Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2019

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Why Cosmopolitan sees value in hiring military veterans

Supporting Our Veterans Career Fair

L.E. Baskow

Attendees introduce themselves during a penthouse gathering as the Cosmopolitan hosts another Supporting Our Veterans Career Fair on Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

Supporting Our Veterans Career Fair

Attendees arrive at a penthouse gathering as the Cosmopolitan hosts another Supporting Our Veterans Career Fair on Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Launch slideshow »

In one of Las Vegas’ most luxurious hiring events, veterans and spouses of veterans filed into a penthouse suite in the Cosmopolitan Wednesday hoping to land one of the 150 jobs currently open at the hip resort.

Inside the marble-floored suite surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls and a sweeping view of Las Vegas, approximately 75 job seekers struck up conversations and handed out resumes to 20 of the Cosmopolitan’s hiring managers.

According to Lori Calderon, the Cosmopolitan’s director of talent acquisition, it was the resort’s seventh veterans career mixer. Reaching out to veterans is not only the right thing to do, she said, it’s also a smart business move.

“Military people are reliable and resilient,” she said. “They don’t get upset or disturbed by change and you can count on them. They are used to going in and tackling challenges and accomplishing a mission.”

It's why, Calderon said, more than 200 of the Cosmopolitan’s 5,000 employees are veterans or military spouses.

But although the vets may have the skills and traits employers want, Calderon said, it’s often hard for both parties to overcome what is essentially a language barrier. Vets have trouble explaining their skills to people outside the military and employers find it difficult to understand military resumes.

One vet attending the mixer agreed. “We get told during transition training, ‘Don’t use acronyms. Keep them out of your resume,’” said Fred Harrell, a 20-year Army veteran who was deployed twice to Iraq. “But I’ve noticed going around to the couple of job fairs I have been to that (companies) have their own jargon. So it’s something you just have to get used to.”

The Cosmopolitan also opened the event to the spouses and members of military families. Breanna Church is married to an Air Force doctor stationed at Nellis AFB. She said she’s hoping to find a position at the resort that fits her skills.

“Obviously, the end goal is to leave with a job,” said Church, who has an undergrad degree in accounting and human resources management and a master's in human resources management. “That would be the dream. But I’m also open to learning about their culture and learning. And I am being a little nitpicky.”

It’s a distinct possibility. Calderon said quite a few of the veterans attending the mixer could end up working at Cosmopolitan in the not too distant future.

“There are individuals who will leave here today with interviews set up for this week and next week,” she said. “There are individuals who will end up with job offers next week and there are even some who will end up with job offers today. It depends on the role and the position but it will happen fairly quickly.”

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