Don’t be a recruiting blog post

I’m not big on talking on the phone and especially not with people who are trying to get me to convince me to do something. I’m going to tell you this story because there’s a recruiting lesson to be learned here.

I just got off the phone with someone who called to invite netPolarity to participate in a career fair for veterans.

“Hi, this is Angelica from Veterans Organization Thingie, and I’d like to extend netPolarity an invitation to our career fair…”

“OMG that’s awesome! Is there a cost to participate?” I asked. I’m really interested…Veterans Outreach is something we can always do more of. You might find this as a surprise, but I am a huge fan of the United States Armed Forces.

“Fiveninetyfive,” Angelica said.

“Five hundred and ninety-five US Dollars?” What sort of approval process do I need to get this through?

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Sweet. What do I get with that?” What sort of approval process do I need to get this through?

“A booth…”

“Oooh, a booth! How big is the booth?” Is there room to bring in a huge screen that plays a video of how much we adore our veterans?

“Well…it’s a table…”

“Alright…cool…” I can still do a lot with a table, I guess.


“When is it?” I asked. This will require some preparation.  Is this a date I can commit to?

“On the 23rd…” she said.

“Of this month?” I asked.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Hmmm. That’s fairly soon. Where is it going to be?” That’s just more than a week away. I guess I can sprint and ask for approval to spend $595  plus my time to attend this event…do I have the time or the bandwidth to do this? Let’s ask more questions! Will there be veterans from the Coast Guard? Will there be airmen?  I’m really interested! Let’s ask more questions!


“You know what I can do for you? I can send you all that information via email.”

“Ahh! Sweet! Awesome, then. My email address is”

“Thank you ma’am. I’ll email all of that to you right now, and I can follow up with you once you’ve received the information.”

“Awesome…have fun! Thanks for calling and for the invitation!”


If you are a recruiter, you should find this story quite tragic. Angelica had the perfect target for that phone call. Not only was I the person in charge of veterans outreach, she must have a pet unicorn to have the awesome luck of actually getting a hold of me. And did I mention I was interested?

The tragedy here is that the likelihood I will re-engage with Angelica just dropped dramatically. Because after we hung up, I saw a note I made to myself, “write a recruiting blog post” and I started writing this. Meanwhile, I saw a tiny email notification on the corner of my screen that said “2014123 Bay Area. Support our troops.” I’ll check on it later.

Now think of me as your perfect candidate; that purple squirrel you’ve been looking for. You just let me off the phone, probably never to be heard from again. And you just let me off the phone.

Recruiting Lessons Learned:

1)       Do not be afraid of questions. Questions indicate interest, each answer is an opportunity to present more value.

2)       Treat each question as an opportunity to discover your candidate’s motivations. The more you understand your candidate’s motivations, the more control you have over the conversation.

3)       Don’t let the candidate off the phone until you have everything you need. Your goal is to get that candidate to verbally commit to being submitted. You can’t get this accomplished on all calls, but you need to get as close to it as possible.

4)       Treat each phone call as your one and only chance to have a conversation with the candidate.

5)       Don’t give your candidate the option to put off what could be done now.

I could be reading Angelica’s email, instead I am blogging about it. So don’t be a blog post. Keep that candidate on the phone.


Take a test: how prepared are you for your interview?

Take a test: how prepared are you for your interview?

So. You’ve got your eyes set on a new gig for 2015. You’ve got an interview confirmed and you are determined to make a great impression.

CareerBuilder’s 2014 survey of 2,201 hiring managers lists the 10 most common interview mistakes:

  • Appearing disinterested 50%
  • Dressing inappropriately 50%
  • Appearing arrogant 53%
  • Talking negatively about current or former employers 50%
  • Answering a cell phone or texting during the interview 49%
  • Appearing uninformed about the role 39%
  • Not providing specific examples 33%
  • Not asking good questions 32%
  • Providing too much personal information. 20%
  • Asking the hiring manager personal questions. 17%

Most of the blunders listed can be easily avoided simply by taking the time to prepare for the interview.

