Military veterans make outstanding employees who hold skills and assets that transfer over to any workspace. The question is, how can you not only attract veteran employees to your business but encourage them to stay in their position.
Consider these four simple yet effective steps:
Use Military Networks
Sometimes, posting a generic job post to a popular job search website isn’t enough to attract the veteran candidates that would be right for your company.
Utilize veteran networks, career fairs, and spaces to attract and educate yourself on how to best employ veteran candidates.
Employers can utilize an abundance of resources and organizations to help them get started on their journey.
Some helpful organizations include:
- The American Legion
- American Job Center
- National Labor Exchange
- Indeed.com (special paid features)
- Hiring our Heroes
Many of these organizations additionally include information on attending veteran career fairs where you can speak to potential employees in person and discover what their assets, needs, and skillsets are. The more veteran connections you make, the more likely you will find candidates or references that you can utilize in your workspace.
Meet their Standards
Veterans are extremely loyal to an organization. What is good for your veteran population is also good for any employee. However, if the environment does not meet veterans’ needs, they tend to leave an organization quicker than their non-veteran counterparts. Veterans are often interested in:
- A challenging/engaging opportunity.
- Clearly stated expectations of the position.
- A known pathway for advancement in the current position and organization.
- A mentor (preferably a veteran) on arrival and an onboarding program to ease integration and adjustment to the organization’s culture.
- Clear and open verbal and written communication — veterans are accustomed to in-person communication from leadership.
- Career professional development.
- Impact on the organization — veterans want to know what they are doing has “meaning.”
- Compensation and benefits.
Transitioning from the field to the workplace can be difficult for any military veteran. Remember to be patient, considerate, and empathetic to the needs and experiences of your veteran employees.
Know the Lingo
Many veterans have the experience you are looking for in an employee; however, it may translate differently when their specific skill set is written on paper. For example, if you are looking for a Marketing Manager, you’re not likely to find a military veteran who holds that exact title on their resume. However, titles such as an Enlisted Accessions Recruiter, Psychological Operations Specialist or Recruiter are all positions that a veteran could have held and learned the same experience. Utilizing the translators found on websites such as careerstop.org can help you find the military job titles that match your civilian job needs.
Provide Specialty Resources
Providing a space where veterans can have extra support in their transition is one of the most valuable things you can do not only to attract but keep your veteran employees. Providing on-site training, creating veteran affinities and ERGs, establishing veteran mentorship programs, and ensuring that your leadership team is educated to the needs of your veteran employees are all added resources that will ease the anxieties of military transition. The more comfortable and supported you can make veteran employees feel, the stronger your employees and team can become.
Every veteran will have different experiences and difficulties in the workplace, but ensuring that you provide a safe, supportive environment is one of the best things you can do to attract and retain veterans.
Source: Department of Labor, Berkshire Associate, CareerOneSt
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