Colonial Life sees value of workplace veterans


Colonial Life sees value of workplace veterans

Which companies are looking to hire professionals with strong work ethic, dedication to teamwork and goal-setting, sterling leadership qualities, a strong sense of community and a long list of accomplishments?

All of them.

And human resource professionals at Colonial Life have found a treasure-trove of potential employees with those skills among the servicemen and servicewomen of the U.S. military.

Debbie Truluck, a senior staffing consultant based at Colonial Life, recently saw those skills on display by attending a Boss Lift. The event, which happens across the country, is an effort by the Department of Defense to showcase the leadership, management and technical training provided to employees who serve their country through the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve.

Truluck and about 30 representatives of other employers were invited to visit McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Sumter, S.C., and Joint Base Charleston (S.C.). The employers toured the National Guard facility (which included an Apache helicopter and a G-force suit), traveled to Charleston on a Chinook helicopter, toured the Charleston joint base (which included a C-17 Globemaster) and the Naval Weapons Station.

“It was a life-changing experience,” Truluck said. “I’m still in awe. “It was an opportunity for them to share what they do. They weren’t asking us for anything.”

Truluck was impressed by the teamwork and the camaraderie exhibited by all of the servicemen and servicewomen they met. When meeting the numerous personnel responsible for the C-17, for example, every one of them described their job in terms of the pilots’ safety.

“It was a unique opportunity to see the connectivity – the impact each role has on the next person,” Truluck said. “It’s given me such a greater awareness of how much difference military personnel can make in a professional workplace.”

Military personnel on active or reserve duty are covered under Colonial Life’s military leave policy for a leave of up to five years. For active military personnel, Colonial Life makes up the difference between military pay and employee pay for up to 12 months per leave, and offers continued medical and dental insurance and life insurance during that period. For those on reserve duty, Colonial Life makes up the difference between employee pay and military pay for up to two weeks each year. Those who serve generally remain employed in their current jobs and have training made available to refresh skills.

Colonial Life shares job opportunities through various military job boards, and through partnerships with AcademyWomen, The Wounded Warrior Project and the Bobby Dodd Institute. As a part of Unum Group, Colonial Life is also one of 160 companies in the 100K Jobs Coalition committed to sharing opportunities and talent across a broad spectrum of industries and locations.

Colonial Life recognizes those employees with military experience with an annual Veterans Day celebration. Truluck said she sees opportunities for the company to expand its engagement with active and retired military personnel through recruitment, support and training for future positions (through skills such as resume-writing).

There’s plenty of opportunity. According to G.I. Jobs, a service that works to connect military veterans with private sector jobs, there are about 400,000 returning service members every year.

“I hope we can keep the momentum going,” Truluck said.