The veteran hiring landscape has transformed over the past few years, which means companies need to constantly evolve their veteran hiring practices to match the changing veteran talent market and the changing needs of veterans. To learn more, check out our ebook on, Best Practices for Hiring Veterans.
These are 13 best practices for hiring veterans we’ve developed working with our clients and nonprofit veteran groups.
Focus on the Entire Military Family
When building a veteran hiring strategy, start broad. While the veteran unemployment rate has fallen drastically over the past few years, veteran partners still have an unemployment rate of 18%. We live in a world where families need two incomes to get by. Military partners have valuable skills, including resilience and organisational skills honed through frequent moves.
Meet Candidates on Military-Friendly Job Boards
79% of job seekers use online platforms during their search for a role. Organisations looking to hire veterans should identify which opportunities fit with the skill sets of veteran candidates and post those jobs on veteran job boards. Meet veterans where they are.
Write Job Postings in Military-Friendly Language
Any jobs posted on veteran job boards or targeting these particular candidates should be written in military-friendly language. Communicating with veteran candidates in familiar language demonstrates an organisation’s military welcoming culture and commitment to veteran hiring. It also drives more veteran candidates because those candidates understand exactly what the posting is looking for.
Gain Executive Sponsorship for Your Veteran Programme
A successful veteran hiring programme needs to have strong commitment throughout the organisation from the top down. Executive sponsorship of veteran hiring programmes empowers everyone in the organisation to implement many of these best practices.
Create a Military Hiring Microsite
A distinct veteran careers microsite gives organisations the ability to speak directly to veteran candidates about their veteran hiring programmes and commitments. By creating a page just for military talent, organisations can demonstrate their commitment and direct veterans to opportunities that fit well with veteran skill sets.
Highlight Veteran Employees Who Have Made a Successful Transition to Civilian Employment
On your dedicated veterans’ recruitment page, organisations should showcase successful veteran employees, especially those who have been promoted and are building careers within the organisation. Many veterans say they take their first civilian job to make ends meet. However, 44% of veterans leave that job within the first year, often for a position with better pay and more opportunity for advancement. By communicating other veteran success stories, organisations can show their commitment to veteran careers rather than just veteran jobs.
Develop a Veteran Talent Community to Capture Both Active and Passive Candidates
For active candidates, a veteran talent community provides information about the job postings.It’s more nuanced with passive candidates. We know passive veteran candidates are often nearing the end of their military career and starting to think about the transition. As they finish their career, they may also be anticipating a move, and that might be holding back their civilian job search.
A veteran talent community helps nurture veterans through that process. We know it’s important to capture and communicate with passive veteran candidates because the earlier a veteran starts their job search process, the more time they have to find the right position. That means they won’t feel as pressured to take the first job offer they receive, whether or not it’s the right fit.
Form a Dedicated Veteran Sourcing/Recruiting Team Made up of Veterans Who Have Made a Successful Transition to Civilian Employment
Veterans report their biggest challenge in job hunting is deciding which career path they want to pursue. Talking to someone who has already gone through this experience can help the veteran work through this process and find a job that can become a career.
These veterans on this sourcing and recruiting team can also help veteran candidates tailor their CVs and practice for interviews. They can pull from their own experience to offer better advice and support.
Educate Recruiters to Read Military Cvs And Translate Skills so They Can be Advocates for Veteran Candidates
One of the biggest challenges in veteran hiring is moving part the knowledge gap most civilians have about the military. Recruiters need ongoing training about military CVs and skill sets because they need to demonstrate to hiring managers why a veteran candidate is a good fit for their position.
Create a Process to Screen and Prioritise Military Candidates
This process can look different for different organisations depending on their veteran hiring goals. To identify candidates, organisations can make sure a question in the application process allows veterans to self-identify. Then, it’s up to the organisation how much it wants to prioritise those candidates. One option is to emphasise veterans behind internal candidates but ahead of all other external candidates. Organisations can also decide if they want to advertise this prioritisation. Publicising it can increase the number of military applicants.
Create one Designated Point of Contact for all Military Organisations That Can Funnel Military Candidates
Across the UK, there are nearly 500 charities that support the Armed Forces community of approximately 6.5 million people. All of them can help funnel veteran candidates looking to make the transition into civilian employment. Having one contact that all of these veterans’ organisations can reach helps funnel these candidates into your recruitment process more efficiently. This can yield hundreds of pre-screened candidates a week. It’s free to source candidates from these organisations. Someone just needs to manage it.
Use Social Media Marketing to Reach Veterans for a Greater ROI Over Traditional Career Fairs
While more traditional veteran career fairs prove to be successful for some organisations, they are expensive. Using social media marketing can put job openings in front of more candidates for less money.
Establish a Veteran Affinity Group to Create a Supportive Environment for Veteran Employees
The process of hiring a veteran is just the first step. Think of the transition to civilian work as a process, and not just a job offer. A veteran employee resource group (ERG) helps veteran employees become a part of the culture and the team. Of the 44% of veterans who leave their first post-military job within one year, nearly one-third say they had difficulty relating to their coworkers and to the company. A veteran resource group provide support for recent veteran hire from people who have been through similar experiences and can boost veteran employee retention.
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Best Practices for Hiring Veterans