When active military are ready for a new assignment, seniority allows them to request certain postings. Military procedure is that they discuss the options with a human resources officer. Even the best of the HR officers, though, can only hope to know of some of the potentially thousands of openings and locations worldwide.
Recently discharged veterans and those not long from returning to civilian life have a different problem. Finding a job for them is complicated by the different languages military HR and civilian recruiters speak. Often, in the translation, too much is lost, leaving highly trained specialists struggling for any entry-level positions.
More than a few efforts have been made to bridge the worlds of military veterans and civilian recruiters, with limited success. Two year-old RallyPoint, however, is different. Not only does it help veterans and those nearing discharge from finding work consistent with their military training and experience, but it is a network among active military. Think of it as a LinkedIn for the armed forces.
Like that older and better known business network, RallyPoint members create profiles, exchange messages, join groups, and offer support to each other on all manner of military issues. In the last 18 months, the startup has added career services both for its active duty members and veterans.
Because RallyPoint is open only to active and former military, there’s a camaraderie of shared experiences that creates an environment very different from that of social and business networks. That’s where Army telecommunications officer Richard Becker turned when he was trying to decide his next posting.
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If that and a job board were all RallyPoint offered, it would still be a hit with the military. In less than 18 months the site went from 25,000 members to over 325,000. But its unique translation service is attracting the attention of recruiters from some of the largest companies. They especially appreciate the candidate search service, which enables them to use civilian job titles and descriptions and find candidates meeting the criteria. No need to know that an E-5 is an Army sergeant; military titles, ranks, and job experience are translated into the descriptions civilian recruiters understand.
Amazon, GE, and Dupont are among the companies using the site and finding success there in hiring vets and soon-to-be veterans. Even more than that, RallyPoint is emulating another feature of LinkedIn as it begins to serve as a referral network. Members can search for others with the same ranks and skills they hold and find the kind of work that may be a fit.
As co-founder and CEO Yinon Weiss told Forbes, “There’s no book out there that tells you what you can do if you carry a rifle for a living and you don’ t have a college degree. With Bloomberg and other companies on RallyPoint, it turns their veterans into brand ambassadors.”