How ready are you? Take a quiz! The higher your score, the better prepared you are. Each question is followed by a scoring guideline with tips for improvement. Enjoy!

1. COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “To prepare for this interview, I have…

  • (25 POINTS) visited the company website.”
  • (25 POINTS) studied the company’s products/services.”
  • (25 POINTS) visited the company page on LinkedIn.”
  • (25 POINTS) checked out the LinkedIn profile of the hiring manager who will be interviewing me.”

How did you score?

(25 –50 POINTS) You have done some basic research on the company through their website. Sites like LinkedIn can give you more insight. If you have the name of the hiring manager with whom you’ll be interviewing, why not take the time to review his/her profile?

(75-100 POINTS) You have done some serious homework –good job!

GET AN EDGE! While you’re browsing through the company page on LinkedIn, check out the profiles of others who have been hired in roles similar to the one for which you are interviewing. Does anything stand out? How are their backgrounds similar or different from yours?

2. COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “To prepare for this interview, I have read…”

  • (25 POINTS) …the job description.
  • (25 POINTS) …the company website’s “Recent News” section.
  • (25 POINTS) …a couple of posts from the company’s blog.
  • (25 POINTS) …the company’s Facebook page.

How did you score?

(25 -50 POINTS) You have an idea what the job is about, and you’ve done some clicking around the company’s website. Many job descriptions, however, are written from templates and “Recent News” might not be all that recent.

(75 -100 POINTS) You’ve been socially active with the company’s brand, and as Martha Stewart would say, that’s a good thing. A company’s blog could give you further insight into a company’s values and employee culture, and a company’s presence in social media sites like Facebook could give you a feel of how they interact with their online community.

3. COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “I can tell you…”

  • (25 POINTS) …when and why the company was founded.
  • (25 POINTS) …who is running the company now.
  • (25 POINTS) …whether the company is publicly/privately held.
  • (25 POINTS) …who my prospective boss is, his/her background, and how long he/she has been in this role.

How did you score?

It’s not just for the brownie points. Knowing as much about the company’s story, what makes them different, your prospective boss’s background not only shows that you’ve done your homework, it gives you insight on what it might be like to work there.

The more you know, the more intelligent the questions you’ll be able to ask at the interview.

4. COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “I can tell you…”

  • (25 POINTS) …about at least one of my accomplishments at my current/previous job that I am proud of.
  • (25 POINTS) …about a challenging situation I’ve had to overcome at my current/previous position.
  • (50 POINTS) I can articulate the above in STAR format.

How did you score?

  • (25-50 POINTS) Yay! You have answers ready for the two most common interview questions.
  • (100 POINTS) Awesomeness! The STAR (Situation Task Action and Result) format is a great way to ensure you stay on point and cover all bases when answering the accomplishment/ challenge question.

The STAR Model

The STAR Model is a framework for answering questions that begin like this: “Describe the most difficult/ interesting/ rewarding…” or Give me an example where you…”

  • SITUATION Begin with a brief description of the situation (who, what, where, when, how).
  • TASK Explain the task you had to complete highlighting any specific challenges or constraint (deadlines, cost, other issues).
  • ACTION Describe the specific actions you took to complete the task. These should highlight desirable traits without needing to state them (initiative, intelligence, dedication, leadership, understanding, etc).
  • RESULT Close with the result of your efforts. Include figures to quantify the result if possible.

The STAR Model provides a simple structure to help you answer behavioral questions like:

  1. “Describe the most difficult thing you’ve ever worked on.”
  2. “Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge.”
  3. “Tell us about when you went above and beyond the call of duty.”
  4. “Tell us about the toughest group that you’ve ever had to get cooperation from?”
  5. “Tell us about a time when you had to deal with a conflict within your team and how you helped to resolve it?”

And many more! Try it! Situation + Task + Action + Result.

5. COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: “I can tell you ….”

  • (25 POINTS) …at least one thing that I am excited about, related to the company role.
  • (25 POINTS) …at least one thing that I am curious about, related to the company role.
  • (25 POINTS) …at least three things that makes me a great fit for the position.
  • (25 POINTS) …at least one thing I appreciate about my current/previous employer.

How did you score?

  • (25-50 POINTS) You are excited about this opportunity. That’s an awesome thing.
  • (75 POINTS) You are excited and you are confident you are The One they are looking for.
  • (100 POINTS) You have at least one thing nice to say about your current/previous employer –awesome!

50% of hiring managers in the CareerBuilder survey said they are turned off when candidates speak negatively of their former/current employers. No matter what your experience has been with your former/current workplace, resist the negative talk. Being prepared to say something nice about your current/former employer helps.


  • ____ I got a full night’s sleep.
  • ____ I am dressed appropriately.
  • ____ I know how to get to the physical location of where my interview will take place.
  • ____ I have allotted plenty of time to get myself to the interview at least 15 minutes early.
  • ____ I have a printed copy of my resume, just in case.
  • ____ I have my recruiter’s number on speed dial, just in case I need last-minute help (I’m lost, etc)

I’m at the lobby!

  • ____ I have turned my phone off.
  • ____ I have a smile on my face.

Congratulations! You’ve completed the test! Good luck on your interview!

Lisa Amorao is the Marketing, Communications and Employee Engagement Manager at netPolarity, a leading provider of comprehensive contingent workforce solutions to Fortune 1000 companies across North America.


Beyond Instagram Cuteness: Canine Delivers Real Value to the Workplace

This is a story about a dog named Obie, a 7ish-month-old French Bulldog belonging to our lead sourcer, Michael Maxey.

Obie stole our hearts from the moment he showed up at netPolarity for a quick show and tell. We’ve never had regular canine presence in the office, but seeing the Instagramming potential of this Winston Churchill lookalike, as Marketing Manager at netPolarity, I invited him to come to work with his human.

Below: Obie stops by to visit netPolarity’s HR Manager Cathleen Fucci.

Months since his first appearance in the office, Obie the Frenchie today is a regular guest at netPolarity, lovingly referred to as our employee-certified Employee Engagement and Morale Dog. Obie was even mentioned by employees in their speeches at our 2014 holiday party. He is compensated with lots of human interaction, lunchtime picnics, hugs, kisses and belly rubs from dozens of employees, prime rib and ham, free dog training from multiple trainers, lots of socialization and play. Best of all, he is rewarded with the thing that dogs crave most: a purpose.

Below: Obie wants to know if netPolarity Technical Recruiter Eric Stafford has a hall pass.

Bringing Obie into the netPolarity pack has been a workplace experiment that has delivered great value, far beyond Instagram cuteness. Here are the ways having a canine presence at work has impacted our workplace:

The Dog cures The Mondays. Even the most engaged employees can find the beginning of the week challenging. All it takes are a couple of employees to get a case of The Mondays and next thing you know, everyone’s got it. Just as contagious is happiness. The Dog does not distinguish between Monday and Friday. The Dog is just happy to be at work surrounded by lots of humans. With his infectious positivity, Obie has been our best defense against The Mondays.

Could this be why nP Technical Recruiter Joseph Apodaca (below) loves Mondays? Seriously.

The Dog facilitates engagement. Conversations that used to occur over email now happen in person. For example, during benefits open enrollment, rather than sending out reminder emails to employees to turn their forms in, we took Obie for a quick walk around the cubicles to tell employees that the deadline to sign up was approaching. In an email-intensive environment, this was far more effective and engaging than sending multiple reminder emails that are likely to get buried in inboxes.

Below: Obie reminds netPolarity Recruiter Miranda Alaniz that our open enrollment forms are due at close of business.

