Houston area offers many health care opportunities to military veterans
For military veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce or private industry, the job search process may initially appear to be a bit daunting. For Houston-area job-seekers, however, there are plenty of opportunities and resources available to make the process a bit more seamless.
As part of its military veteran outreach, Houston Methodist partners with the Hiring, Red, White and You! Texas Medical Center committee. It recently held a Career Expo on May 9 to highlight hiring insights, the military-to-civilian transition process, and focus on veteran hiring in various professions.
The event was held with several other Texas Medical Center hospitals and focused on veteran hiring, highlighting openings in each of the hospitals.
“Job opportunities fall all across the map, though they are primarily centered around nursing as far as volume,” said Carlos A. Fernandez, manager, talent acquisition, Houston Methodist. “There are also positions available in the areas of allied health, information technology and supply chain management. We’ve seen fantastic candidates from military ranks, as they have key technical skills that are necessary for these available positions.”
At Houston Methodist, new hires can expect a very thorough orientation process, which maps culture, values and history as well as ongoing professional development for various skills, Fernandez said. It offers classes that may be beneficial depending on a candidate’s career path and how it aligns.
“Many veteran candidates have expressed interest in IT, supply chain and project management positions,” Fernandez said. “This speaks to the infrastructure within the military bases that they come from, and the technical training that they get.”
According to Fernandez, a certain advantage that military veterans bring to the table when it comes to skills they’ve developed personally and professionally is how they communicate to prospective and current employers.
“Some organizations have software that directly takes those technical abilities to directly correlate in applicant system,” he said. “That’s something they can definitely leverage when applying to roles or current employers.”
Fernandez also advises candidates get involved with other organizations such as Red, White and You when looking for mentorship resources, resume, interviewing and networking opportunities.
These nationally and locally recognized organizations provide key resources to veterans during a job search, at no cost to them, and they allow job candidates to spend time aligning with other veterans who are going from the military to the civilian job process.
Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center also is highly committed to hiring veterans. Presently, 27 percent of the hospital’s workforce is made up of veterans, and it is always seeking to increase the number of veterans on staff. In addition to the traditional health care professions of doctors, nurses and technologists, it recruits many professions that are also essential to military operations, such as law enforcement; personnel specialists; payroll processors; supply technicians; cooks; and trade professions such as electricians, air condition mechanics and locksmiths.
“Often, a veteran’s military training and experience translates exactly into the skills and abilities we are seeking to hire,” said Kathy Salazar, human resources manager for the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. “Besides the professional expertise veterans bring to our workforce, they also bring a special affinity to our patient population. The common military service background between our veteran patients and veteran staff makes our facility truly unique.”
The VA posts new job announcements daily at www.usajobs.gov, and veterans can establish an account at that site to receive alerts when jobs are posted that match their career interests.
“Training is typically the same as in the private sector,” said Maureen Dyman, communications director, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. “We make a solid effort to hire veterans, as they have very useful skills and discipline from their experience in the military.”
For more information about careers at Houston Methodist, visit www.houstonmethodistcareers.org. For the VA, visit www.houston.va.gov/careers/index.asp.
For further information about a career with the VA and the federal hiring process, visit www.vacareers.va.gov/VACAREERS/application-process/navigating.asp or the Office of Personnel Management website at www.fedshirevets.gov.