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The Battle Back Home: 5 Tips for Hiring Military Veterans

Each year, an estimated 240,000 to 360,000 soldiers rejoin civilian life. For many, trying to find a job upon their return becomes another battle they face. To address this issue, Joining Forces, a nationwide effort to support service members, veterans and their families, was launched by the White House. Initiatives such as these have sparked coast-to-coast interest in veteran-specific recruiting efforts.

Aside from pushing diversity and meeting legal requirements, ushering veteran status into an organization is a smart decision. According to The Business Case for Hiring Veterans, published by CEB, these skilled individuals are 4 percent more productive and 3 percent less likely to turn over than the typical civilian worker. This is, in part, due to the skills developed through rigorous military training and combat that includes:

  • high levels of trust,
  • transferable skills,
  • advanced technical training,
  • resilience,
  • team players,
  • organizational commitment,
  • experience in diverse settings and
  • innate leadership skills.

What Can Your Organization Do?

A high unemployment rate for veterans has many organizations looking for ways to support hiring initiatives for former members of the armed forces.

Aside from being national assets, these individuals have an impressive list of attributes that any employer would find valuable. Here are five tips your organization can implement when hiring veterans.

  1. Veteran Hiring Targets

In response to the Joining Forces movement, organizations have committed a certain percentage of their hiring efforts toward both veterans and their spouses. As a result, these businesses have vowed to hire or train an additional 435,000 people during the next five years. Set a target goal for your organization.

  1. Business Training

Some companies offer internal educational programs to returning soldiers. This gives veterans the opportunity to receive training for the career they seek. It is a chance for them to build their personal brand, learn networking strategies and gain access to valuable business skills.

  1. Military-Friendly Websites

A communication gap exists between veterans and corporate recruiters. Resumes aren’t used in the military and some of its technical jargon isn’t easily understood by civilians. In an attempt to bridge this gap, organizations have developed sites that convert military codes into relatable layman terms. Such websites then can translate their background into an attractive set of skills, as well as suggest relevant job openings for recruiters.

  1. Job Fairs

A common recruiting tool, they come highly recommended for organizations looking to hire vets. Military job fairs are an effective way to connect local businesses with veterans looking for a new opportunity.

  1. Internships

Many organizations have internship programs already in place for undergraduates, but a few now are extending practices to include veterans. While an internship may not necessarily lead to a job offer, it provides veterans with valuable experience and a glance into the civilian workforce.

Since the inception of the Joining Forces initiative two years ago, some 290,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired. As troops continue to return home from oversees, the number of veterans added to the workforce is predicted to increase drastically. These are just a few ways organizations are making strides to welcome veterans back home and back to work.

What is your organization doing to give back to those who serve the country you call home?