The Dog is a symbol of shared accomplishment. Our modular approach to service delivery makes us uniquely capable of meeting quality, speed and volume demands of our clients, but it can also make a workplace vulnerable to disengagement. Almost all netPolarity employees participated in bringing The Dog into our workplace pack, regardless of which team or department they belonged to. From our executives to our account managers, to our sourcers and recruiters, to our human resources staff, accounting, finance and payroll, we all played a part in potty-training the puppy, teaching The Dog to sit and stay, to shake hands, to behave appropriately for the office, to walk calmly next to a colleague.

Dogs instinctively know who the leader is in any pack. Below: netPolarity President David Chuang is having a serious talk with Obie about our company’s mission: to empower and enrich the lives of everyone we touch by “bridging the gap” between world class organizations and contingent workers.

Below: a throwback photo of netPolarity Director of Client Services Kim Hoang cuddling with Obie when he was much smaller.

The Dog facilitates employee wellness. Meetings that used to occur in conference rooms now occur outdoors over dog walks around the building. As an added value, dog walking meetings tend to be more productive. You can’t really look down on your phone to multitask when you are walking, which makes you more attentive. Also, dog walks are highly structured and come with a built-in time limit: a walk around the block to talk about a specific agenda. Things need to be wrapped up by the time you come around the building. You come back to your desk with action items.

To The Dog, every day is a good day. Even parking lots are exciting.

As far as Obie is concerned, this pole and these trees…they are all his.

The Dog sniffs things out. The Dog knows who’s having steak and eggs for breakfast and The Dog knows who went to Popeye’s for lunch. The Dog also knows who’s nervous, sad, anxious, excited, frustrated, etc.

The Dog disarms. When The Dog is present, employees tend to open up more and talk about the different challenges they may be dealing with whether or not it’s related to their jobs, things that managers are not always in a position to ask about. The Dog has opened a new communication channel through which we can engage with our employees.

The Dog simply listens. The Dog has no hiring or firing authority. The Dog respects confidentiality. It literally cannot repeat anything you say. You can bounce ideas off with The Dog without fear of criticism. You can whine to The Dog all you want and it won’t affect him nor will he spread that energy to others. The Dog thinks you’re awesome no matter what. On more trying days, having this tiny benefit makes the difference between powering through the challenge head on or grinding through it.

Last but not least…

The Dog demonstrates what it is to have a sense of purpose. “Sense of purpose” is one of those abstract concepts that gets mentioned a lot when we talk about motivating employees to help them succeed. But what is it really, to have a sense of purpose?

The Dog likes treats for tricks, but what the The Dog really craves is a job to do, a mission to accomplish.

I’m going to guess that our experience with Obie demonstrates what police departments, military units, fishermen, hunters, farmers and other professions that keep company with working dogs have known for centuries. What makes dogs great workers? They thrive in having a job to do. As a result of hundreds of years co-evolving with humans, canines are hard-wired to carry out our missions: from sniffing out explosives or contraband, to hunting down insurgents, to herding sheep, collecting fishing nets, to engaging employees.

The list goes on. Does your office have a working dog? How does your workplace benefit from canine presence?

Lisa Amorao is the Marketing, Communications and Employee Engagement Manager at netPolarity, a leading provider of comprehensive contingent workforce solutions to Fortune 1000 corporations across North America.


Engage. Making it so without the ping pong table.

Employee engagement is all the rage these days in workplaces around the globe, and I’m going to take a wild guess that we can attribute this sudden focus to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report 2013, which put out some sobering numbers: 70% of employees are disengaged and not reaching their full potential.

Engagement is the answer to our productivity woes!

While it is awesome to see employee engagement the attention it deserves, the knee-jerk reaction to the report has also caused many organizations to throw a bunch of money to solve challenges they don’t fully understand, resulting in poor ROI.

What is employee engagement? To answer this question, let’s establish a few key points:

  • Employee engagement is NOT about employee happiness, although employee engagement often leads to employee happiness.
  • Employee engagement is NOT about employee perks. Perks can be used as engagement tools, but it is not the only tool at your disposal.
  • Employee engagement is NOT about employee appreciation. Even employees who feel well-appreciated can still be disengaged.
  • Employee engagement is NOT about having a fun employee culture. You can have a fun workplace filled with disengaged, unproductive workers.

