Veteran candidates are untapped hiring gold nuggets in the recruiting world today. Why? Veterans have the skills and the experience necessary to join and lead civilian teams when assessed properly, given clear succession paths and goals. Recruiting veterans makes great business sense, and attracting these experienced men and women is a crucial part of a smart talent acquisition strategy.
Did you know the military has over 7,000 job positions across more than 100+ functional areas, and 81% of these jobs have a direct civilian equivalent? Maybe not because it’s not advertised that well. The current unemployment rate of veterans is shockingly higher than the national average at 15%. People in high places are doing what they can to change that, but for now, it’s up to recruiters, hiring managers and HR professionals to do a little legwork.
“The military trains people to lead example as well as through direction, delegation, motivation, and inspiration. Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results, even in the most trying circumstances. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.”- Military.com
Military hires are used to leading teams and having a very clear hierarchy. They don’t need to be leaders immediately upon entering your workforce though. Work on attracting military veterans knowing where and how they can use the skills they have within your workforce. Other attributes of military veterans:
- Mature Leadership
- Adaptable Problem-Solving
- Accountable Resourcefulness
- Confident Decisiveness
- Responsible Discipline
Learn to translate military acronyms and jargon into your own industry focused keywords. If you already have veterans within your organization, create a mini-think tank on how to recruit new ones and mentor them. Military.com offers a skills translator that can translate military skills into plain speak for those of us in the business world.
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Diverse skills. Diverse workforce. The military trains veterans in a variety of fields, check out this handful of jobs the military trains its participants in:
- Public Relations
Military vets embrace diversity with ease, and add valuable viewpoints and experiences to the workplace.The veteran workforce has everything you need, and they join the ranks of civilian job seekers every day.
“Veterans have learned to work side side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities. They have the sensitivity to cooperate with many different types of individuals.”– Military.com
With leadership skills, diverse skills and the ability to work alongside much of your workforce, veterans should be the ultimate talent pool. So….why aren’t they? Programs like the Veterans Career Transition Program (VCTP) connect many veterans to specific careers and then train the veterans with educational programs & workshops that help ease their transition back into the working civilian world (in their designated areas of expertise of course.) A lot of these programs also offer soft skill training. The veteran workforce is your untapped market of gold, and there are just a few simple steps to take to attract these ideal workers. In fact, it can be great for your recruiting budget as well as many military-focused niche job boards offer free job postings to help spread the word about opportunities.
Check out some niche sites/ job boards many veterans use. Look for military placement sites, job boards and career fairs. Other great spots to recruit veteran candidates are college campuses or Guard and Reserve units. It is usually easy and welcomed for recruiters to set up visits in these locations.
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In addition to setting up the ol’ job booth at the local career fair, scan some military job boards. These job sites are a tool for military alumni to post jobs, access resume databases, as well as exhibiting at military career fairs and target advertising.
How to reach veterans
Have an area on the career site dedicated to welcoming veterans, and informing them their skills sets and experience are valued in the organization. This section should also house information specific to veterans. Check out how Cisco does it. Other companies doing a great job of hiring veterans (that you could be hiring!) are listed here.
Create company social pages specifically for recruiting veterans. Veterans tend to be part of very supportive communities. If you ask one veteran to share your veteran targeted recruitment page, you will likely be amazed at how far it travels in the social-sphere.
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Some companies even have “Careers for Military” links with jobs specifically designated for veteran skills. This is an ideal area to apply the language and abbreviations they are used to. Create job listings they can directly relate to their own previous experience. ManTech.com can show you how it’s done.
Now that you have got a couple of tricks up your sleeve, start tapping into the golden market of veterans. Look into platforms/job fairs/ recruiting boards your company has neglected to locate and get to recruiting!
How to Recruit the Under-SourcedVeteran Talent Pool