Workplace MVP: Josh Rock, Nuss Truck Group
Josh Rock, Talent Acquisition Manager for Nuss Truck Group, has made a career out of both service to job seekers and going the extra mile to find talent for his organization. Josh joined host Jamie Gassmann for a discussion of a particular passion for him and for Nuss Truck Group: hiring veterans. Josh discussed how Nuss leverages the talents and expertise of former military, the unique talents veterans offer the company, how Josh finds talent, how he gives back in his role, and much more. Workplace MVP is underwritten and presented by R3 Continuum and produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®.
Nuss Truck Group
With eight locations in the Midwest, Nuss Truck & Equipment is proud to carry the best lines of trucks, trailers, and construction equipment. Their sales and service teams are highly trained to deliver and maintain the right truck or machine for your application to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency. You and your business can rely on Nuss.
Nuss was founded in 1959 and is a family-run business. This year they will open their ninth dealership and have almost 400 employees.
Josh Rock, Talent Acquisition Manager, Nuss Truck Group
After nearly a decade in recruiting with healthcare companies, Josh Rock moved the Nuss Truck Group as their Talent Acquisition Manager in 2o21. Formerly, Josh was in recruitment advertising.
Josh holds a degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is an active alum. He is the recipient of the 2001 Sieur du Luth Award Winner, given for the highest level of involvement and service to the university community.
R3 Continuum is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
About Workplace MVP
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, Workplace MVP, confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real-life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
Workplace MVP Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting from the Business RadioX Studios, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Workplace MVP is brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace behavioral health, crisis, and security solutions. Now, here’s your host, Jamie Gassmann.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:28] Hello, everyone. You’re host, Jamie Gassmann, here, and welcome to this episode of Workplace MVP. Across our country, we have an amazing pool of employees with skills and expertise that can enhance any workplace. As we continue to experience employee shortages, employers are having to get creative and strategic on how they recruit for their open positions.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:51] One area is to look into [inaudible] organization could hire military veterans and servicemen and women. Your company could be a life-changing opportunity for a veteran or a member of our military, particularly if they are in a transition from military life to civilian life. Many organizations have leveraged this talent pool of prospective employees and seen great success in doing so. So, how can your organization take advantage of this candidate pool? What might be involved with hiring a military veteran or servicemen or women? And, where do you start in building a hiring program that supports this group of employee candidates?
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:30] Well, joining us today to share his passion and expertise around hiring military veterans and servicemen and women is Workplace MVP and Talent Acquisition Manager for Nuss Trucking, Josh Rock. Welcome to the show, Josh.
Josh Rock: [00:01:45] Thanks, Jamie. Good to talk to you again.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:47] Yeah. Absolutely. So, why don’t we start off the show today with you sharing with us your background and how you got into talent acquisition?
Josh Rock: [00:01:56] Well, that’s a long and interesting story. I won’t bore your audience with the full details, but we’ll give you the shorter version. I joined Nuss Truck and Equipment in February of this year, so I haven’t been here that long. Prior to that, I was in the healthcare sector, working with some of Minnesota’s largest regional healthcare organizations as a recruiter. But prior to that, where the base of my career started, I was in advertising, mainly recruitment advertising for about 16 years, helping companies from small businesses to enterprise-level organizations find great ways to engage the candidate base across the country and across the globe.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:33] But before that started in college, I went to the University of Minnesota Duluth, go Bulldogs, by the way, big hockey fan, where I studied constitutional law of all things. So, how does a con law guy go into advertising and find his way into H.R.? It’s an interesting story, but, hey, nonetheless, I’m here today helping this great organization find and retain great talent.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:58] That is amazing. You know, it’s common. You know, I talked to a lot of H.R. leaders, a lot of, you know, H.R. professionals that have interesting stories very similar to that, how you just kind of fall into this type of work, which is just amazing and fascinating, you know, all in itself that how you get from one place to another and now it’s become like a really amazing passion and an opportunity for you to thrive.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:24] So, tell us a little bit about Nuss Trucking and how you got to that organization and what, you know, what are they – you do a lot of military hiring. Tell us a little bit about the background of the company.
Josh Rock: [00:03:36] Yeah. So, Nuss Truck started in 1959 around the Rockford, Illinois area where it was a Mack Volvo or a Mack service dealership run by our current CEO’s father. Bob Nuss then took it over in 1973, took over for his dad, and then, you know, relocated the dealership, an organization to Rochester, Minnesota in 1979. From there, it’s grown into what will be our nine dealerships here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We are opening up our ninth in Monticello, Minnesota here in January. We have roughly – we’ll have about 400 employees around the end of this year.
