Over 20 years of service in the Marine Corps, Ken Schoonover has seen it all. During his service from 2000-2020, he deployed to Saudi Arabia to support Operation Southern Watch; to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; and to Bahrain twice: once to stand up the 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade and once in support of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He deployed overseas five different times, while being stationed all over the United States.
“The military can be very rigid when it comes to rules and regulations, but it also requires you to be very flexible and adaptable at times,” he said. “I was trained to be an Aviation Maintenance Officer, yet throughout my career I was a Recruiter, Information Management Officer, Formal School Manager of an Infantry Operations schoolhouse and on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq helping to rebuild the Iraqi legal system. I had to be ready for any situation and be proactive using creative problem-solving for the inevitable roadblocks.”
He spent the final four years of his service recruiting Marine Officers from college campuses, which led him to Staff Management | SMX this past summer.
“In recruiting, there is room in how you adapt your approach,” he said. “However, there are rules and systems that you should follow to be successful. You will run into problems, so you must remain flexible to resolve the issue quickly to obtain customer satisfaction. You must understand the goal and be relentless in its pursuit.”
In 2020, as he transitioned from the military and hiring slowed due to COVID-19, he took a position in operations at an eCommerce facility to gain experience in a warehouse facility. When a recruiting position become available at Staff Management | SMX, he applied to move back into talent acquisition.
“When the Senior Program Manager role came open, I wanted to utilize my leadership skills and understanding of systematic recruiting learned in the Marine Corps and help develop others to be successful recruiters,” he said.
Leadership and recruiting skills are in high demand across the staffing industry, which allows Schoonover to bring what he learned in the military to his work and help people succeed not just at work, but also in life.
“There is a deeply held belief in the Marine Corps that you always leave something better than you found it,” he said. “I try to bring that same mentality as a recruiter and as a manager. My goal is not only to my team them successful in their current role, but to give them the tools and guidance for them to meet their career goals. I want them to be successful in all aspects of life so that they come to work confident and ready to meet all challenges with a joyful spirit.”
And as he does so, he continues to learn about Staff Management and celebrate the values that brought him to Staff Management, believing they will attract others, too.
“I have felt very supported by Staff Management, TrueBlue, and the associates I work with in the short time I have been with the company,” he said. “The companies’ core values of Be Optimistic, Be Passionate, Be Accountable, Be Respectful, and Be True line up well with what I have learned over 20 years of service. I believe veterans have transferrable skills that would make them very successful in the light industrial sector and Staff Management is in a perfect position to help match veterans with companies to fill vital needs.”
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