A strategy for veteran hiring may seem difficult to develop, but you don’t need to create one from scratch. However, first your company needs to commit to employing veterans and realize the added value this population of jobseekers can bring to your organization.
Veterans bring unique and sought after qualities to an organization. After leaving their domestic and/or international deployments, veterans conclude their military careers with a wealth of job skills and professional experience that successfully translates to the civilian world. If your organization does not have a strategy for veteran hiring , now is the time to create one.
Why Hiring Veterans Makes Sense
Not only is hiring veterans good for an organization’s culture, but there are also financial benefits to hiring veterans. First off, employers that hire veterans might be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). But there other veteran employment programs as well, such as:
Non-Paid Work Experience Program
The Non-Paid Work Experience program allows local, state, and federal government offices to temporarily employ a veteran without having the position count against the agency’s full-time equivalent allocation.
Veteran Readiness and Employment
Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) pays the veteran a monthly subsistence allowance while the veteran learns valuable work-related skills and experience. Through this Special Employer Incentive program, employers receive an incentive to hire veterans who face extraordinary obstacles to employment, which includes reimbursement of as much as 50 percent of the Veteran’s salary for up to six months.
VR&E can provide specialized tools, equipment, and workplace modifications to eligible veterans allowing them to perform their duties. Through the on-the-job training program, VR&E subsidizes veterans’ salaries so employers pay an apprentice-level wage while training veterans. As the veteran progresses, the employer pays a larger portion of the Veteran’s salary, until the training program is completed and the employer is paying the full salary.
Veteran Hiring Events
There are various events that can help introduce an organization to this skilled jobseeker population. Connect with your state government’s workforce development board to learn what hiring events are held for veterans in your state and in the states where you hire. The National Labor Exchange has an interactive map that will connect veterans and employers to employment resources.
Follow the events going on within the Department of Veterans Affairs. Consider having your organization participate in a federal resource program such as the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program, which connects soon-to-be-discharged veterans with employment opportunities. VETS2INDUSTRY also offers employer strategies for veterans recruitment and support for profit and non-profit organizations.
Building a Veteran Hiring Process
Ideally, an organization should have a dedicated member of the HR team focused on veteran and veteran family recruiting and support – bonus if the dedicated HR team member is a former military member or military spouse. If senior management is unsure of the need for a dedicated veterans recruiter, here are ten reasons why your organization should hire veterans. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) understands the need for HR specialization and education towards veterans so SHRM, in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal, created the SHRM Veterans at Work certificate program.
Translate Veteran Skills into Civilian Skills
Resume writing can be cumbersome even for the most linguistic jobseekers. Translating military responsibilities into civilian language can be challenging for veterans. HR resume screeners need to review veterans’ resumes with supportive resources, if needed, since veterans’ accomplishments might be communicated in military lingo. To help novice and seasoned HR staff better understand the accomplishments and successes of a veteran in their particular military roles, CareerOneStop offers an online civilian/military occupation translator.
Recruiting veterans can be completed in a variety of ways. Ensure that your organization vocalizes and adheres to the mission of providing support to veteran employees. This can be done by boldly expressing your organization’s commitment through your organization’s website and social media channels. Coming from a team focused environment, veterans will be more interested in finding another team-based culture.
Onsite and virtual job fairs are excellent recruitment events to help connect with prospective veteran employees. Promote your jobs on veteran specific job boards and on social media. Get involved with the veteran community to connect with candidates. PsychArmor offers online training modules to learn about veterans’ needs. Specifically, they provide organizations a robust training module specializing in creating a veteran hiring program.
One item to keep in mind is that not only is an organization recruiting the veteran themselves, but also the veteran’s spouse. Don’t forget to include military spouses in recruitment. The United States Department of Labor provides specific resources to recruit and support military spouses. For active duty military families in particular, remote jobs are of primary interest to military spouses as a military family might be relocated often for new assignments; however, remote jobs offer the ability for the spouse to work uninterrupted anywhere.
It’s About More than Hiring
Veterans have risked so much for our daily freedoms. They have sacrificed safety and comfort so we can have that. We can never fully return the favor to veterans for their sacrifice and courage; however, let’s support them in their civilian endeavors and provide them with an opportunity to utilize their skills in a role that fits both the company and the jobseeker.
ExactHire HR Software offers the ability to streamline the applicant process and tag applicants’ skills and characteristics, such as applicant veteran status, for you and your team’s convenience in applicant screening and candidate communication. For more information about our solutions, please contact us.
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash