For veterans transitioning from military careers to the civilian workforce, one of the biggest challenges can be simply translating their skillset into corporate terms. For companies looking to recruit former military personnel, making job descriptions understandable to veterans can remove hurdles in hiring.
That’s where Vetlign comes in. The tool, which Wells Fargo began using in late 2021, allows veterans to enter their military background, tenure, assignment(s), branch of service, and rank. It provides a streamlined and intuitive experience to help veterans identify roles that may align with their expertise and abilities. Chris Torres, a Program Manager of Operations on Wells Fargo’s Military Talent Strategic Sourcing team, describes Vetlign as a military skills translator.
“The Vetlign technology is the best use in this space. The functionality aims to reduce [veterans’] anxiety when translating their job skills,” he says. “With an organization of our size, you go to the career site and see 5,000 or more job openings and it can be very overwhelming – where do you start with that many opportunities?”
Vetlign streamlines the early matching process and quells the overwhelm. The initial narrowing-down and output of role suggestions initiates the job application process more easily and clearly. It can help veterans better understand the corporate playing field, where their skills might fit in, and what truly interests them.
“I often have people ask, ‘Why do you want me? I don’t have any financial services experience,’” stated Torres. “Veterans have all these transferable skills they may not recognize and are valuable in the civilian workforce in almost any industry with any organization, including Wells Fargo. So, this functionality translates their background and experience into roles or opportunities currently available within our organization.”
Among those transferable credentials are soft skills: expertise in everything from leadership to communication and relationship-building. For example, anyone who’s successfully led or worked within a platoon would have expertise like this in spades. Meanwhile, technical skills that translate well include experience in risk management and research.
“The skillset required for an internal auditor, as an example, can fit very well with those in the military who have worked in the Inspector General’s office or have done investigations,” says Torres. “Veterans may not recognize the skillset They possess and will transition well into the civilian workforce. That’s where the Vetlign skills translator comes into play.”
While Torres himself has not served in the military, in his work with Vetlign and transitioning former military personnel, he tries to put himself in their shoes. Before joining Wells Fargo four years ago, he was with another company in an adjacent industry for over 20 years. Moving to a new company in a new field was overwhelming, even moving from one civilian job to another.
“I can’t imagine going from an industry like the military into something completely different,” he says. “Trying to figure out an opportunity that suits you best can be daunting.”
In working to support veterans in transition, Torres and his team also strive to support military spouses, too. To that end, the Vetlign tool has an interface for spouses, who can input their background and expertise and receive their own set of opportunities at Wells Fargo. With the addition of the skills translator, Torres hopes some of the initial job-hunting guesswork will go by the wayside.
Veterans and spouses must still apply for jobs but starting off with a list of well-suited options removes some barriers to entry for job-seekers and Wells Fargo. It also helps candidates spend less time and effort applying for jobs that may have very low probabilities of success for them while potentially increasing their application to interview ratio.
“We treat people looking for roles as a form of our customer,” says Torres. “If they’re interested in our organization and we might be interested in them, then why not provide them this type of service or functionality? Our goal is to hire and retain the best military talent. And one way we accomplish our goal is offering a streamlined service like this to help get them in the door and an opportunity that aligns well.”
In other words, incorporating Vetlign into veteran and military spouses’ hiring practices is a win-win. And so far, while it’s still relatively new to Wells Fargo—it’s been in use there for about a year—it seems to be working.
“The immediate feedback we’re receiving [from transitioning veterans] is it’s beneficial in their job search,” Torres says. Moreover, “it helps us attract high-quality military talent to the organization.”
Veterans and military spouses interested in using Vetlign can find more information and links here.