How to hire veterans: 5 quick tips
It’s no secret that members of the military make countless sacrifices and gain many skills during their time in service to the country. And yet, many veterans still have a difficult time finding work that matches their capabilities after they’ve transitioned out of the military.
Thankfully, many companies are beginning to realize the benefits of trying to recruit more veterans, and there is an increasing number of resources available to help employers and employees alike. If you’re an employer wondering how to hire veterans, consider the following advice as you prepare your recruiting strategy.
1. Understand basic military culture
A basic understanding of the values, structure, policies, and expectations of the military promotes a stronger working relationship between employers & employees who are veterans or family members of veterans.
When it comes to recruiting, it can be very helpful to have an existing employee veteran — if you have one — involved in the process in order to better understand and communicate with your veteran candidates. This is especially true if you plan to recruit on a military base where the number of service members you’ll interact with is higher than normal.
2. Write veteran-friendly job descriptions
Even if you’ve already written an effective job descriptions for your open position, it may need to be adjusted to attract veterans. This is especially important if the job is specifically relevant to a candidate with a military background.
Ensuring that your job description explains responsibilities in detail, uses relatable language, and lists familiar skills will allow the veteran to understand how their skills and experience are applicable and transferable to the position. For example, your job posting could emphasize the need for candidates with leadership or problem-solving skills, adaptability to change, communication skills, experience working with diverse groups, or technical skills.
3. Ask the right interview questions
Learning how to hire veterans also requires a conscientious approach to interviewing. Ask about relevant military and civilian training as well as their experience and why they believe they are qualified to do the job. Avoid asking directly about the type of discharge they received, whether they will be called up for duty, or about specific deployments (which could be construed as trying to determine if the veteran has any type of medical affliction like post-traumatic stress disorder).
4. Tap into recruiter resources
There are many resources available to help recruiters and hiring managers find qualified veteran candidates. For example, O*NET’s Military-Civilian Crosswalk can help you find military occupational classification codes for the job you are looking to fill. Using these codes in your job description can help veterans understand the available job. Other resources include:
- The Department of Labor
- The Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program
- The Department of Veterans Affairs
- Military.com’s Employer Resource Center
These sites include information on how to find qualified veteran candidates, attending career fairs, retention strategies, and more.
5. Hire veterans for the right reasons
While some employers want to understand how to hire veterans because it feels patriotic or for the tax break, it’s crucial to ensure that your veteran applicant is in fact the right candidate for the job. Just as with any candidate, you’ll need to assess things like their technical and soft skills, cultural fit, expectations regarding work life balance, and career goals.
Sharpen your recruitment skills
Whether you’re just learning how to hire veterans, or your company has made it a priority for years, it’s important to stay on top of effective recruitment strategies, market conditions, and employee preferences. Get started by signing up for Monster Hiring Solutions’ expert recruiting advice and information on the latest hiring trends.