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12 Days of Staffing Tips – 6. A Veteran Hiring Strategy

It is no secret that military veterans bring a unique set of skills to the civilian job market (technology, leadership, reliability, attention to detail, and making decisions under high-stakes and stress). And, in the current labor shortage, you would be wise to focus on this talent pool to capture some of the steady streams of roughly 250,000 veterans that are entering the civilian workforce each year. While certainly not a comprehensive list, the following tips should help you to get the ball rolling.

  • Increasing visibility should be your first step toward ensuring that your agency is top-of-mind for Veterans entering the civilian job market. Seek out all of the Veteran-focused job fairs in your area and make it a point to be there. 

  • Ask your workforce, especially those that are former military, if they can refer anyone from their unit. Perhaps you could even treat this different than your standard referral program by offering an additional incentive.

  • Highlight veterans that work in your organization and talk about all of the good work they do. 

  • Don’t overlook disabled veterans.

  • Use veterans in your organization as mentors for new recruits. The mentors can help prospective employees translate military skills into skills that civilian employers will understand.

  • Create (and back) messaging that will resonate with a Veteran workforce.

  • Create an affinity group for Veterans at your company. 

As with any initiative, if it is not implemented for the right reasons, its chances of success are greatly reduced. This is why the last tip is likely the most important. Don’t recruit veterans because it’s a good PR move or simply because you have exhausted other talent pools. Hire them because of the valuable skills they can bring to your company and make it part of your culture, not just a short term solution in this age of record-low unemployment.

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