November 12th, 2018 | Sterling

Five Tips for Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining Veterans

Five Tips for Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining Veterans

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 370,000 US veterans were out of work in 2017. With a veteran-filled candidate pool, connection and communication are essential in the hiring process. Here are five tips to help draw veteran talent to your organization. With these strategies, you can be a part of bringing veterans into the civilian workforce with the understanding and respect they deserve.

1. Make job postings veteran friendly

Including language in job postings that sounds familiar to veterans and helps them understand your organization’s values will go a long way in making your postings relatable. Clearly defined expectations, service-oriented language, and highlighting your organization’s veterans initiatives are ways to make your postings stand out. Consulting with veterans in your organization about what and where to post is another way to be sure you continue to keep your veteran outreach relevant.

2. Select specific roles for veteran recruiting

Analyzing roles to be sure you are seeking veterans for positions in which they will excel is key in attracting a veteran-filled candidate pool. Listing capabilities, such as problem-solving and performing under pressure, that will resonate with veteran job seekers is a good place to start. Even more helpful is to be familiar with the military occupational skills that correlate with the job. Knowing how qualifications and training for military roles translate into skills for civilian jobs will make matching veterans to open positions in your organization that much easier.

3. Ask leading questions and expect unorthodox answers

Many veterans are used to concise, direct communication and may not readily offer additional information without being prompted. So, remember when interviewing veterans to ask open-ended questions and be ready with follow-up questions if candidates are hesitant to elaborate. Additionally, interviewers should be open to “we” language from candidates. Veterans come from a team-oriented background and approaching answers from a group mindset is not necessarily a sign of evading personal responsibility.

4. Highlight veterans assistance in Onboarding

Integrating into civilian job roles can be a difficult cultural transition for veterans. Ensuring your organization has veterans assistance programs in place, as well as access to outside veterans support organizations, can make the onboarding process smoother for both employer and employee. Providing information about educational, medical, and other support programs from various government and community agencies is critical. Additionally, recognizing a veteran’s service during onboarding as well as on Veteran’s Day is important to be sure their contribution is not overlooked.

5. Promote mentorship and networking

Organizations with substantial mentorship programs for veterans will be better equipped to communicate expectations for job responsibilities and company culture. Both are important for success in aiding veterans as they transition into civilian job roles. Providing networking opportunities with other veterans already in the organization as well as external veteran support groups can help veterans thrive in your organization. Encouraging non-veteran employees to participate in these networking opportunities can also be a tool for making sure veterans are welcomed and comfortable in the civilian workplace.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.