Josh Rock: [00:04:18] How I got here? The director of H.R., Joe Spier, joined the organization in 2018, where he had a long-tenured career with Burlington Northern Railroad prior to that. And, he was a client of mine. You know, I helped him find success and, you know, finding great talent across his region through the advertising tools that I was selling and we became great friends. I became a trusted advisor to him, ended up going to his wedding and seeing, you know, him raising his three kids. And, he came to me about a year and a half ago and said, “Hey, you know, I’m interested in making some changes here. Would you consider joining us and bringing, you know, that energy and excitement that you bring to recruitment to our organization?” And, in February, we made it happen.
Josh Rock: [00:05:04] It was hard to leave my old organization. I love, you know, the healthcare space. But through the work, the load, the stress of dealing with COVID, like many of us have had, it was time to make a shift. And, now I get to focus on a much smaller area of recruiting where I get to do it well and I get to help, you know, drive another industry forward. I get to travel more. I get to engage with students more, which are all elements that I thrive on and enjoy as part of my work. So, you know, great combination of different elements have brought us to where we are today.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:47] Awesome. Real quick. So, now the recruiting that you’re doing at Nuss Trucking isn’t just specific to military vets have, but have they always had a program focused around that or is that something that you brought with you from your experience in other organizations?
Josh Rock: [00:06:05] So, in other places that I’ve recruited, military has, you know, usually been a commonplace. When you’re in health care, you’re going to find a lot of military folks that have the medical training that could use it in the, you know, public sector or private, depending upon what arena you’re in.
Josh Rock: [00:06:22] But for me, how it came together where I kind of picked it up here at Nuss, is that Joe when he came here, he recognized that, you know, Bob Nuss had long term served, you know, the U.S. Army, in the guard. And, we find that, you know, some common threads in the candidates that we’re not only already working at our organization but and that we’re applying.
Josh Rock: [00:06:45] And so, we focused on that. Joe started putting together some framework regarding how we’re going to attract current servicemen and women and our retired veterans to come work for us and started to really focus on that, visiting military bases across the country, looking at those that are at our specialty schools, technical schools and, you know, use that as a priority point for us to hire.
Josh Rock: [00:07:12] Then, looking at the Nuss’ connection to the White House at the time under the Trump administration and the Department of Labor, I know we’ll talk about this later on, but the Department of Labor’s HIRE Vets Program, Joe decided to make that a big component to our efforts and help us get recognized by the Department of Labor for those through their criteria and made it a focal point for us.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:39] That’s wonderful. And, I know from conversations that I’ve had with you, you know, here and obviously at the SHRM Conference as well earlier this year, you’re quite passionate about hiring military veterans. You speak very positively about it. You can tell it’s a really, you know, core focus for you. I think – I see it as both, like, personally and professionally. So, tell me a little bit what’s driving that passion? What excites you about connecting with the military, the vets, and active servicemen and women about the opportunities that you have available for them?
Josh Rock: [00:08:11] Sure, Jamie. You know where that really comes from for me is it’s a parallel to what I was doing in health care. You know, in that healthcare arena, it was finding people who not only just wanted to help people, which is the line you heard all the time, but had a genuine passion for it. In health care, it’s not only the work, it’s the reward of seeing those who come in at their very worst and feeling better when they leave. It’s that same kind of reward, I guess is the best way to put it. But here in trucking, you don’t get that. You’re getting a truck back on the road. So, if for me, I need to find that fulfillment in another capacity. And so, I was able to grab on to that military hiring emphasis and bring that energy to that sector, that group.
Josh Rock: [00:09:00] And so, now, while I’m looking at our military, you know, veterans and servicemen and women to join us here at Nuss, I make that my focal point. I get to talk to them about where are they going? Where are they coming from? How they can now be successful as a civilian here with our organization with little effort and little stress about joining that world because it is completely different being in military and going into civilian, you know, and re-engaging and re-interacting and re-entering those worlds. And so, how do I, as an H.R. professional, as a recruiter, make that easier for them, whether they join me or not? Hopefully, they come to us at Nuss. But if they don’t, I can do little things here and there, résumé advice, network connections, et cetera, and help them steer that civilian career forward.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:53] Yeah. That’s wonderful. And, I know we’re going to talk a little bit about kind of the career direction and some of those shifts from being, you know, a military lifestyle to a civilian lifestyle both, you know, in a professional sense. But looking at vets and servicemen and women, you know, there’s a lot of transferable skills that they’re learning on the job and experience that they’re having from the types of work that they’re asked to do whether, you know you’ve got a combat engineer who’s building roads, who’s never done construction in their personal life now has the skills for how to build a road through the work they did as a military soldier.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:10:32] So, talk to me a little bit about some of that that can be missed sometimes, you know, when an employer is looking at maybe just a college degree or certain skills. How – you know what are some of those skills and experience that you found in the work that maybe you’ve done in the healthcare sector and now in this trucking sector that are beneficial to workplaces that, you know, employers really should be taking notice of?