Employee engagement is about getting your employees to do what you brought them on board to do: to drive your organization’s business goals and objectives forward.

Employee engagement is about getting your employees behind your organization’s mission. For employees to engage in driving it forward:

  1. Employees need to understand your organization’s mission.
  2. Employees need to understand what role they play in advancing your organization’s mission.
  3. Employees need to understand how the company’s success (or failure) impacts them as individuals.

This is what I like to call the Engagement Trifecta.

Truth: everyone starts out engaged. Sustained employee engagement past the honeymoon stage of employment requires managerial engagement: consistent, sustainable effort and most importantly, leadership. Here are 5 things you can do to improve engagement in 2015 that has nothing to do with a ping pong table:

  1. Communicate. Keep things straightforward. Identify and address any points of confusion. Provide feedback. Keep sugarcoating to a minimum. Say things in plain terms. Actions speak louder than words.
    Does your daily messaging reinforce your company’s mission in a way that your employees can relate to and get behind on? Can they see the big picture? Can they see themselves in it?
  2. Listen. Pay attention. A lot of learning tends to occur when one engages in listening.
  3. Ask questions. “How are you?” “What can I help you with?” “What can we learn from this?” “What can we do better?” “What skills do you wish you could learn that will help you do your job more effectively?” “Why do you think this is not a good idea?”
  4. Project positive energy. A dog taught me that there really is a thing called “energy” that we project. Regardless of what words you use, your energy does not lie.  Do you project energy that encourages or discourages? When speaking to your employees about performance improvement, do you project energy that corrects (positive), or do you project energy that punishes (negative)?
  5. Be consistent. Harness the power of predictability. Minimize confusion. Provide structure. Set expectations. Follow through.

Happy engaging!

Lisa Amorao is the Marketing, Communications and Employee Engagement Manager at netPolarity.


Small daily doses of change can go a long way.

According to DataLab, only 44% of Americans made New Years Resolutions for 2015. That number has been on a steady decline, and that’s likely because only 8% actually reach their goals.

The list of Most Common New Year’s Resolutions also demonstrates why success rates are low: they require drastic changes that demand dedication. Fun read: How Fast You’ll Abandon Your New Year’s Resolutions.

Resolutions don’t always have to be challenging, ginormous endeavors. There’s a lot to be said about thinking small. Here are some snack-sized resolutions that don’t require Herculean amounts of commitment:

An apple a day. Can you commit to eating an apple every single day for 365 days? This may not sound challenging, but eating an apple every single day can lead to so many possibilities. You might discover the many ways it keeps the doctor away.

Give me five. Can you commit to five jumping jacks every morning? Five lunges? Five pushups? Five situps? It may not sound like much, but doing five jumping jacks every morning for an entire year is likelier to have a greater impact than hitting the gym in January and quitting after three weeks.

Selfie a day. Love or hate them, the selfies we take and post on social media sites are great tools for personal discovery. This is how we present ourselves to the world, little snippets of our online personal brand. If “improving my personal brand” made an appearance in your list for 2015, this is a good place to start. Where will this journey take you?

A word a day. Ah. An oldie but goodie. This is easy enough to do with many online resources and apps to help you become a word richer everyday. Where will your expanded vocabulary take you this year?

Six word memoirs. Perhaps in the past, you’ve resolved to writing a journal, or maybe even blogging. You got a nice new WordPress blog, you worked hard on your template and sidebars and widgets. The posts are going to come daily! Weekly. Monthly. Quarterly. This is tough even for those of us who write for a living. Whether or not you feel like writing, you can meet this commitment, six words are all you need. There will be days when the words might be “puppy unicorn skittles rainbow kittens love” and days when “Murphy is in town wrecking hell.” It’s a great way to establish a writing habit, if that’s something you’d like to get into.

You get the picture. Small daily doses of change can go a long way. Happy 2015!

Lisa Amorao is the Marketing, Communications and Employee Engagement Manager at netPolarity.


