Once a year, we take pause on November 11 to honor our active military and veterans for their service and sacrifices. You’ve probably also seen companies share their appreciation for service members who are now their employees in the civilian workforce. More and more employers are looking at ways to recruit veterans not only because of the tremendous skills and positive attributes they can bring to a company, but also because it’s the right thing to do.
In one of my former roles, I was the first diversity recruitment lead for an engineering company, in which attracting veteran candidates was a focus. In this newly created role, I quickly learned about the vast amount of resources available and that there is not one magic formula for veteran recruitment. Rather, a holistic perspective with a multi-pronged approach sustained over the long term was the best way to move the needle on recruiting and hiring veterans. This approach, of course, will be different for each company depending on its organizational goals, types of roles needed, budget and the level of commitment to veteran recruitment.
While certainly not an exhaustive list, below are some ideas for a multi-faceted approach you may want to consider.
There are numerous resources that can support employers in creating brand awareness and promoting their jobs to veteran talent. Two that are known for their distribution of jobs to multiple military and diversity job sites are DirectEmployers and America’s Job Exchange. These resources also send an automatic feed of your jobs to the all the state employment centers—this is essential if you are a federal contractor.
There are a variety of military-specific resources that provide more advertising options (e.g. banner ads, email blasts, career fairs, etc.) in addition to promoting your jobs on their sites. We can assist you with recommendations on the media that may align best with your needs and goals. Depending on your industry, there could also be associations or organizations that offer job postings for their sites. For engineering, as an example, the Society of American Military Engineers offers a 30-day job posting for $300.
With our own commitment to help employers recruit service members, we have a veteran job ad network, Vet.Careers. This site leverages programmatic job advertising technology to reach veteran talent. It empowers employers to reach over a million veteran candidates by posting jobs across a collective network of veteran job boards and only paying when their job is clicked on. Employers can then track completed applications and cost-per-application (CPA) on a job-level in real time. Read this post to learn more about Vet.Careers.
There are many government and non-profit entities that are eager to partner with companies to assist them in hiring veterans. Here are just a few of them:
Military bases have Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offices that help active service members transition out of the military to the civilian workforce. Companies have the opportunity to engage/partner with them by providing speakers for their training programs or talk about the company and jobs they have for veterans. With a good partnership, the TAP office may allow the company to send a list of job openings to the service members in the program and other ways to access that pool.
To learn more about the TAP and search for TAP offices, click here.
Local Employment Centers
For recruiting locally, employment centers are a great no- to low-cost partner, and most have veteran programs. They can assist employers with coordinating recruiting events at the workforce center locations, inviting veteran candidates from their databases who match the desired roles/skill sets and handling most of the event set-up. Your company may also be eligible to receive a work opportunity tax credit for hiring veterans.
Hiring Our Heroes
An initiative by the U.S. Chamber Foundation, Hiring Our Heroes, helps active and former service members and military spouses find gainful employment within the civilian workforce. The organization offers a Corporate Fellowship Program, which is similar to an internship that features a 12-week syllabus, held three times a year at select military installations and in host cities around the country. Each cohort consists of 15–30 active duty service members (mostly), veterans and military spouses. Fellowship candidates are carefully matched with participating companies based on the specific skills of the candidate and the preferences of both parties. Fellows receive on-the-job training at their host company, gaining first-hand experience in the private sector. Employers have the chance to work and get to know the participants, with the opportunity to hire them during or at the conclusion of the fellowship. Most fellows are transitioning out of the military and continue to receive their pay and benefits through the federal government. Host companies, therefore, do not need to provide compensation for the fellows.
Veteran Jobs Mission
Launched in 2011, the Veteran Jobs Mission is a private-sector solution committed to hiring U.S. Veterans and military spouses. The primary goal of its more than 200-member companies is to hire one million U.S. military Veterans for private-sector jobs. This coalition provides opportunities for members to network with like-minded organizations and thought leaders who are making an impact on hiring veterans. To be a member, companies are required to report veteran hires on a quarterly basis, attend meetings and share best practices relating to the veteran employment initiatives. Connecting with and learning from colleagues with the same commitment to hiring veterans can be exponentially beneficial for all parties.
Your Veteran Employee Network
Some companies have employee resource groups (also known as ERGs, affinity groups, or business network groups). These groups of employees join together within their work environment based on shared characteristics or life experiences to provide professional and personal support and development. If your company has veteran employee network, this team can be a tremendous internal partner to help recruit other service members to your company.
For example, if you have a veterans employee network group, you could run regular email campaigns to not only promote your employee referral program, but also encourage veteran employees to think of their military networks and make referrals. Those in the military are a very tight-knit group and trust one another to provide advice, guidance, referrals, etc.
GET THE WORD OUT
Communicating your interest and commitment to hiring veterans can go a long way. Here are a couple thoughts:
Military Landing Page
Adding a military landing page to your careers site is a great way to provide relevant information to service members visiting your site. Also, if you plan to run veteran-specific recruitment campaigns, you can link viewers to this page. Here are a couple examples of robust military landing pages:
Paid social ads campaigns targeted at veterans for specific roles are also an option. These could be directed to a military landing page on your careers site. You can also publish organic posts that communicate your desire to recruit veterans as part of your content calendar.
There are of course a myriad of other veteran recruitment marketing and engagement options, but hopefully you can use one or more of the ideas listed. We can also assist you home in on a multi-pronged approach—let us know how we can help with your veteran recruitment strategy. Give us a shout via email or Twitter!
This post was originally published on the KRT Marketing blog on December 5, 2018. Recruitics acquired KRT Marketing on July 31, 2019 - read more about it here.
Posted by Nancy McKinney
Nancy is no longer with Recruitics. During her time with us, she was a global client strategist. She has an extensive background in marketing, communications and community relations, including eight years of experience in recruitment marketing and operations. She is passionate about helping organizations differentiate their employer brand through diversity recruitment and fostering inclusive work environments. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business from the University of Colorado-Boulder and an MBA from Texas A&M University. She enjoys making precious memories with her husband and daughter, cooking up a storm and relaxing on movie-night Fridays.