Once a year on November 11th, most of us take some time to reflect on all that our military heroes have done for us and our country. We honor all that they have sacrificed, and we thank the many families who have supported their service. Remembering the past is an important part of this hallowed day. But what about a potentially bright future for veterans? Where will those who have served land? And how will they fare in their future careers?
One thing we know for sure: our country’s many veterans have a lot more to offer. There are far more than a handful of reasons you should hire a veteran, but there are five main attributes that members of our military tend to display: perseverance, team mentality, follow-through, leadership and stamina. And let’s be honest, that’s a pretty impressive list of qualities – you’d be hard pressed to find a recruiter out there who would turn his or her nose up at any candidate who embodied the traits of your average veteran.
Yet military veterans aren’t usually top-of-mind when it comes to the search for new hires – especially in certain sectors. That’s a missed opportunity. For now, it’s a small miss. But in the very near future – it’s going to become a huge miss. In the next three-to-five years, we know that about 1.5M veteran and military personnel will enter the job market (American Council on Education, 2016). So it’s going to become crucial to tap into this incredible talent pool of our nation’s heroes, spouses and leaders.
To help bridge the gap, we’ve gathered ways to find and connect with veteran talent, insights into how to train them for civilian jobs, and ways to understand and harness their motivation for mutual benefit. Follow these tips for putting a veteran recruitment strategy into place:
1. Identify good-fit roles for military personnel. Start by tapping into a resource that’s right under your nose. Seek out the veterans currently employed by your company, then sit down with them to identify positions that might be ideal for military personnel transitioning to the civilian workforce. Your current employees are likely to have some great insight into where veterans would be a great fit for your organization – and they might also be solid resources for finding and connecting veteran talent. But there are other ways too…
2. Find and connect with veteran talent. Keep in mind that because military roles are not always perfectly aligned with civilian job descriptions, it’s essential to look beyond rank and title. Look for places where skills overlap, and keep an open mind when it comes to taking a leap of faith in places where there may be gaps in training. Remember that military personnel tend to be very good at following orders and carrying out objectives – and their perseverance and team-oriented mentality will take them far.
3. Fill skills gaps seamlessly. There are some incredible programs out there designed to help active-duty service members gain the skills they need to transition successfully out of active military service. Glassdoor is proud to be partnering with Simplilearn, a certification and training provider helping veterans gain professional certifications in their chosen professional career field. Founded on the belief that America’s veterans are vital to the workforce and are a key component to meeting our economic labor needs, the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program enables corporate America to capitalize on this critical talent resource.
4. Understand and harness veteran motivation. It’s easy to think of the idea of fostering a positive “company culture” as a new phenomenon. And while it’s true that social media has forever changed the importance of building a tight-knit culture that supports employee happiness, company reputation, and overall business success, the military has always tapped into the incredible power of culture. For ex-military employees, a strong company culture will feed into collective positivity in the same way it does for the rest of your employees – and perhaps even more. Tapping into that incredible understanding of what it means to be a team and harnessing that loyalty will be a great investment for the successful future of your business.
American veterans are incredibly capable, and they often demonstrate qualities that are crucial to the success of any company. And because more veterans will be entering the workforce over the next 3 to 5 years, it’s more important than ever to leverage this indispensable source of skill and competency by putting a veteran recruitment plan into place now.
Learn more about how your can recruit and retain veteran talent!