Happy First Monday of 2015!

Happy First Monday of 2015!

It’s the first full working week of the year, and we are stoked to get 2015 underway. Belated greetings to netPpolaritans who celebrated birthdays over the break: Sravanthi, Renna, and Hammer!

According to DataLab, 44% of Americans said in December that they’ll make new year’s resolutions for 2015. Did you make any? We made quite a few and in the interest of keeping them, we’ve been doing some reading:

Make Your Work Resolutions Stick

Things to stop doing in 2015

Five Data-Driven Tips for Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? What do you hope to accomplish in 2015?

Happy 2015, netPolarity!


Mushroom hunting is a lot like sourcing and recruiting

Mushroom hunters have a lot in common with sourcers and recruiters.

As helpful as recruiters and sourcers are about sharing best practices, mushroom hunters, too, are more than willing to teach you how to forage and identify mushrooms. But just as sourcers and recruiters probably will never tweet about the super secret UX fraternity they managed to infiltrate, mushroom hunters protect the GPS coordinates of their foraging grounds. Where did you find all those morels? Oh, you know. Northern California!

Just as recruiters are relatively easy to locate at a Hadoop hackathon, mushroom hunters are very easy to spot, even in the woods. Unlike hikers or other people you might encounter in the woods, a mushroom hunter has a very distinct profile: lowered posture, head down, they usually don’t appear to be going anywhere. They mill around in random circles, poking at the ground with a stick, carefully overturning fallen branches.

As a recruiter or a sourcer, do you ever feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack? Try digging through plant debris to look for chanterelles, morels, boletes, and yes, the California truffle.

But just like effective sourcing, you can use relationships to limit your search. Just as Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP tend to go together, chanterelles have a symbiotic, mycorrhizal partnership with live oak trees, which are much easier to spot than fungus under thick duff.

Just as recruiters and sourcers have a method of reading and understanding a candidate’s resume, there is methodology to mushroom identification. If you’re foraging mushrooms to eat, misidentification could be devastating. Springtime Amanita looks just like the deadly duo: Destroying Angel and Death Cap.

This one is called “Deadly Galerina.” I’m pretty sure that means don’t eat it.

Just like all candidates are hireable at least once, all mushrooms are edible at least once. We could go on all day about the cost of a bad match. A bad match with mushrooms could mean gastrointestinal distress.

How do you know if you are “some people?”

Just like great candidates, mushrooms can be found just about everywhere if your eyes are open. True story: I’ve always thought I would find my first chanterelles foraging in some super secret fog-covered forest in Big Sur, but that’s nowhere near how or where I found them.

I stumbled upon my first chanterelles while bird watching in a friend’s backyard in Mobile, Alabama.

“Well, I ain’t always right but I’ve never been wrong.
Seldom turns out the way it does in a song.
Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

~ Scarlet Begonias, The Grateful Dead

Lisa Amorao is netPolarity’s Marketing, Communications and Employee Engagement Manager and a fungus fan.


Video interviewing tips

Video chatting tools such Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Chat, Google Hangout are the next best thing to an in-person meeting and more companies are engaging candidates using video interviews.

As a job candidate, you can use the video interview to make a great impression and set yourself apart from others being considered for the role.

Here are some tips to help you ace that video interview!

Dress for the camera! You already know to dress as you would for an in-person interview. With a video interview, you do have to take into account how you will look like on the other person’s screen. Muted, neutral colors look good on any screen. Avoid bright colors — this could look really cute in person, but could also make you look radioactive on the hiring manager’s screen. Busy patterns aren’t the easiest on the eyes so it’s best to avoid them in a video interview.

Wear appropriate pants!Sure, you’re visible only from the waist up. But what if you had to get up for something? Do you really want your potential employer to see you in your pj’s?

Do your video interview in a controlled environment. It is best done in a neat, quiet room where no background noises can be picked up. Barking dogs, side conversations, lawn mowers, flushing toilets are all normal but potentially embarrassing noises if picked up by a microphone during an interview.

