I noticed Jessica Miller-Merrell’s post last year on How To Recruit Veterans, and it got me thinking. I was raised in the Air Force (my Dad flew in B-52’s), and throughout my family and my wife’s family there are many, many veterans. As a result, it is not just a practical matter, but an emotional one, to honor the sacrifice our veterans make. The risk to their life, the low pay, the tough hours, and the emotional drain of being away of their families are just some of the sacrifices that they make. But with 21 million veterans in the United States, there is an incredible talent pool to tap in to. Coming from a military family, I wanted to add my two cents to Jessica’s topic.
In terms of workforce, out of the 21 million, 9.6 million veterans are 65 and older. So about 11 million are in the normal workforce group, and 1.8 million are less than 35. So how do you tap into this amazing group?
Get a Vet on Your Recruiting Team
I will get into some of the specific tips, but the easy and best way to accelerate this is have a veteran on your recruiting staff. There are so many things they bring to the table – they understand the pay package differences, the occupation codes, and most importantly, they know how to navigate the local military facilities to help exiting military.
Market Your Employer Brand to Military
Veterans are always looking for employers that truly understand what hiring veterans means. So make sure that you have advertising or a Web presence to show you support veterans. Let me give you an example, look at Intel’s military page. They also have a feature that allows military to enter in their military occupation code, and it helps them find equivalent jobs. Intel also has a presence on Glassdoor, to help veterans and non-veterans find out what it’s like to work there.
Work with Wounded Warriors
The nature of war has changed, and the type and prevalence of injuries has dramatically changed As a result, there are 3.6 Million veterans that have a service related disability. These injuries run the gamut from hearing loss, head trauma, limb injuries and others. Here is the fantastic part, there are many, many organizations that would love to help you figure out how to hire wounded warriors and create successful programs.
Don’t Forget the Spouses
When you hire a veteran, it is likely he or she has a spouse that has followed that loved one from duty assignment to duty assignment. As a result, without intention, that person’s job history can look very sporadic. Consider developing ways to help military spouses find employment. Often the local SHRM chapters can be of great assistance.
Take Advantage of Incentives
I am reticent to mention these as I think hiring veterans is already a good idea, but there are some practical reasons to focus on veteran populations. Here are some:
- Veteran populations are often diverse
- There are several tax credits employers get for hiring veterans. Military.com is a great resource for more information on this.
- Also, given the new disability rules coming, the veteran population assists in compliance