Jason has an immense amount of experience in recruiting, both in and out of the military. He gives a WEALTH of knowledge in this interview about networking, job fair prep, applying to jobs and more. At ADP, he leads a team of 12 who help companies institute a veteran hiring program, as well as a veteran training program once they start to hire veterans. We talk about the step back that most veterans need to take in terms of pay and seniority when they leave the military. We talk about continuously learning and building a skill set to progress one’s career. And we talk about a whole host of topics relevant to any military Veteran.
Jason Goroff is a Military Recruitment Manager at ADP, which gives companies of every size the tools to help their people thrive. From payroll, benefits and regulatory compliance to talent management and analytics, ADP helps their clients succeed. Jason started out in the Army, where he served for 11 years. He started his civilian career in the staffing industry before moving on to the First Data Corporation and now ADP.
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Transcript & Time Stamps:
Joining me today from Long Island, NY is Jason Goroff. Jason is a Military Recruitment Manager at ADP, which gives companies of every size the tools to help their people thrive. From payroll, benefits and regulatory compliance to talent management and analytics, ADP helps their clients succeed. Jason started out in the Army, where he served for 11 years. He started his civilian career in the staffing industry before moving on to the First Data Corporation and now ADP.
What was your first job search like after leaving the military?
Transitioning was a very humbling experience. Because I was a recruiter in the military, I thought I would leave the military and walk right into a Director of Human Resources role. That didn’t really happen. I did want to stay in recruiting but I really wasn’t familiar with civilian recruiting.
I ultimately was hired by Echelon, a major staffing agency. The job was a step backwards but it was worth it. I’ll forever be thankful to them for giving me my first shot. I only stayed there for about a year but it gave me the opportunity to really bridge the gap of knowledge I needed to build up to be competitive for civilian recruiting positions.
There seems to be a misconception amongst transitioning military members that they will leave the military and walk into a civilian role that is equal in seniority. But that’s often not the case. Usually, you will need to initially take a step back to learn the business but will then become promoted quickly because of your military experience.
In mentoring different mentors, I’ve seen people that are resistant to taking that step back. But you need to give yourself that time to learn the new industry or business that you are in. You will find that you will be quickly rise in roles and responsibilities after that.
How did you decide what you wanted to do after you left the military?
I know some veterans that transitioned from the military straight into corporate recruitment but I didn’t have the ability to do that. Initially, I went into staffing. That experience ended up teaching me a lot. I carried the sense of urgency I had in the military into my staffing role. That served me very well and eventually lead me to my first corporate recruiting role with First Data Corporation.
I encourage people to carry the core soft skills your learned in the military while continuing to develop new skills that will propel you forward in your career.
There’s a statistic that says that 85% of veterans will leave their first civilian job within the first year. During your job search, think about what roles and at what companies you would be a good fit. But if you end up in a job that’s not a good fit, also don’t be afraid to move to something that will work better for you. Your first job out of the military might not be your dream job. You can still get great experience in that position but don’t ever feel like you are stuck there. As veterans we have the mindset of being very loyal to the organization we work for. That’s why it’s important to always be learning new skills and not be afraid to move into a new position that allows for additional growth.
Can you tell us a little more about ADP?
When most people hear the name ADP, they immediately think about payroll. That’s how we started and are most known for. But what many people don’t realize is that we also offer a whole suite of human resource solutions.
If you’re running a small organization and you don’t have an HR department built out, you can hire our consultants to do all of your HR functions for you.
The part that I’m from is talent solutions. I work for Recruitment Outsource Processing. RPO is normally used when an organization does not want to hire full-time recruiters from their organization. They will hire us to do their recruiting for them.
We have hubs all over the world so there are many opportunities for transitioning veterans that are interested in working at ADP. We also have a veteran hiring program.
Why is ADP a good fit for transitioning military members?
A few years ago, we brought in a gentleman to look at how we were recruiting and retaining military veterans. We also considered how we were providing support to our Reserve military members.
We also have a veteran resource group which connects veterans within the company with one another. Within that group, we also match new veteran employees with a mentor that can help them with the transition process.
Can you tell us more about ADP’s military recruiting program?
I have a team of 12 recruiters who are all veterans. We work with a number of different organizations across multiple industries. These organizations want to improve their ability to recruit veterans. Many of these companies use ineffective methods to recruit veterans. We work with the companies to train their hiring managers in effectively finding veterans to hire. We work to create a unique plan for each company that will work for them and will allow them to recruit and retain veterans.
To me, one of the most important components of a company’s military recruitment strategy is internal education. These people already inside the company should be aware of the values veterans can bring to their company.
We have our own military recruiting program too which functions very well. And then my team and I are outward facing in that we are helping other organizations outside of ADP create effective military recruiting programs. Many organizations don’t realize how simple it can be to become a more military friendly company.
What advice do you have for veterans during their transition process?
Research what kinds of companies would be a good fit for you. At the same time, keep an open mind to other organizations that you’ve never heard of. Be prepared to talk to recruiters about why you are a good fit for specific roles available at that company.
Resumes and submitting applications through an online portal usually isn’t very effective. Networking is a much better strategy. Research companies you’re interested in and network with friends and veterans at that company. Most veterans will be willing to give you a few minutes on the phone or in person to talk to you about their career or current position.
When I got out, it took me five months to find a position. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting any callbacks. Eventually I realized I was aiming too high. Now that I’ve been able to figure things out, I like to do what I can to help other transitioning veterans.
How do you recommend that someone figure out what company or role is right for them?
LinkedIn can be an extremely useful tool. There are veterans that have used it so well that they’ve received job offers before they even left the military because they were able to market themselves on LinkedIn.
As you’re transitioning, have an idea of two or three jobs that you think you would be interested in. It’s also helpful to have a geographic region in mind. Then, start researching companies that offer the kind of job you’re interested in. If you can, upload your resume on those companies career websites while you’re still in the military. This will allow recruiters at that company to view your resume. Research local job fairs and see if there will be any companies at those job fairs that interest you.
Use LinkedIn to identify recruiters at the company you’re interested. Reach out to them with a short and professional message expressing your interest in that company. Some won’t respond to you but many will. Those recruiters that do respond to you will become an advocate for you during the application process.
Also, reach out to your veteran connections that transitioned a few months or years before you. They can give you great advice and also help you connect to people at their company.
Do you have any advice on how to approach the job fair setting?
When I was going to job fairs as a job seeker, it was not the most comfortable thing for me. But I just forced myself outside my comfort zone because I knew that it could benefit my career.
What are your thoughts on higher education?
Particular right now with the gap in skilled trades, I think you’re better off going straight to work. You can always take classes on the side while getting job experience.
Consider trades like truck driving, electric work, or plumbing. There is extremely high demand for these positions and they are very well paid.
Do you have any resources you would recommend?
Is there anything else you’d like to share with listeners?
The transition out of the military can be very difficult. Be realistic with yourself. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to others that went through the transition before you.
Keep an open mind to all kinds of companies. The perfect company for you could be a company you’ve never heard of.