In a nutshell: Veterans can be a great asset to your company. Here’s how to find and hire candidates with excellent experience and skills.
With Veterans Day right around the corner, it’s a time to thank veterans for their service. We should also consider how we can help veterans make the transition into the civilian world. Servicemembers are often required to possess the attributes we look for in dedicated employees, and therefore can be a quality source of talent for your organization.
LinkedIn’s article “The Top 5 Soft Skills Veterans are More Likely to Have Than the Average Professional” list detail orientedness, integrity, team leadership, problem solving, critical thinking and dependability as qualities typically found in servicemembers. That sounds like a standout employee!
Additionally, there may be a financial incentive for your company to hire veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. A Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) that ranges from $1,200 to $9,600 per person may be available to employers who hire former servicemembers.
Tips for Attracting Veterans
So, how do you attract veterans to your organization? The following tips will help to build your servicemember talent pool.
Become a military-friendly employer. There are a few ways to ensure your company is “military-friendly.” According to Military.com’s “Tips for Becoming a Veteran Friendly Employer,” you must have executive support behind a veteran hiring initiative. Servicemembers prize loyalty and honor, and will look for similar values in your company’s mission. Be sure to make a connection to the position you’re hiring for and how it supports military values. Getting the word out through your website and social media that you are seeking veteran candidates will make a big difference in attracting them to your organization. Create a dedicated landing page for veterans that answers frequently asked questions regarding employment at your company.
Understand the military terminology. Some of the lingo on military resumes may require clarification and translation into civilian responsibilities. Additionally, job titles between the two worlds may differ. CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, can help you make the connection between your civilian job openings to military careers that require similar skills. Just type in your civilian occupation and the system identifies several job titles that are more relevant in the military. This will make interpreting and screening military resumes a little easier. A servicemember in your organization (preferably in human resources) who can lend more in-depth insight into military roles and responsibilities may also be helpful.
Seek out veteran-specific job boards and career events. If you really want to get in front of veterans, go where they are. Many of them will start their civilian career search with veteran-specific job boards and job fairs. They know all the employers posting on these sites or present at these events will have opportunities that fit their military background. They also know these employers will be patient in translating their skills, and may have a large group of veterans in the organization to support their transition. There are many sites out there to get started posting your relevant job openings, including: www.vets.gov/employment, www.vetjobs.com, www.hireveterans.com and www.military.com/veteran-jobs.
In honor of veterans serving our country on Veterans Day, consider servicemembers as a potentially powerful source of candidates for your company.