If Your Hiring Pool Has Grown Stale Consider Recruiting Military Veterans

To mark Veterans Day, here are some tips on how to target your hiring practices at a demographic with characteristics that may fit perfectly with your company

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Are you tired of pulling from the same employment pool? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to explore the world of veteran recruitment. If you think that you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for you, or there is no one to recruit in your area, then you simply aren’t up to date. 

Why recruit veterans?

Many companies find veterans to be more productive employees with lower turnover rates when compared to their nonveteran counterparts. Additionally, their military background give veterans distinctive capabilities and perspectives that can add insight and diversity to your team’s problem solving. Employers can also qualify for up to $10,000 in federal tax credits per veteran. 

There are multiple state and federal organizations that exist to connect employers with veterans. Many of them work with veterans before they leave active duty to ensure they have skills that can plug immediately into the workforce. Furthermore, not having a military base located near you is no longer a reason to exclude veterans from your search. Organizations looking to place veterans into employment work to get veterans back to their home states if that is what they are looking for. Taking a few extra steps could mean providing a veteran the opportunity to truly come home.

Veteran retention

About 40% of veterans leave their first job out of the military within a year of being hired. The transition can be challenging, but there are some common sense ways that can help your company retain its veterans. 

First, define what your motivation is to hire veterans. Then identify what skills, attitudes and experience would benefit your organization the most. If you are not sure, simply find your best current employee in that position and identify their skills, attitudes and experiences.

Decide what a successful veteran hiring program for your organization looks like. Are you looking for just one or is this going to become a regular program? 

Identify the service branches, ranks and occupational specialties you might like to target. Don’t know? That’s OK because there are multiple ways to connect. You could reach out to your state or local veterans office and talk with someone. Otherwise, here are some great websites you can connect with:

A brief introduction to military workplace culture: https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01987

Common terms: www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_termsLingo.asp

The difference between the branches: www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/mil_structure.asp

The difference between officer and enlisted ranks: https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_rank.asp

A civilian-to-military occupation translator: www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx?frd=true

While building your veterans recruitment program, don’t forget to tap into your secret weapon — any veterans you are currently employing. Get their thoughts about skills and areas of service that might be a good fit. Don’t forget to ask them about the aspects of working for your organization that might appeal to a veteran. After all, they have stayed with you.

There are multiple employment organizations that will connect you with veterans. A few of my favorite are:

Lastly, don’t forget that to retain your veteran, you may want to consider having some supports in place to make the transition smooth. Connect them to existing veterans in your workplace, let them know about opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and consider engaging current veterans in creating the program to ensure its effectiveness. 

Veterans who are coming out of service where they have worked with heavy equipment may be a perfect fit for a number of industry sectors. Don’t let taking a few extra steps keep you from your next best hire.

About the Author

Julie Davis is the director of workforce development for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.



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