RESTORING OUR NATION’S SKILLED WORKFORCE BEGINS WITH EMPLOYING OUR RETURNING SERVICEMEN AND WOMEN… ARE YOU READY TO BECOME A TOP VETERAN-EMPLOYER?
250,000 service members transition out of the services and into the job pool every year. This stat is particularly relevant to you: an employer in a trades field.
Why? Consider that this represents 250,000 promising candidates to fill your positions. This is great news for an industry struggling to attract and retain skilled workers.
Are you ready to bring this talent into your company? The following 10 tips will help your company become more “military-friendly”. So take a look. Put yourself on the path of becoming a top veteran-employer in your industry.
1. BUILD A STRONG VETERAN-HIRING PROGRAM
If you want to bring in veteran talent, you’re going to need a strategy. Lucky for you, there are many great resources to help you build your company’s veteran-hiring program from the ground up.
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s toolkit outlining a strategy for your program. Create a welcoming workplace and recruit veterans, wounded warriors, and military spouses
- Military.com is one of the largest military membership organizations. Use their job board for job fair information. Or partner as an official “Veteran Employer”
- Hire Veterans is a job board where you can register, post jobs, and search through resumes
- Helmets to Hardhats is an organization that connects veterans with careers in the trades. Register and post your job openings today
- Veteran Jobs Mission is a coalition that helps employers hire retired military personnel and their spouses. They boast 330,000+ veterans hired, to-date
2. HAVE A CLEAR, GENUINE MESSAGE
Building a kick ass veteran-hiring program requires a focused message. Communicating your support and commitment is key to bringing in the right people.
This means you must communicate what YOU can offer THEM. So ask yourself the following questions to focus your message:
- What aspects of your business appeals to this demographic?
- Is the worksite attractive to someone accustomed to a high level of challenge, pressure, and stress?
- Are you offering an opportunity for advancement?
- Are you offering sensible benefits?
- How does your company go above and beyond to support this demographic?
Determine your message and make it central to your efforts. Call together your team. Define and refine your focus. Each member of your recruiting team should be communicating their commitment to this talent.
3. TRANSLATE THEIR MILITARY EXPERIENCE
Understanding the skills of this demographic is key to placing them with the right job. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to translate military experience into civilian skills. In fact, the armed services can use a language of it own!
There’s an excellent tool that will help you with this. Military.com’s Military Skills Translator. You just enter the individual’s branch and position to see what their job duties were.
Then you can compare their skills against the job qualifications. Here’s to added confidence that you’re hiring the right person for the right job!
4. SUPPORT THEIR NEEDS
Do your employee benefits go above and beyond to support transitioning servicemen and women? Review the following options to provide extra support to a veteran workforce
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to support your workforce with work and personal issues. This can help with PTSD, health issues, or even family stress. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has many resources for this
- Check out the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Employment Toolkit for tips on supporting your new employees
- Start a mentorship program in your company by pairing a current veteran employee with newly hired veterans. Coach the mentor in helping the new employee overcome challenges, set goals, and adjust to their new career. Check out Blue Sky Coaching’s tips on being a good mentor for this
Do you have new veteran hires who are struggling with their transition into the civilian workforce? Direct them to any of the government resources available supporting this process.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment is an excellent program. They help military personnel with service-related disabilities excel in their work and personal life.
The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs also has many programs that you’ll find helpful.
5. LEVERAGE YOUR NETWORK
This so happens to be one of our very favorite pointers for HR recruiters, directors, managers, and the like. Why? A strong network can (metaphorically) move mountains.
This rule is especially applicable when it comes to recruiting veterans.
How, you say? Chances are, your company is already employing one if not multiple military personnel. Through them, you have access to a vast network of servicemen and women who are, no doubt, qualified. Your next incredible hire could be only an employee away… Heck, even throw in a sweet incentive for employee referrals. Need ideas for effective incentives? Check out Fast Company’s suggestions for ideas.
So access veteran talent through your current workforce’s social circles. Recruit from this network to become the top veteran-employer of your dreams.
6. MARKET YOURSELF AS AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE
Everyone wants to work for companies whose workforce they identify with.
So ask yourself.. how do you market yourself as a top veteran-employer? This is key to attracting more of the talent you seek.
Your marketing department can come in handy here. Call a meeting with your marketing team to bring them on board with your mission. Work with them to launch new campaigns aligned with your goal. Their creativity can take you a long way in building the workforce that will help your company grow! Try our the following ideas:
- Launch social media campaigns highlighting current veteran employees: what specific benefits do they enjoy? Challenges and opportunities? What does their career path look like?
- Create veteran-oriented marketing materials—promote the benefits, programs, and support your offer veterans
- Launch a Youtube series interviewing current veteran employees. Focus the conversation on their civilian transition. How did your company support it?
7. HIGHLIGHT YOUR PROGRESS ON YOUR HOMEPAGE
Many major companies offer websites focused on men and women who served our country. Model your program after their successes.
Review their work with your team and begin brainstorming. How can you showcase your company’s journey toward becoming a top veteran-employer? Note the creative ways each of these companies has adapted their recruiting, culture, and benefits to support the new diversity in their workforce:
8. PARTNER WITH BUSINESS AND TRADE ASSOCIATIONS
Partnerships with business and trade associations can open up another channel for this talent.
You can leverage community collaboration for connections to veteran talent through partner firms. Encouraging inter- and intra–industry networking. The 100,000 Jobs Mission is an excellent example of a successful collaboration that improved recruiting practices and outcomes.
9. LEVERAGE RESOURCES
There are many programs that will help your company hire veterans:
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’s Special Employer Incentives program helps companies hire more veterans. They connect qualified candidates with a specific role at your organization. You can also be reimbursed for part of the individual’s salary, covering supply and instruction costs.
- Check out the Special Employer Incentive Fact Sheet for more information.
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a Guide to Hiring Veterans. This resource is helpful for kicking off the conversation within your organization.
Bring together all players key to your new program and review. Bring everyone on board with the importance of the movement and get started!
10. HIRE WITH CRAFTFORCE
At CraftForce, we believe that restoring our nation’s workforce begins with employing our veterans. That’s why, with a network of over 800,00 veterans, we are committed to helping you become a top veteran-employer.
Visit www.CraftForce.com today to learn more about how we can help you build the workforce your company needs to grow.
Want to contribute to the CraftForce blog? Submit your blog topic idea(s) at firstname.lastname@example.org
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