value veterans bring to the workforce, thanks to working in an environment that breeds leadership and a strong commitment to service. “They’ve worked in an environment where it’s extremely important to make sure the job gets done and the mission is accomplished. We see that [dedication] in many of the veterans who come to work for us,” says DeFelice.
So when the opportunity to join the 100,000 Jobs Mission presented itself, DeFelice figured it was a perfect fit. “The efforts we wished to make in terms of veterans outreach were well aligned with theirs,” he says.
Since joining the coalition in early 2012, Securitas has added more than 14,000 veterans to the total 117,439 jobs the 100,000 Jobs Mission has added overall. (Because it has already exceeded the original goal it set when it began in 2011, the 100,000 Jobs Mission recently revised its commitment to hire 200,000 veterans by 2020.)
As one of more than 130 companies involved in the coalition, Securitas is proud to be responsible for 12 percent of the total contribution. “We are not doing this just to have high numbers, but I think it shows our commitment to this initiative,” says DeFelice, who admits to having a personal interest in this effort, given his background.
Though Securitas USA has never had much difficulty recruiting veterans – successfully sourcing candidates through military advocacy groups, transition assistance programs, veterans-focused job fairs and employee referrals – joining the 100,000 Jobs Mission has enabled Securitas USA to ramp up its military hiring efforts. The company has been able to further its advertising and promotion efforts, increase its visibility to veterans and engage other resources previously unavailable.
When asked what advice he would give employers who want to hire more veterans, DeFelice says the biggest thing that can hold a company back is itself.
“I think there are still companies out there that struggle with this stereotypical concept of what a veteran or a retired military person is,” he says. Unfortunately, this misconception limits companies as much as it limits veterans. “Though it’s easy to assume that, because of their background, veterans may only fit into one type of position, the reality is that their skills translate to a variety of positions – from management and supervisory positions to team support, back office and administrative roles.”
“They are a very committed, dedicated group who, like anybody else, wants to be given the opportunity and wants to do a good job. And as you would with anybody else, you have to get to know them and see where they might fit might within an organization.”