Part 1 of a special 3 part series:
So you’re looking for the perfect candidate to fill critical positions within your organization. You’re looking for someone who is hardworking, well-educated and an expert planner. You’re looking for someone who has a “mission first” attitude and has a proven ability to face adversity with positive outcomes. You have in mind a candidate that understands and practices diversity in the workplace and who has a respect for policies, procedures, and regulations. You ask yourself, does this perfect candidate even exist? The answer is a resounding YES! The perfect candidate is the American military veteran.
So now that you have identified who the perfect candidate is, the next question is how to find them? Drawing military and veteran talent starts with developing a military hiring strategy. Here are five practices to help your organization attract veterans.
- Develop a solid military recruiting strategy. Developing a strategy begins with the company’s vision. This should be a top down driven initiative with specific, measurable, and achievable goals that the entire organization understands. Once a plan is made, recruiters and hiring managers must then be trained and resourced to execute the plan. Furthermore, performance reviews should be tied to veteran hiring performance to ensure continued success.
- Leverage existing veteran employees. What better way to attract veterans than engaging current employees who have served. They have not only talked the talk, they have walked the walk. They understand the military transition process and can assist in military skills interpretation and veteran interviewing. The bottom line is this: a brother and sisterhood exists within the veteran population. Veterans who believe in their organization want to share it with others.
- Market your organization as the veteran employer of choice. Building your organization’s brand as a veteran friendly company is key to military hiring success. Part of this branding is leveraging current veteran employees and telling their success stories within the company. Create military specific brochures and other military marketing collateral when attending military hiring functions and use veteran employees as recruiters at such events. Create a veteran hiring site on your company webpage. Send veteran applicants a separate email thanking them for their service when they apply. Make veterans feel welcomed before they even step foot in your company.
- Get engaged with the military community. In order to find the veteran employee population, your organization must be engaged in the veteran community. Establish partnerships with non-profit veteran organizations such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars. Get to know people at local military transition centers and make routine visits to reach out to those leaving military service. Establish relationships with local National Guard and Reserve units. Encourage employees to get involved with volunteer programs supporting veterans.
- Don’t forget about military spouses. When developing a veteran recruiting and hiring strategy, do not forget about the military spouse. Although they do not wear the uniform, they possess many skills employers are looking for. Just like the service member, the military spouse is flexible, adaptive to change, conscious of cultural and regional differences, and focused on getting the job done.
Attracting military talent can be an overwhelming task, especially for those organizations that do not understand military culture. Forward March’s team has over 110 years of combined military experience with over 35 years dedicated specifically to hiring veterans. FMI can train your staff to attract, hire, and retain top military talent. We have a comprehensive Military Talent Hiring Guide and outstanding training that can get your department staffing positions very quickly. We can also help you to develop a pipeline and hiring strategy for success and train your human resource department on all the best ways to recruit military talent. If your company is committed to hiring military veterans, let FMI show you how.
~ Article written by Jason Caswell, Forward March Inc – Director of Training and Talent Pipeline Services