4 Questions With Mike Francomb, Talent Expert at RecruitMilitary

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In this blog series, CEO and Co-founder Adrian Ridner interviews learning and development leaders across the industry for their perspectives on professional development, recruiting, company purpose and more. Today, Adrian chats with Mike Francomb of RecruitMilitary about learning agility, recruiting and more.

Mike Francomb is the Senior VP of Technology at RecruitMilitary, which connects employers with high-quality veteran talent. Mike first joined RecruitMilitary in 1998 and has held several leadership positions, focusing on areas like recruiting, technology, marketing, sales and operations.

Mike Francomb of RecruitMilitary
Mike Francomb

Adrian Ridner: Why is military veterans' ability to learn an asset in the workforce?

Mike Francomb: In the world of work, learning agility is the ability to be placed into new situations, determine what is needed, where your gaps in knowledge are, and then finding the path to gain that knowledge. In our veteran recruiting space, we see this as a primary reason companies like to hire military veterans. They are adept at handling new situations, assessing the situation in context of the mission they're given, and they know how to find the resource needed to solve the problem. In today's fast-paced business environment, this can prove invaluable for companies that have to continually adapt to changing market conditions, and nearly everyone is faced with that challenge.

AR: Why is microlearning becoming an important aspect of workforce development?

MF: Because of the rapid rate of change in most businesses, microlearning grows in importance. There isn't time to devote to weeks or even months of learning courses. The business needs to deliver on something new today, and the bite-size segments microlearning options provide gives a path for key people in businesses to learn an actionable skill they can put into practice today. My software developers are continually utilizing a wide array of online resources that provide this path to learn very specific things that we put into practice that day, not at some time in the future. That's demonstrable ROI!

Ongoing learning can play a role in recruiting employees

AR: How are ongoing learning programs connected to employee recruitment and retention?

MF: Since we deal with a population that is accustomed to ongoing learning and training while in the military, we see the cream of the crop of this talent source gravitate toward companies that display that this is part of their culture. We've seen companies like Humana, JPMorgan Chase and Salesforce develop initiatives that don't just support veteran hiring on the front end, but they continue to provide educational options that better integrate them into the company culture and provide exciting paths to career growth. With military veterans already being a group predisposed to having loyalty as a trait, this inevitably leads these companies to hold onto talent for a longer period of time.

AR: How can focusing on purpose give hiring managers a leg up when it comes to recruiting top talent?

MF: With the military veteran talent we work with, purpose is vitally important for companies to convey if they want to hire top talent from this slice of the population. While in the military, purpose is a core of your everyday existence, and when companies can convey their purpose as meaningful in the lives of others, we see them win talent from this group against companies that don't convey this message well. The single best strategy a company can use is to have those representing them on the front-end of recruiting displaying that purpose and the company's stated values. If these front-end folks don't live the stated values of the company and convey something different through their actions, candidates will see that and walk the other way. The best talent wants to see that what is conveyed publicly in your marketing is lived out in the people executing the daily functions of the business.

Ready to offer your employees microlearning opportunities? Check out's Enterprise Solutions.

About Adrian Ridner

Fed up with the high cost of education, Adrian Ridner started with the mission of making education affordable, effective and engaging. Today, the Mountain View-based startup not only helps students from elementary school through college with its unique online learning platform, but it also provides a flexible, convenient way for employees to develop their professional skills.

By Adrian Ridner
September 2018
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