There are over 21 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces, comprising a valuable workforce. With general and specialized skills and great teamwork capacities, veterans make great employees across all sectors.
The Benefits of Hiring Veterans
During their time in the armed forces, veterans learned both a breadth of general skills and technical skills that employers can benefit from. Veterans are disciplined, excellent team players, and great at working under pressure. They may also know strong leadership techniques.
Veterans have access to continued education and can upskill during their employment at no cost to the employer. Employers who hire veterans also receive a tax credit of $5,600 or $9,600 for hiring disabled veterans.
The armed forces are at its most diverse. Veterans have worked with a huge variety of people, from around the world and within civilian and military sectors. As more and more companies value diversity, veterans not only add to that pool but bring great communication skills to bridge cultural differences.
How to Recruit Veterans
If you have not recruited veterans specifically before, you might not know where to start looking. Luckily, veterans have many resources on their end for finding jobs. When you identify those sources, you can tap into them and present yourself as a veteran-friendly employer.
There are specific job boards for veterans such as Vetjobs, military.com, and GIjobs. List your opportunities there with veteran-friendly language. On Glassdoor, you can get a badge that shows your commitment to hiring veterans. Consider also connecting with local veteran support organizations, who will have specific information and direct contact with veterans in your area.
You can also create a page or content directly addressing veterans, to strengthen your brand as a veteran-friendly employer.
When writing job descriptions and going through an application process, it’s important to recognize that there can be a language gap between veterans and employers. Civilians are unaware of what many military job titles mean, and many of those are specific to different military sectors. Veterans may also not have the same resume and interview skills as civilians do, as they did not require those during their time in the military. However, with a bit of effort, you can help bridge this gap and secure a pool of veteran talent.
When writing job descriptions, keep in mind that veterans may exclude themselves from jobs that merely list years of experience, even if they have those applicable skills. An easy way to get around this is to include language such as “years of job experience or relevant military or civilian experience”. Have a recruiter or employee who is familiar with the lingo, or contact a veteran resource group to go over language and help your recruiters understand their applications.
Veterans tend to use “group speak” as opposed to highlighting their accomplishments. They may talk about what their unit did, for example. Work with them to find the translatable skills from their experience. This is another area where a veteran group can be of use so that no skills and abilities are lost in translation.
During the interview, find about the relevant skills they gained during their time in the military. Ask about technical and soft skills, and what experience they have that will help them perform in your workplace.
Lastly, don’t be intimidated. A veteran’s time in the military is like another job on their resume.
With a bit of effort, you can connect with this vast and multi-talented pool of employees.