Industries

Deliberate strategy

Dominion puts extra effort into hiring veterans

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Saddiq Holliday of Dominion Resources (left) discusses job openings
at a jobs fair in Virginia Beach. Courtesy Dominion

One out of every five new hires at Richmond-based energy company Dominion Resources is a veteran. That’s not by chance.

Dominion, a V3-cerfitied company with 15,000 workers in more than half a dozen states, has a deliberate strategy for attracting qualified veterans.

One element in Dominion’s efforts is a sophisticated website, troopstoenergyjobs.com, that it spent several years developing and testing in conjunction with other energy companies.

Saddiq Holliday, a staffing specialist and military programs coordinator for Dominion, says the website — which is continually being tweaked — tries to make it as simple as possible for veterans to find jobs.

“Now when we launch specific jobs, we put military occupation codes on certain jobs that we know fit right with the military. So veterans can look at a job posting, and they can see this MOS [military occupational specialty] on the job posting, and they can say, ‘That’s for me,’” says Holliday, a veteran who is an aircraft technician with the Air National Guard.

He says that most job descriptions are stripped of industry jargon and are written in ways that veterans can easily understand.

The website also helps veterans determine whether they need more education and training to be eligible for certain jobs. If so, there are tips about getting financial help and finding the right school. There’s also a virtual career coach for online help.

In seeking qualified veterans, Dominion representatives rely on everything from holding career fairs to soliciting recommendations from other veterans.

Company representatives also go to military installations and work with transitioning officers, so they can better prepare veterans leaving the military about what to expect.

“We’re finding that, if veterans who are looking for jobs have a better idea how to align their skills and education with what we’re looking for, they’re a lot more competitive in their job search,” Holliday says.

Daisy Pridgen, a media relations representative for Dominion, says veterans who are transitioning into the civilian workforce sometimes think only about linemen in reference to energy jobs.

But Pridgen says “the people who keep the lights on are backed up by a whole range of corporate functions from IT to accounting” and all things in between.

In March, the energy company staged its first Dominion-only job fair at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk. Dominion had an immediate need for veterans who had a background in nuclear operations. More than 200 veterans with related experience showed up, and Dominion was able to identify those who could start work almost immediately.

Holliday says that although good job candidates can come from any walk of life, qualified applicants who have served in the military tend to have core values that dovetail with Dominion’s.

“We come ready to work every single day with the mindset that we’re going to do the job safe, that we’re going to have good pre-job briefings on everything we do, and that there is going to be a wingman or buddy looking out for the person next us,” Holliday says.
Although Dominion has been working with the Virginia Values Veterans program since 2012, it has been recruiting transitioning military personnel for much longer than that. “We’ve been hiring veterans for a hundred years,” Holliday says.




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