March 22, 2012
By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON — A new website championed by the Army is aimed squarely at Soldiers ready to leave the service, to help them find jobs that best match their knowledge, skills, abilities and interests.
The website, www.h2h.jobs, for “Hero 2 Hired”, or H2H, is part of a larger, ongoing Army effort to make easier for Soldiers the transition from military life to civilian life.
The Hero 2 Hired site includes more than 3 million real-time job listings, said Col. Edward D. Mason, chief, Army transition policy initiative, who also said the “jobs are all relatively fresh and new.” The colonel said the site uses an algorithm to weed out “stale jobs.”
The site allows Soldiers to search in a particular zip code or city for jobs, using their military occupational specialty as criteria for the search. A search in Kansas City, Mo., for jobs that might be suitable for a soon-to-be-separating infantryman yields 42 available jobs, for instance.
The site also provides “career recommendations” to Soldiers, based on their Military Occupational Specialty, or MOS. A search on the site for careers that might be suitable for an infantryman yields results like “police identification and records officers,” “aircraft cargo handling supervisors,” and “correctional officers and jailers.”
The site actually returns 25 career recommendations for that search, and includes average national pay for each as well as projected number of openings available in each field and growth potential.
The site also includes a “career path exploration” option that involves a 14-question test for Soldiers to answer to identify career choices they might not have thought about before. “A lot of people think if you were a truck driver in the Army, you need to be a truck driver outside,” Mason said. “Well, maybe you don’t want to drive trucks. And not everybody that has been in infantry needs to be security guard.”
The test “qualifies your interests and identifies career fields you may be more interested in,” Mason said. Also on the site is the option to develop and post a resume so that the 50,000 employers who have vowed to hire veterans can find the most classified separating service members.
According to Army officials, more than 130,000 Soldiers separated last year. For Soldiers preparing to separate, the Army is looking for ways to smooth the transition, said Mason. The H2H website is just one part of the Army’s plans to recreate the process to transition Soldiers out of the Army.
Mason said the Army’s re-engineering of the transition process makes it a “commander’s program.” That, he said, puts more responsibility on leadership to ensure Soldiers are involved in transition programs.
“The commanders are responsible for tracking their people,” Mason said. Previously, Soldiers slated to leave the Army might have “fallen through the cracks.” Now, Mason said, “we are trying to put discipline into the process. And move it from attendance, to making it an outcomes-based program.”
The transition process, Mason said, will begin a year before a Soldier’s end-of-service date and will ensure ample time to provide Soldiers with the greatest opportunity for success after their military service.
When Soldiers become successful as civilians, Mason said, that’s good also for the Army. “Soldiers will be great ambassadors for the Army, and that helps sustain the all-volunteer force.”