Josh Rock: [00:10:58] Yeah. Great, great points there, Jamie. You know, obviously, when I’m looking at health care, it’s going be a little bit different because, you know, they’re going to have some medical aptitude.
Josh Rock: [00:11:08] Here in trucking and transportation, one of the differences that, you know, we look at is what structure, you know what capabilities do they have that will align. I mean, I’m talking to infantrymen who are not mechanics, do not have formal diesel training. But when they’re out in the middle of Kuwait or Mogadishu or wherever they may be stationed, Germany, like, you know, that you told me about your dad. When they’re out, they have to actually repair and work on their own vehicles. There isn’t going to be a diesel tech in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the mountains of Afghanistan, to fix when their Humvee breaks down. So, they have to have the general aptitude to be able to fix that and get them running again to wherever they’re going.
Josh Rock: [00:11:56] And so, I’m able to ask and knowing about those roles through my own research prior to be able to pull those pieces out and find a thread that will make them successful, at least, to start in our roles. And then, we’ll provide them the additional training and expertise for them really to stand out and grow what is a job into a passionate career, as a diesel tech or parts coordinator, et cetera, here in the civilian world.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:12:24] Yeah. That’s amazing. Finding, you know, certain things or experiences, you know, can go a long way in helping them to understand how they can grow. That’s great.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:12:33] So, talking about, you know, the challenges that the military vets and active soldiers might have when they’re looking for work and a career direction and you kind of mentioned that and I know we talked a little bit before that where, you know, in the military, you really know kind of the org structure, if you will, and exactly what your next move is. And, if you’re willing to take it and go through some of the additional training or education that the military is asking for, you can get that promotion. Talk to me about, like, how that shift to kind of that civilian world can be difficult when they’re looking at a career path.
Josh Rock: [00:13:11] You know, where a lot of the difficulty lies is the understanding. You know the recruiters, the hiring leaders, the corporate folks not understanding what the military occupational codes are. You know, how does that align with our civilian opportunities and then vice versa? How does a current or retiring service person correlate their job titles or duties to what a company is looking for?
Josh Rock: [00:13:41] Perfect example. Just Wednesday of this week, I was at the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair in Brooklyn Center and I had people stopping by who had no background in trucking or diesel mechanics, et cetera, and they were able to provide me résumés and I can look through their job history and find little segments and say, “Okay, based on what I see here, here are some opportunities that we can look at.” Because so often, whether it’s military or not, one of the easiest things people hinge on is they look at job titles. We got to stop doing that. And so, by me, being an employer of choice, saying, “Hey, let’s look at the job duties you’ve enjoyed doing or some things that you know well. Start your search in that direction.” And, as a recruiter, what I’m looking at, you know, current or former military, looking at what they’ve done and if I know the MOS codes and they listed on their résumé, I do my research ahead of time and preparation ahead of time to be able to find where I can apply them differently.
Josh Rock: [00:14:47] And so, knowing these things, having to learn them on my own, I have no problem contributing to the benefit of either side and saying, “Hey, here are some resources. Here are some tools to bridge those gaps.” Because realistically, the only difference between the recruiter or hiring leader and the candidate is one has the job and one’s looking. They’re virtually the same thing. So, why do we have to make it so hard? Can we find a way to make it easier?
Jamie Gassmann: [00:15:15] Yeah. Absolutely. And, you mentioned, like, on their résumé, understanding, you know, that military words or world. So, like, if somebody were a career military, they joined right out of high school, and they made it all the way up to an NCO.
