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5 Steps to Implementing a Military Recruitment Strategy at Your Company

November 10, 2016

military-hiring.jpgIn most companies across the United States, recruiting and selecting the candidates most likely to succeed and bring value to the organization is a high priority. One critical success factor in hiring the right people is having sufficient applicant flow. Because applicant flow is a common challenge for many of my clients, I often ask about sourcing strategies of successful companies. One practice often shared is the commitment to hire U.S. veterans.

There are plenty of great reasons to recruit and hire veterans. They typically:

  • Possess characteristics proven to contribute to workplace success. These traits include: teamwork, leadership, responsibility, problem solving, and safety orientation.

  • Have proven their ability to work under pressure to overcome adversity and accomplish goals.

  • Have a great understanding of the value of diversity and the power of strong leadership.

To read about some other good reasons to hire veterans, click here.

In honor of Veterans Day, I have put together a list of ways companies have enhanced their military recruitment strategies. This information was compiled with the assistance of several individuals with particular expertise in this area.

Scott M. Stratton, Program Manager for Veteran and Diversity Hiring, generously shared a Veteran Hiring Toolkit he developed for Sears Holdings Corporation (SHC). This easy-to-use flipchart provides step-by-step guidelines for sourcing, screening, and hiring veterans for employment.

While a large organization such as SHC is fortunate enough to have a veteran specialist, smaller organizations without this resource can employ many of these methods with minimal effort or cost. Most of them will require an investment of time only, as they add no additional expense. Utilizing one or more of these approaches may open new doors in your quest to source and hire veterans.

5 Tactics to Implement in Your Military Recruitment Strategy

  1. Create a plan. Identify sourcing, screening, and selection procedures, and communicate this plan to hiring managers and talent acquisition team members. Your plan may include target positions, specific sourcing websites, and reference guides for interpreting military experience.

  2. Map organizational values to veteran traits. The most effective hiring processes start with a deep understanding of the competencies required for success in each job. You can enhance veteran recruitment efforts by helping hiring managers understand how veterans can uniquely contribute to the organization.

  3. Utilize “free” resources where available.

    1. Base Transition Assistance Programs (Think beyond the closest military bases!)

      • The Transition Assistance Program (TAP) provides information, tools, and training to ensure Service members and their spouses are prepared for the next step in civilian life, which often means finding a job in the public or private sector.

      • Every U.S. Military base has a TAP manager and team. Service members at each base develop different skills. The skills you need may not be found at the base closest to you. However, most Service members who are separating from the military intend to relocate out of the immediate geographic area. If you can locate bases where the skills you need are prevalent, build a relationship with the TAP at that base. In addition to posting your position on their job boards, they may send you direct referrals.

    2. Veteran Employment Specialists (VESO)

      • Your regional VESO will work with you to Understand your needs, provide a list of candidates, and facilitate the interview process. Locate a VESO here.

    3. State Veterans- Employment Coordinator

      • In each state, there is an employment coordinator for Veterans. This person can be reached at the Department of Veterans Affairs Office in your state.

    4. State Reserves- Employment Coordinator

  1. Take advantage of military- specific job boards. These job boards are run by government organizations to support veterans and their spouses as they transition to civilian life. Companies can create an account and post job openings at no cost. Below are some examples of these types of job boards:

    1. Vets.gov

    2. GI Jobs.com

    3. Military.com

    4. RecruitMilitary.com

    5. Careeronestop.org

  2. Utilize Military-specific 3rd party Agencies for targeted Professional and Executive Positions. These organizations offer direct hire services for a percentage of salary or hiring events with pre-screened, qualified attendees. These events require a financial investment, but can be invaluable for sourcing candidates for specialized roles.

    Below are some examples of these types of agencies and events:

    1. Lucas Group

    2. Orion International

    3. Alliance Careers

    4. Military MOJO

My Select International colleagues and I offer our most sincere thanks to the brave men and women who have served in our country’s military. As we help organizations select the best candidate for each job, we are routinely reminded of veterans’ contributions to our workforce.

Veteran recruitment can be a valuable component of any talent strategy, and is often under-emphasized due to inexperience in working with this population. On Veterans Day, 2016, please honor a veteran by taking time to examine your organization’s efforts to employ our nation’s heroes.

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Amy Barnes Amy Barnes is a Business Development Manager with PSI. Her expertise includes talent selection, employee/leader development, and talent management. Amy helps her clients solve business needs by applying the science of Industrial-Organizational Psychology.