Whenever we talk to a Veteran, the phrase, “thank you for your service to our country” always works its way into the conversation. Veterans and active servicemen and women appreciate hearing those words. I do too, having served in the U.S. Air Force as a member of the Munitions Maintenance Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base in California. It was a privilege to serve and I was eager to transition to the civilian workforce. Fortunately, I landed at HCA.
HCA recruited me to be a recruiter; to be part of a team committed to attracting, hiring and retaining Veterans. One of the things I love about my job is working with the men and women of the armed forces. They are disciplined, trained in teamwork and perseverance, and have great attention to detail, skills that are valuable to our company to help us deliver quality patient care in the communities we serve.
I have always been amazed at the level of community involvement to which HCA is committed. Companies often state their values, but it is another thing entirely to put those words into action. HCA’s commitment to our community is one of our major differences from other organizations.
We have taken that desire to help our community and country and morphed it into a program called the HCA Military Veteran Hiring Initiative. Hiring Veterans is something we do because it aligns with our values, is the right thing to do and ultimately helps our company serve our patients. Likewise, supporting spouses and families of military warriors is also part of our mission. You will read how HCA facilities everywhere embrace our military families and lend support in a number of unique ways.
Veterans today are returning home to high unemployment rates. Seeing their needs, HCA stepped up and joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Veteran Employment Advisory Council. Ideas and best practices that come from the Council are shared with other major companies, helping over time to make a greater positive impact.
HCA’s Veteran Hiring Initiative has several components, and two main areas of focus: First, we make sure Veterans know that we have multiple opportunities within HCA that don’t require healthcare experience. Second, as hiring managers look for the best talent to fill open positions, we need to have a paradigm shift in our selection process. Veterans may lack technical certifications or industry knowledge; however, they do have exceptional skills that shouldn’t be overlooked. These include commitment, diversity, the ability to perform under pressure, leadership, and the proven ability to learn new skills quickly. In short, they know how to get the job done.
One of my favorite Proverbs states, “… as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This is evident of what takes place at HCA. As we hire Veterans into HCA, it can only make both of us stronger.
Avery King is Lead Military Veteran Recruiter for HCA