Josh Rock: [00:15:32] Yep.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:15:32] You know, I grew up military. I know I’ve shared that on other shows that we’ve had. I understand what that means. But a lot of people don’t know what that means, I’m guessing, or how that correlates back to a position. And so, you know, how can an employer, and I know we’re going to touch on some of the tools and resources, but it does take getting to understand some of that world when you’re building a program like this, you know, or looking and considering a military candidate, looking up what does NCO stand for, you know, a noncommissioned officer. So, it’s like they’re in a leadership role. But does somebody know that and have you run into that with some of your candidates? Where – do you help them with that on their résumé? Like, how can they spell that out or help a hiring manager as well?
Josh Rock: [00:16:21] Yeah. You know and one of the things that I’ve done and I hope that those that are listening to the show have done and if not, feel free. Make sure you do this as a crucial addition to your goal list here coming up is connect with a veterans employment rep in your area. Because these people are – they’re trained to be resources not only for, you know, or interacting and engaging with the military folks that they’re working with but just giving you the correlation, giving you the tools, providing you information to make those things easier. And, I’ve done that many times. In fact, I was actually emailing back and forth with one of my vet reps here in Minnesota about my job opportunities. I send him a laundry list of our openings so that he can spread them out via email to all of his, not only coworkers but his cases, all of the candidates that he’s working with.
Josh Rock: [00:17:16] These people are paid to work with you, so use them. If you don’t know who they are, reach out to me if you want to after the show and I will help find where they might be in the area near you through the folks that I’m connected to and help bridge that gap because there shouldn’t be any reason why we’re not engaging, interacting with these vet reps or being that conduit between these audiences.
Josh Rock: [00:17:43] So, that’s an easy point, to make a connection there. You know, looking at other ways of doing that, you know, sitting down and talking, volunteering your time. You know, when you – if you can find these groups sitting down and -aside from doing interviews – because that’s the easy part, we do that all day, sit down with a vet and go over their résumé and coach them about what we, as recruiters or hiring leaders, look for.
Josh Rock: [00:18:08] At that same job fair on Wednesday, I sat down with a gentleman named Jeremy. He is in human resources, personnel, and he’s looking at an H.R. business partner role or an H.R. manager role but doesn’t know how to make the connections in the civilian world. You know, what things should he highlight in his resume? And, I took 10 minutes out of my time just to sit down and chat with him about, “Hey, you know what? I don’t have any H.R. openings, but here are some things that as a hiring leader, as H.R. manager, I would be looking for on your résumé.” Why not volunteer a little time? You know, give back. It’s good karma.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:18:45] Yeah. It’s very good karma. And, I love that idea of almost kind of on-demand mentor, if you will, for them looking for work. So, looking at the employer side of it, you know, there are benefits to hiring somebody with a military background and/or somebody who maybe is in an active, you know, whether they’re a reservist or a national guardsman. What are some of the benefits that you found from working with vets that they’ve brought to the organization?
Josh Rock: [00:19:20] Well, there’s a laundry list. You know, some of the easiest ones that I can just rattle off that we all should be able to as leaders is leadership. These folks not only understand the chain of command but they’ve been trained on how to lead others. Every year, every week, every month, somebody’s coming behind them that needs training that they’ve been given, mentorship, et cetera, about whatever field or practice that they’re in. So, they’ve had to do that. That is deeply utilized in any organization because nobody, no organization is just stagnant. People are retiring. New people are coming in and these folks are trained to be leaders automatically whether they were in leadership formally or not. And so, why not utilize that skill?
Josh Rock: [00:20:09] One of the biggest things for us here at Nuss is that this same military personnel, they’re used to working all shifts. They don’t get to decide. I’m only a first shift instrument. That doesn’t happen. I’m only a first shift officer. That doesn’t happen. They work around the clock. And so, if you have needs that fit nonoptimal schedules for the easier, you know, civilian folk, then look at these military personnel who’ve had to work all shifts understand what it’s like and may not mind doing that versus others.
Josh Rock: [00:20:46] That’s the first thing that I look at. I mean, when I was talking to a gentleman earlier this week, you know, coming out of the military, looking for a new job, I said, “You know, what are you looking at shift-wise?” He goes, “I’ll work any shift.”
Jamie Gassmann: [00:20:59] Yeah.
Josh Rock: [00:21:00] Simple. You know, meanwhile, I’m looking at students that are at the local technical college and they’re, “I only want to work first shift.” Why? “Well, somebody – you know, my girlfriend, my significant other is working first shift,” and these people don’t care. They just want to work. They want to earn a paycheck. They want to enjoy life just like everybody else. But they’re not set on whatever that is because they’re used to working all shifts. So, they’re more of a utility player, which is fantastic. They’re driven. They’re driven to succeed. They’re not numbers-based oftentimes. They’re committed to it. There’s a service level of commitment that they hold higher than anybody else.
