Approximately 200,000 veterans come home from the armed services every year, and most of them need to find job. The good news is that as of April 2017, the unemployment rate for veterans declined to 3.7% (not seasonally adjusted), the lowest it’s been in ten years. This is thanks to the dedication of companies such as JP Morgan Chase, Time Warner Cable, Walmart and Lockheed Martin Corporation to implementing effective veteran recruiting strategies. They recognize the value in recruiting military veterans. Military service offers unparalleled training for skills such as leadership, teamwork, verbal and nonverbal communication, problem solving and customer service. By hiring veterans, both your company and our country benefit. But interviewing and recruiting military veterans requires a different approach in some areas than standard interviewing and recruiting procedures. Here are some helpful veteran recruiting strategies:
1) Network with the Military Community
To reach veteran job seekers, your company should attend job fairs on military bases. Many military members that are being discharged soon can’t travel to find work, so you can come to them instead. Also look into what veterans career fairs are taking place in your area, as well as virtual career fairs that take place online. Vets.gov is a great resource for finding events where you can meet veteran job seekers. Also one of the veteran recruiting strategies many companies find to be helpful is seeking out locations where the military population is high, and holding your own career fair there.
2) Use Your Technology Right
Many veterans have little experience applying for jobs, and can have trouble getting through applicant tracking systems. Also, since it can be a struggle translating military jargon into skills that apply to the civilian workforce, be aware their resumes may not express their qualifications as effectively as the resume of a civilian. If you want to more effectively target veterans in your recruiting process, you will need to think outside the box. Set up your ATS system to identify the resumes of military veterans and give them more personal attention to avoid having qualified veterans slip through the cracks in the screening process.
3) Alter Your Interview Habits
One of the most effective veteran recruiting strategies being used nowadays is video interviewing. You can talk to veterans one on one about their military experience and training and how it helped prepare them for the job in question, which may help you find out more about their qualifications before you decide to bring them in for a live interview. When recruiting military veterans, be sure to phrase certain questions more generally in both video and in person interviews. For example, since former military members may not have necessarily have management or sales experience, instead ask them about situations where they led a team or had to be persuasive during their military service.
Finally, make sure you aren’t asking interview questions that violate laws such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act and Americans with Disabilities Act. The laws prevent employers from inquiring about veterans’ PTSD or other disabilities, as well as other issues such as their reason for being discharged. The American Bar Association’s website and United States Department of Labor website have more information on these laws.
4) Make Recruiting Military Veterans Part of Your Brand
When developing veteran recruiting strategies, call upon any veterans or active military service members that are currently employed at your company. Ask them the best ways to accommodate veterans and assess their skills and experience. In your recruiting efforts as well as consumer advertising, highlight your commitment towards hiring veterans. By supporting veterans, you show your customers and potential talent that you care about our country. If veterans that currently work for you allow it, publicize their success stories as a way to target veteran job seekers. Also, consider getting involved with veteran organizations in your community and sponsoring events that support veterans.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.