November 13, 2019
Veteran Recruiting Liaison, Chris Valdez, was recently invited on The Protectors Podcast to talk about Cognosante’s Veteran hiring initiative. He was interviewed by Dr. Jason Piccolo, an Army Veteran and advocate for lowering Veteran unemployment. They met at a Veteran networking event and decided to use Jason’s platform to provide information to transitioning Veterans about Cognosante and recruiting efforts. Highlights of the interview are detailed below.
Valdez is a current member of the Virginia Army National Guard, who has a decade of consulting experience with the United States Department of Defense. In the Army, he made the transition from Infantry Platoon Leader to Company Executive Officer right before being deployed to Qatar in 2015. While serving, Chris heard colleagues discuss pain points regarding Veterans healthcare. Since then, he’s had a passion for improving healthcare for Veterans and wants to make a difference by recruiting Veterans that can help other Veterans gain better access to care.
Working at Cognosante
Closing in on his first anniversary, Valdez is in the process of tracking the headcount of all Veterans hired so far. He created the Veteran Recruiting Liaison role with the management team based on the brigade perspective—to work with parallel units to gather intel to bring back to commanders. Similarly, Valdez gathers information from job fairs and works to inform Veterans of job opportunities available at Cognosante. Valdez likes to compare recruiting to the infantry—recruiters are always on the grind and getting things done. “It’s a tough job, and you try to do your best. You leave knowing that you accomplished something,” said Valdez.
Why Veterans Should Work at Cognosante
“I’ve never had this much fun. Cognosante has a great culture with fantastic employees and benefits. The employees, Veteran or not, have character, personality, and increase company morale. Everyone has a great attitude, which could impart be from working with Veterans and absorbing their brother/sisterhood culture. The organization is growing, and everyone supports each other. No one ever leaves a ‘fallen comrade,’” said Valdez.
Preparing Veterans for Onboarding
When recruiting, Valdez tries to frame information in ways a Veteran can easily understand by using military lingo to grab the attention of a Veteran. Valdez goes on to explain how Cognosante, in partnership with external programs, provides interview preparation services to Veterans—workshops, resume building classes, and mock interviews are just some of the available offerings. Last, Cognosante recently earned the Virginia Values Veterans certification, which helps employers implement nationally recognized best practices in acquiring, developing, and retaining highly skilled Veterans. This showcases how we are making valuable Veteran additions to our organization.
How Veterans Can Find Us