Josh Rock: [00:21:42] Those are just a few. There’s many more where that came from, but I’ve never found any of the military that I’ve ever hired or interacted with that really had any negatives. They passed drug tests. That’s out of the way. They pass background checks. That’s out of the way. I mean, so, all of these things that we run into with our standard civilian candidate pool, they automatically clear those gates because they’ve had to, being through the military.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:22:11] Yeah. Absolutely.
Josh Rock: [00:22:11] Actually easier.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:22:12] Yeah. And, they have really strong work ethics, and I think you’re kind of alluding to that.
Josh Rock: [00:22:16] Yeah.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:22:17] You know, because a lot of the times the role that they’re playing, you know, there’s lives on the line, whether it’s theirs or their comrades. So, it’s really important.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:22:27] So, looking at, you know, obviously, there’s you know, to your point, there’s a laundry list of different benefits that, you know, a military personnel bring to a civilian job. What are some of the challenges that employers might experience, you know, with hiring a military vet or a serviceman and woman that are maybe active in a reserve status or a national guard status?
Josh Rock: [00:22:53] Sure. One is time, right? Because, you know, if they’re in the guard, they’re going to have to do their, you know, weekends and there are two weeks, you know, those times that they have to go off to camp and training and those types of things. Then, you throw in deployments, you know. And, as an employer, we have to work around those things and we have to be comfortable, knowledgeable, and understanding about that and embrace that request, that time off that they’re going to need. Not all teams understand that. Not all leaders understand that. And, we need to give those folks the training and understanding so that way they embrace it as well.
Josh Rock: [00:23:29] Here in H.R., I get it. You know, I understand the commitment that they’re putting in. I understand the commitment their families are putting in. So, why can’t we do the same as an employer? So, that’s one.
Josh Rock: [00:23:41] Then, we run into, you know, mental issues, PTSD, et cetera. Providing the resources, making sure that they have the benefits available to them to be the best person that they can be and be the healthiest person that they can be. So, having those understandings, making sure leaders are aware within reason of things that they may have to encounter with working with various staff members and have the resources to support, you know. And, there’s countless others. It’s just being able, being nimble, being flexible to what our employees, our new employees, or tenured employees that may battle these things or have these issues pop up. We’re ready and prepared to handle and work with them.
Josh Rock: [00:24:28] You know, one thing about working here at Nuss, you know, versus other organizations have been a part of is we look at our staff as family. And, if somebody comes to us as an employee or a candidate and they’re battling certain issues that our military, our veterans may have, we treat them like family. We don’t ship them off and say, “Go do this and go do that and you fall under this criteria.” No, treat them like the family you have at home. That’s the best way because they’re going to keep coming back. They’re not going to leave and go to somebody else.
Josh Rock: [00:25:01] You know, so think about that. How would you want somebody in your family to be when they’re dealing with these things? Do the same. Not every organization is going to because it’s about ones and zeros, and so be it for those organizations. But somebody like us at Nuss, this is something that we focus on. We make sure that we have the resources available to them so they can be successful and through that, we as an organization can be equally as successful.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:25:26] That’s wonderful and kind of ties into my next question and talking about those situations where you do have a reservist or a national guard who is deploying. And, there’s you know – and I know I’ve talked about it on the show before, and I probably mentioned it earlier too, you know, my brother himself is actually in Kuwait right now. And, I know, you know, just through his stories and like through my other family member stories with these deployments, you know, there’s this, you know, there’s obviously time away from work prior to going where you’re kind of mobilizing and sometimes you’re at work and then you’re out of work and then you’ve got obviously the duration of time for the deployment. And then, there’s this time on the backends where you’re kind of engaging with your civilian life.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:26:14] And, as an employer, how – you know, you kind of are hinting at it a little bit in your response to like what Nuss does, but how can an employer help that employee, help that family member when they’re going through that? You know, what are some things that they can prepare their work environment for that allow for them to be able to give that employee that support and flexibility that they need during that time?
Josh Rock: [00:26:40] You know, one of the things that we’ve done and I’ve seen with other organizations is they have a point person in the H.R. structure or leadership structure that those folks can go to as a resource, when they need to talk about time off needs, support needs, et cetera. It’s not a roving, you know, support where they got to call in and they’re going to get John. And, the next time they call in, they’re going to get Mary, and the next time, no. One person of contact so they don’t have to share the stories over and over and over again.
