NetSuite has long been committed to hiring those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Now, it’s taking that opportunity right to active duty members.
When Heather Miller’s firefighter husband left his job after close to 25 years, she had an epiphany: People who have proudly served their communities often ask, “What’s next? What else can I do that provides value and gives me happiness?”
As with first responders, veterans walk away from military service with both hard and soft skills. But they may also struggle to see a path to success in a large corporation, especially one with technical excellence at its core.
That realization led Miller, group vice president of global customer success for NetSuite, to help launch the NetSuite SuiteVets program, which is open to veterans and military spouses, particularly those with finance, supply chain or logistics experience. After participating in a three to four month training program, these heroes accept a new challenge: Help customers make the best use of NetSuite to grow their businesses.
The latest proving ground for SuiteVets is a Department of Defense program called SkillBridge, where a service member who is three to six months away from transitioning out of the military joins a company like NetSuite as a fellow while still being paid by DoD.
“It’s similar to an internship,” says Robert Lee, a NetSuite practice lead and Navy veteran who works with SkillBridge fellows. “They do the training pipeline as if an experience hire or a college hire, same exact training pipeline, and then if we want to keep them on, we offer them a position at the company as either functional consultants or associate project managers.”
NetSuite gets superstar future employees, our customers benefit from what these individuals learned while serving their country, and service members can have a job offer from a top company on the table before they separate from the military. That certainty eases what can be a stressful time for veterans and their families.
The program will run quarterly; NetSuite’s first SkillBridge training cadre graduates on Nov. 17, and about 90% have accepted job offers.
Lee and fellow veteran and SuiteVets program alum Adam Brady, a NetSuite practice manager, expect to double the size of the second class, which starts in January. They’re looking to pull in a diverse group of around 20 soon-to-be-veterans with a mix of officers versus enlisted members, civilian backgrounds, degree type, military specialty, and years of service.
Once the squad is assembled, the two make sure they set these vets up for success.
“Rob and I talk to them every morning,” said Brady. “We give them the ‘no BS’ around our jobs. The challenges that they're going to face, how to navigate through the corporate space successfully.”
Veterans may not look like a typical intern class. And the military has major differences from corporate life.
“A lot of veterans have a hard time saying ‘I don't know how to do this,’” said Brady. “That’s what the training is for. They need to leverage those skills of leadership and selfless service and drive that the military gives you. You know how to rely on the people around you. And then also leverage those skills of being adaptable, and being able to overcome. We talk a lot about resiliency.”
Attitude Is Everything
NetSuite customers looking for that kind of talent can also take advantage of the SkillBridge program.
How it works: Interested veterans apply through their chains of command. They then go to the DoD SkillBridge website(opens in new tab), which lists companies offering fellowship opportunities.
The veteran signs up, creates a profile, and uploads a resume. Candidates are pooled based on where they plan to locate after their service ends. A project manager helps match veterans with companies in the right region with jobs that have matching start dates and requirements.
“They can also go through a third-party vendor like Hiring Our Heroes,” says Brady, who adds veterans have proven capacity to adapt and learn new skills, so these programs work for all sorts of industries.
“You have the traits to be successful in tech,” he said. “You don't need to know how to code to work for NetSuite. You don't need to understand how to build HTML. All that stuff is available for you. We can train you on how to do that. You do need to understand how to work with people. You need to understand change management. And they get that experience in the military.”
So what’s in it for employers?
“You're hiring a bunch of lions,” says Lee. “You're hiring people that want to get into the corporate world, in the tech space, and start grinding it out.”
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