Time and time again, talent acquisition professionals cite finding quality candidates as one of their greatest challenges. As most organizations actively advance their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives, it's an excellent time to revisit your military hiring strategy.
An underrepresented population when it comes to inclusive hiring, veterans both need and deserve consideration. As a rule, military hires are an incredible asset to organizations, having received extensive advanced training in their areas of expertise. Disciplined, quick to learn and trained to deliver quality work that's procedurally compliant, they're dedicated team players you'd do well to have on your team.
In honor of those who have served and sacrificed so much for our freedom, we want to look at the ways talent acquisition professionals can support our forces in their transition to the corporate workforce.
Why Hire Veterans
There are always military veterans leaving the service and transitioning into the private sector. Unfortunately, they're an under tapped part of the workforce, one organizations should not only consider but also support.
What too many companies fail to realize is what valuable, teamwork-centric contributors veterans tend to be. Able to quickly ascertain an organization's mission, they also understand the importance of collaboration. Adaptable to changing environments and circumstances, veterans know how to perform under pressure and have extensive experience working with diverse teams and organizations. Then, of course, there's the matter of creative problem-solving, which veterans have had to master. Known for their integrity and laser focus, veterans are also self-starters, who roll up their sleeves and get the job done.
Simply put, things taught in the military are big assets to organizations, assets that are not taught in the public sector.
Meeting Veterans Where They're At
In order to attract veterans, you need to know where to find them. Post opportunities on military-friendly job boards, like the National Labor Exchange, MilitaryHire.com and Military.com. Organizations such as the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service and American Corporate Partners are another good resource, as they support veterans during their post-military transitions.
Not to be overlooked are educational institutions with veteran programs Ñ they're a promising way to connect with potential veteran candidates who are entering the workforce
It's also important to consider hosting recruiting events that are specific to veterans, including career fairs and interviewing events, whether held on a military base, at a traditional venue or virtually.
Enlist Veteran-Friendly Job Postings
What you say in your job postings matters. In order to attract, retain the attention of and ultimately hire veterans, speak directly and impactfully to them and deliver a personalized experience.
Job postings should help them visualize how their skills and expertise apply to the position at hand, so ensure when you're writing descriptions that they speak to those skills.
To help ensure you're hitting the mark, connect open positions to Military Occupational Codes (MOC) they can relate to and easily interpret whether the skills needed for the job translate from their military expertise. Not sure where to find MOCs? Locate them by entering a military branch and keywords at O*Net Online. Or, visit TAOnline, which lets you search job titles, functions and military occupation codes to help match military roles, military training and civilian jobs based on skill sets.
Create an Inclusive, Supportive Workplace
It goes without saying the military and corporate world are very different beasts, even though many qualities veterans gain translate well. To make that move easier, organizations need to walk the walk. And they need to put that messaging front and center at all touchpoints, from job listings to career site messaging.
Establishing a dedicated employee resource group gives veterans an opportunity to align with like-minded colleagues who share similar life experiences. Beyond being an outlet for shared experiences, though, such a group also fosters comradery and a sense of belonging. Like every other employee on your team, veteran hires need and deserve to feel valued, considered and heard.