Josh Rock: [00:27:14] I mean, we hear about the runarounds that people get through some of the medical support, you know, VAs, et cetera, just because of the sheer volume that they deal with. In our organizations, we can dedicate a person to be that point person for them as a resource. It’s not – it shouldn’t be a problem. It shouldn’t be a barrier. So, how do we make those things easier? Because they’ve got enough things to deal with.
Josh Rock: [00:27:40] But then providing training, provide leadership training, provide staff training where needed, that when somebody is coming back or somebody is deploying, how are we going to support them before and after? Because that’s easy stuff for us to do. We provide – we’re in H.R. We provide trainings for tons of things. We provide policies for everything under the sun. So, why can’t we do the same here? Why can’t we be proactive versus reactive?
Josh Rock: [00:28:06] So, those are some of the easy ones. You know, looking at time off, making sure that your team is allocated for coverage because obviously you have to save and retain that opening for when that person comes back should they want to come back. You know, make sure your workforce is agile to those shifts. Make sure that they – you know, you’ve got a plan of attack. When they leave, who’s going to cover projects that they were working on? Make sure the transition plans are already ready to go. So, it’s not a burden on the employee, but a burden on the organization. It’s a paradigm shift. These are easy things that we can do as employers to make that change easier on both ends.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:28:48] Yeah. And, I got to imagine communication has got to be key internally because I mean obviously you’re catering to the one employee in terms of the leave that they – you know, as an employer, you’re obligated to give that time and you want to because, you know, they’re giving back to society. They’re protecting our country, all of those facets that come with being a part of the military. But how does an employer with the other employees – you know, how important is communication and how do they make sure they’ve got the proper communication channels with what they’re able to share?
Josh Rock: [00:29:25] You know, for us, it’s timeliness, right? It’s being able to pull the trigger so to speak early on and saying, “Hey, we know this is coming. We know this person’s deploying or they have this time off due to this,” and saying, “Here’s what we’re going to do, already have a plan of action.” Communicate to the staff. Let them know that they’re their best buddy in the stall next to them is deploying and how do we support them. Communicating early and effectively. Again, providing them a resource to come back to us with concerns, needs, et cetera. How do we support them as a whole? Because, again, I laugh because people think that H.R. is a bunch of robots. No. We have human in our titles, so why can’t we be human in each and everything that we do? That’s easy. Sometimes it’s overlooked. Sometimes it’s overthought. So, address the humans, not the policy.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:30:21] Yeah. Great. It’s a great point to take a moment to hear from our show sponsor. So, Workplace MVP is sponsored by R3 Continuum. R3 Continuum is a global leader in providing expert, reliable, responsive, and tailored behavioral health disruption and violent solutions to promote workplace well-being and performance in the face of an ever-changing and often unpredictable world. You can learn more about how R3 Continuum can tailor a solution for your organization’s unique challenges by visiting r3c.com today.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:30:58] So, you know, you’ve obviously kind of worked in having, you know, these programs in places and navigating some of the benefits and some of the challenges, and you’ve seen some learnings over your years of hiring military vets and servicemen and women. Can you share some of those key learnings with our audience?
Josh Rock: [00:31:19] Key learnings. You know, for me, obviously, I didn’t do a ton of military hiring before coming to Nuss. It wasn’t nearly as prominent. You know, in the healthcare space, it was, you know, focusing on backgrounds in care providing and those that were passionate in particular sectors, whether it was oncology or transplant or emergency. And so, it was getting into here and learning kind of where things were coming from and how could we leverage it going forward. And, you know, for me, it’s always been about giving back. And so, when you look at how much our veterans have given and our servicemen and women are giving now, why can’t I do the same? And so, since joining Nuss, I make sure that I’m available to these vet reps across the state.
Josh Rock: [00:32:11] You know, I connect with the veteran employment personnel at these different technical schools that I’m going to. So that way, if I’m not talking necessarily about what we’re doing here at Nuss, I can at least provide them the resources about what other recruiters or other H.R. across the country are looking for and how to make those connections, making my network available. You know, promoting things like Job Hunt Chat that I’ve been doing every Monday for the last 11 years, talking about job-seeking advice, just giving resources.
Josh Rock: [00:32:42] I can’t solve the world’s problems. I know that. I know the servicemen and women can’t solve the world’s problems just on their own. But what we can do is provide the resources, provide the expertise, the knowledge to bridge those gaps. And, if it lands them here, fantastic. If it lands them with one of my partners, one of my friends, even better because, again, we all, not just me but them as well, are working to provide for our families. So, why not? I mean, let’s make this easier.
