August 8, 2022

What we do at Shift

Over the past year, just about everyone has become aware of “The Great Resignation,” detailed across the media as one of the most significant periods on record of Americans leaving their jobs. And yet, equally surprising during this time is the existence of a large and available pool of qualified, talented individuals who simply cannot seem to find a job in their field of expertise.

Much has been written about the methodologies employers persist in using to identify the talent they need to fill open roles in their organizations. Some of these methodologies are antiquated (for example, simply listing open positions on basic job boards without investing the time and effort in deeper and more active recruitment efforts). Moreover, in some cases, the methodologies also eliminate a large proportion of the available talent pool via unnecessary hiring requirements. Listing a college degree among the attributes a job candidate must feature, for example, to obtain an interview for a job that actually requires very specific skills can be self-defeating for employers. 

A further challenge is that employers have been expressing concern over hires they’ve actually made, stating that many individuals who begin working for them still require extensive training in their job area despite having made it through the entire screening and interviewing process. 

An important talent pool that might assist with some of these hiring challenges – and yet one that’s not deeply considered by many employers – is the pool of people with military backgrounds: veterans and those transitioning out of the military. In reframing the hiring problems employers are facing, the idea of actively recruiting from specialized populations with unique skill sets needs to be included.

And that’s where Shift comes in.

In many cases, veterans bring more to an employer than just the skills listed in the job description. A veteran’s experiences are usually diverse and can include soft skills that go beyond simply the technical skills required for the job. A veteran’s skill set can also include specialized, niche skills that employers have difficulty finding in other job applicants who appear to have appropriate backgrounds for the job.

Veterans bring a suite of skills that can highlight them as unique job candidates. Most have the ability to operate under unfamiliar circumstances, learn quickly, and execute. Veterans bring an earned resilience and confidence borne of living and thriving through the unexpected. They have a strong understanding of shared leadership and an appreciation for transparency and honesty. Today’s veterans are self-starters who’ve been placed in unforeseen situations and successfully managed through them. 

Shift Talent Tool
Shift's Talent Tool

Shift helps employers discover and identify the talent they’re seeking from a diverse pool of veterans. Shift features a deep, vertical job platform called the Talent Tool that includes exclusively former military employees with specialized skill sets, who are seeking very specific positions. These positions translate into roles in which they can bring common value to employers. The customer-facing Talent Tool provides a job candidate’s primary technical background, geography, and skill set at a glance. New batches of candidate profiles “go live” on the Talent Tool every two weeks. Candidates are then featured for four weeks during their ideal interviewing window. And Shift partners can reach out directly to candidates to schedule interviews.

In addition, Shift is a Department of Defense approved SkillBridge provider. The SkillBridge program is an opportunity for those transitioning out of the military to gain valuable civilian work experience and to facilitate their transition into the civilian workforce. Companies can become host companies for those in the SkillBridge program and provide full-time internships for up to six months to transitioning military employees to jumpstart their post-military career. Companies provide on-the-job experience while the intern is still a Department of Defense employee.

Shift also manages two Defense Ventures programs.

Companies can join Shift’s Defense Ventures Immersion Network to deliver an industry immersion program that selects innovative officers, military enlisted, and civilians employed by the military to join venture capital and technology companies across the US, for eight weeks, to learn best practices – and thereby the company sends a Defense Ventures participant back to the Department of Defense armed with the latest commercial tech trends and innovation.

Alternatively, companies can qualify to become part of the Defense Ventures Tour, which is a training-with-industry program built in partnership with the Department of Defense and leading venture capital and private equity firms. Participants in the program gain first-hand knowledge of emerging technology companies developing critical capabilities for defense applications. Placement within these key contexts is intended to provide a bridge between the Department of Defense and the venture capital and private equity industries, fostering greater trust and cooperation during early-stage, dual-use technology innovation. In this program, participants spend a year on-site or remotely at a leading venture capital or private equity firm.

In this era of mismatch between the job market and job seekers, organizations need to cast a wider net than in the past to locate the best talent available to fit their human resource needs. Shift assists many companies with hiring employees who bring intangible as well as tangible skills to the workplace, developed through years of diverse military experiences. Shift’s role in the workforce ecosystem is a unique one, and brings benefit to employers and veterans alike. 

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