Also be aware of what’s visible to the camera. What’s on the wall behind you? Is that something you want your potential employer to see?

Close windows and blinds. Sunlight is awesome but often conflicts with internal light sources and cause weird shadows on camera.

Test your angle! We all have our preferred angles. Some would advise to position the webcam above eye level for a sans-double chin look, some prefer right at eye level. Whatever angle you prefer, test your webcam angle before the video interview so you are not having to fiddle with the camera.

Speaking of angles, always be aware of where the camera is pointed. Are you showing the top of your head as you jot down notes? I could go on all day about bad angles, but I think you get the picture.

Smile, you’re on camera! You’ve already made a great impression on paper, now it’s time to show what makes you unique, starting with your smile.

Any other tips you’d like to share?


Paying more than lip service to our heroes

As we honor the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, it is important that we pay more than lip service to our heroes who served and are serving to protect the liberties we enjoy today.

As staffing professionals, we are in a unique position to help our veterans, especially the ones transitioning back into civilian employment. This is not only responsible corporate practice, military veterans possess many of the traits we associate with whom we might define as a great employee: “loyal,” “hard working,” “quick to learn,” “works as a team member and independently,” “disciplined,” “follows strict protocols and procedures,” “attention to detail.”

While hiring veterans is definitely top of mind and priority for many corporations, our corporate veteran programs must go beyond acknowledgement. They must be comprehensive and go beyond getting veterans in the door.

Beyond a veterans hiring strategy, our “vet-friendly” hiring initiatives should include a retention strategy with a focus on employee development. The military is a million ways different from any given civilian establishment and doing well in one doesn’t necessarily translate to success in the other.

Being a “vet-friendly” company involves more than tying yellow ribbons around the old oak tree or sticking a red, white and blue badge, eagles and stars on your website, or a Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter/Instagram post on Veteran’s Day. It goes beyond OFCCP compliance. It takes providing Veteran employees an environment that will facilitate them becoming high performing members of your organization.

This involves training hiring managers on how to effectively interview a veteran job applicant. Dean Dacosta writes and points to a lot of information about this, so I recommend you follow him.

Veterans are mission-oriented. Beyond hiring, it is important to engage military veteran employees and ensure they fully understand their individual roles in accomplishing your company’s mission and vision so that they can help you drive it forward. This is also good employee engagement practice for employees with civilian backgrounds.

The military is a highly structured environment with highly rigid rules, hierarchies and protocols. It’s cool if your company has a flat organizational structure with fuzzy reporting hierarchies, but do keep in mind that a veteran or (anyone structure-oriented for that matter) might feel “lost” in your organization. Provide a set of protocols that a veteran (or anyone) can refer to. The Employee Handbook would be a good place to integrate these protocols and procedures. In honor of Veteran’s Day, why not review the content of our organization’s Employee Manual/Handbook?

Speaking of hierarchies and protocols, having a well-defined career path for your employees is essential to any workforce strategy. This is even more critical for a veteran employee engagement and retention strategy. In honor of Veteran’s Day, why not evaluate your organization’s employee career roadmap today?

Many of the tactics we describe here are great practices for developing a highly engaged workforce. Fostering a Veteran-friendly workplace is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for all employees.

Lisa Amorao is netPolarity’s Marketing, Communications and Engagement Manager.

(Header image pulled from:


Obie, EMD

A study published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management found that work environments with a canine presence are less stressed and are overall more satisfied with their jobs.

We at netPolarity can definitely attest to these findings. Our resident canine, Obie, EMD plays a very important role in helping us maintain a high level of happiness in the workplace.

Obie, EMD sits with netPolarity Sourcing Lead Michael Maxey.

Obie, EMD administering a much needed late Thursday afternoon puppy hug to netPolarity HR Manager, Cathleen Fucci.

As a certified Employee Morale Dog, Obie, EMD also has a licker license. Free puppy kisses to all netPolarity employees!

How do you administer happiness at work?