Josh Rock: [00:33:16] And so, I’ve, you know, dug in, you know, got to get my learn on, give up my time to these folks and other employers to help bridge those connections, that knowledge base, because it is important. These folks have given a lot of their life on our behalf. And, small incremental, you know, additions out of my schedule can make such a huge difference whether they join me or somebody else.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:33:45] That’s amazing. And, the work you’ve been doing and the work that Nuss has been doing has, you know, paid off, you know, in hiring military vets and servicemen and women because you are award-winning through the Department of Labor. I know you mentioned that earlier in the show, a little tiny sneak peek at, you know, the veteran programs that they recognize employers who have outstanding programs with. Can you talk a little bit about that award that you’ve won?
Josh Rock: [00:34:10] Definitely. You know, one thing, since we hire from across the country, we’ve focused on one of the programs that Joe was aware of which is the Department of Labor’s HIRE Vets Program. That program is available to anyone across any employer across the country. They have criteria. Things like percentage of new hires that are veterans, percentage of veterans that are retained over a 12-month period, programs to hire those folks training to your H.R. team regarding hiring of veterans, tuition assistance, you know agreements and availability of programs and such for those folks once they do join your organization. So, there’s this – and it’s not long. I think there’s nine qualifying points to become HIRE Vets Medallion eligible.
Josh Rock: [00:35:05] And then, you know, there’s different gates whether you’re a small employer, media employer, or a large employer. And then, obviously, you know, just like any other, you know, submission program, there are deadlines. And so, we make sure that we, you know, strive to hit our numbers, you know, our qualifying points each and every year. And, for us at Nuss, we’ve been lucky to be awarded the gold medal here in 2019 and 2020. We are the only trucking dealership in the U.S. to receive that award. We welcome anybody else to join us obviously. It’s not something that we want solely exclusive, although we’ll carry that badge for now.
Josh Rock: [00:35:45] And, I believe when this podcast is released, I believe the Department of Labor will announce the 2021 award, which I think we’re up for maybe a platinum but more likely the gold. But we’re eager to find out either way where that comes from. And, if somebody’s not necessarily up for the national DOL version, I highly encourage you to look at the Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Programs in your own region, in your own state, completely different criteria to get into that program and be recognized for. Usually, what that program starts with is connecting with a veteran’s rep in your region and starting to build your plan portfolio as to how you’re going to hire, retain, and engage veterans, current servicemen and women and their families. Because it’s not just the soldiers themselves, it’s their families that are also included in that program. So, definitely take a look at Beyond The Yellow Ribbon or Yellow Ribbon Company programs in your state or your region. And look at that. It’s another way to get yet deeper involved in hiring those folks and their families.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:36:56] Yeah. That’s awesome. And, you know, for business leaders hearing this podcast and going, wow, I, you know, thought about it, or, you know, I’ve hired a few vets or maybe want to build like a more robust, like focus recruiting program around it. What are some of the recommendations for where they can go for tools and resources that can help them to put that structure together?
Josh Rock: [00:37:19] Great question, Jamie. So, for the Department of Labor, you just literally go to the Department of Labor or Google HIRE Vets and all the information is right there on their page. I’ve got a sheet right in front of me talking to me about the criteria. It’s really simple. It tells me the timelines of when things need to be submitted, shows me the costs. You know, it shouldn’t be about that, you know, the financial impact, but it’s going to give you, you know, dividends in spades. But it’s there because finances are going to wonder about it. But everything is right there. Super easy. Very simple to do. The Department of Labor has made it really easy to submit on a regular basis.
Josh Rock: [00:37:55] The Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Program. Here in Minnesota, it’s a little bit more extensive. The plan is a little bit more robust because it does include more than just the soldiers themselves. But if you don’t get that recognition, the organization actually has put out a number of key areas for companies to plan around instead of things like focusing on training policies and procedures. How can you help the servicemen, women, and their families? Training and development? Community outreach? I mean, we all should be reaching out. We all should be giving back. And, so talking about those things. Joining committees. Recognizing those folks. Being a part of events in your community when those people are deployed and their families are here supporting them while they’re gone. You know, there are a number of employees in your organization that have family members who are serving. So, how can we support them?
Josh Rock: [00:38:52] And so, they give you these tools readily on their website to make that easier. Oftentimes we get so focused on what’s in front of us that we don’t think of the easy things on the sides. Take five minutes out. Look at what could you do tomorrow. What could you do next month that you haven’t put into play right now?
Jamie Gassmann: [00:39:12] Great advice. And, obviously looking at the great work that you’ve done and building your recruiting program at Nuss, you know, what are some of the key accomplishments that you would say you are most proud of and why?
Josh Rock: [00:39:27] Well, one of the biggest ones that I talk about is when I’m standing in front of a vet rep or I’m out at a military base and they say, “Well, how many servicemen you have working for you?” I can probably say we have 11% of our staff that has either served or is serving. That’s huge. I mean, we’re an employee base of, you know, like, I said we’ll be at 400 by the end of the year, 11%. That’s a large demographic in our organization that has given their time, talents, and their life to serving us. And, we’re proud of it.
Josh Rock: [00:40:02] We just – we’re rolling out our red program, you know, remembering everyone who’s deployed every Friday here. We have our employees wear their red polos or their red hats to recognize and remember those who are gone or who have and show that support. And, these are easy things to do. You know, I’ve got a fairly large head, so I’ve got a nice fitted cap on delivery to me. I’m kind of excited to wear it on Fridays.
Josh Rock: [00:40:31] But those are some great ways that we’ve done to recognize and support and continue that effort to keep those 11%, if not more, working with us here at Nuss.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:40:43] Yeah, and that’s amazing because you’re creating a community forum and that is so important, you know, because they’re coming from an environment being in the military where that camaraderie and community is so important for both just the military personnel and their families. You know, they both have, you know, that community of support. So, that’s amazing. And, congrats on those stats. That’s great.
Josh Rock: [00:41:09] Thank you. We’re excited.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:41:10] Yeah. I bet. I bet. And, I bet you’re excited for the Department of Labor to let you know, you know, where you stack up this year. Are you going to be platinum or gold?
Josh Rock: [00:41:21] And, Jamie, you know [inaudible] I’m competitive. I am really competitive in everything that I do, so I’m eager to get that. I was hoping that I would have had it before we recorded the show today. So, next week, when it does come out, we’ll be blowing it up on our social media channels. I’m going to be calling my vendors to build me new banners, to talk about that new award.
Josh Rock: [00:41:41] You know, obviously, you know me I’m a big sports guy and, you know, you can talk about back-to-back-to-back, whether it’s the Chicago Bulls winning the national championship back in the NBA or the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the back-to-back Stanley Cups. Well, we want to be back-to-back-to-back gold or back-to-back platinum. We want that status. We want to acknowledge our efforts and tout that in front of our military personnel as to why they should come work for us here at Nuss.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:42:07] Yeah. Oh, that is so fun, too. It’s kind of like you’ve given yourself that recognition that you want to showcase and show off and that’s fantastic. So, if our listeners listening in are going, “Wow, that’s some great information. I’d love to hear more,” and they want to get a hold of you and hear a little bit more directly from you, how would you like them to get in touch with you?
Josh Rock: [00:42:28] They can find me on just about every medium out there. You can reach out to me by email, my email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on LinkedIn. My profile is out there just like everybody else’s. Josh Rock, pretty easy to find. Twitter. Jamie, you know I’m a big Twitter guy, so you can find me @JRock96 on Twitter. If you want to talk job-seeking advice, Monday nights 9 o’clock Eastern, 8 o’clock Central. You can check me out on Job Hunt Chat, #JobHuntChat. Super easy. Any of those vehicles are great ways to connect with me. I am more than happy to pick up the line and have a conversation. Most folks that know me personally know that if you creep on my LinkedIn profile, I am going to call you. It’s just one of my many tactics of engagement. So, feel free, reach out any way possible, and I’ll be happy to have a conversation.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:43:25] That’s fantastic. Thank you so much for being on the show. It was such a pleasure to talk with you, especially about such an important topic and another opportunity for recruitment that some employers, you know, should be actively looking at. So, thank you so much, Josh, for joining us today.
Josh Rock: [00:43:43] Thanks for having me, Jamie. Love it.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:43:45] Yeah. And, for all of those listening in to the show, thank you for tuning in, and to our show sponsor, R3 Continuum, thank you for supporting Workplace MVP podcast. For those listening in, you can follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter at Workplace MVP, and definitely make sure you subscribe to our show to get our most recent episodes and other resources. If you are a Workplace MVP or if you know someone who is, we want to know about you or them, so definitely email us at email@example.com. Thank you all for joining us and have a great rest of your day.