There are nearly 250,000 service members that will transition to civilian life in 2016. Part of this transition involves finding a career. As the economy adds jobs – an additional 156,000 were added in September 2016 – veterans will continue to play a significant part of our nation’s success and growth.
Hiring a veteran is a way to thank them for their service. Helping a veteran find their dream job– and ease their transition back to civilian life–can be rewarding for the recruiter. As many recruiters know, finding the perfect job match brings a sense of accomplishment.
So, what are some of the key factors that recruiters need to know about hiring veterans?.
• Veterans may have a gap in their education and employment. However, having a gap due to military service is a good thing; it’s worth remembering that veterans are renown for their integrity, teamwork, respect and leadership skills. These invaluable skills can make them great hires.
• Veterans may not be entirely comfortable networking in the civilian world; doing so may make them feel uneasy. Recruiters need to remember that veterans are accustomed to a different working hierarchy. Being outside of that hierarchy may be unsettling.
• Veterans may not be able to translate their military service into the civilian world. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t qualified, it may simply mean that they may not be able to easily communicate how they are a good fit for the position.
• Veterans, like many civilians, may want to work outside of their comfort zone. They may not want the same military position in their civilian life. That is why it’s useful to take the time to listen to them. For example, they may want to pursue that Logistics position, not the Analyst position.
Companies across our great nation can benefit from hiring veterans.
For example: Are you looking for a job candidate that can lead your international technology team? Look no further than a veteran. Many have international exposure, deep knowledge of technological trends, and – perhaps most importantly – the ability to persevere.
To recruit this valuable job seeker, you often have to go to where they are. There are several dedicated sites to recruit veterans, such as military.com and HireHeroesUSA.org. For cities with a local military base, contacting the base directly with job openings may be another good source for recruiting veterans.
Reading a veteran’s resume can pose additional challenges. As recruiters, it is important to allow extra time to review their resume – especially if you are not familiar with military experience. You may have to look for evidence of the leadership and teamwork experience.
So once you have recruited your veteran candidate–then what?
Interviewing a veteran can also pose some challenges. As team players, veterans often focus on their team’s success and not their own individual contributions. That’s why it’s important to encourage them to take credit for their accomplishments.
At the end of the day, veteran hires are no different from civilian hires. They must pass background and reference checks. Once they are on-boarded, the process doesn’t end there – for veterans or civilians. Talent development is vital to all employees’ success. Set challenging goals and provide them with performance feedback. Supervisors need to be transparent with their new hires. They should share “what’s next” – for both the company as well as individual opportunities.
Additional troops will be coming home in 2017. This highly skilled group has the teamwork, discipline, and leadership qualities to take your company to the next level. With a little extra effort to recruit them, veterans can become immediate contributors to your bottom line – and providing for a win-win situation.