7 Proven Strategies for Hiring Veterans

Tips for hiring veterans

Mission-driven focus, leadership training, and resilience are just a few qualities veterans bring to the civilian workplace. Research from the Syracuse University for Veterans and Military Families shows that veterans typically possess characteristics and skill sets that make them a great asset to the business environment.

However, effectively hiring veterans requires some advanced knowledge and training; therefore employers should invest time educating their teams on the military structure. We’ve highlighted seven strategies that will help you both hire and retain veterans.

The veteran recruitment techniques that work

Finding the best-fit candidate for a role can be challenging, especially when your hiring efforts are targeted toward veterans. To achieve success, the recruitment process requires advanced planning and targeted marketing. The following are seven proven strategies for hiring veterans:

1.   Identify vet’s transferable skills

There are many skills that the former military brings to the table that are transferable to the civilian workplace. Examples include teamwork, communication, technical skills, problem-solving, and leadership, just to name a few.

One of the core foundations of the military is teamwork, and veterans understand how to effectively collaborate with others to reach a common goal. Additionally, veterans are trained to lead by example, and they are quite adept at managing and motivating their staff to achieve results.

Some of the tools that can help employers identify veterans’ transferable skills include:

2.   Host or attend a dedicated veteran recruitment event

You can expect veterans with some civilian work experience to attend traditional recruitment events, but hosting or attending an event that is specifically targeted for vets may yield better results. RecruitMilitary lists a complete schedule of all the veteran job fairs across the country.

Hosting an event on a military base can help you find candidates who are in the process of transitioning out of the military. Virtual job fairs can also be effective as they allow you to meet veterans who aren’t able to attend an event in person.



3.   Collaborate with Military Transition Programs

Military Transition Programs help servicemen and their families make a smooth transition from military to civilian life. The Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) and nonprofit organizations such as Hiring Our Heroes, offer resources and training for veterans.

Recruiters can partner with these programs by visiting a military base, connecting with a TAP specialist organization, or identifying an internal recruiting liaison between the groups and their organization.

4.   Simplify the application process

Transitioning to civilian life and a civilian career is challenging enough on its own for veterans. Streamlining the application process by providing clear and concise instructions and expedited document submission can be very helpful for vets.

Consider designating a point of contact within your organization for veterans, so that they have an individual that they can easily reach for assistance throughout the hiring process. Creating a separate website or landing page dedicated to veteran careers can also make communication easier for all parties.

5.   Familiarize yourself with military culture and language

The values, the culture, and even the language can vary greatly for those who served in the military. Understanding where vets come from will help you manage them. The military has a vocabulary of its own with jargon and slang that may not be familiar to civilians. Military.com offers a glossary of some of the most common military acronyms.

Research from the Center for a New American Security shows that companies that make an effort to understand military culture, do a better job of recruiting and retaining veterans. Existing veteran employees working in an organization can also be of great value in assisting with recruitment and onboarding.

6.   Post jobs on military-friendly job boards

Many job boards cater specifically to veterans seeking civilian work. By targeting some of these niche boards, you can more easily reach these candidates. The following resources are designed specifically for connecting with veteran job seekers:

7.   Highlight your organization’s military-friendly benefits

When creating your veteran recruitment strategy, be sure to highlight any military-friendly benefits such as remote work options, healthcare benefits, flexible schedules, and career advancement opportunities. These benefits should also be clearly stated in your job postings as well as reiterated during the interview process.

Continuous training and development programs can also be quite attractive to veterans, especially those who are entering a new field of work. Additionally, offering employee and/or veteran resource groups allows veterans to more easily connect with their peers and share experiences. Recognition programs that celebrate employees’ accomplishments and publicly acknowledge veterans within the organization can also foster a very positive culture—and increase retention.

Strategies for Hiring Veterans

In addition to the seven key strategies we’ve highlighted here, having a strong brand and a solid reputation can also make a huge impact when hiring veterans. Your recruitment and marketing efforts should highlight the aspects of your company that will best resonate with veterans seeking civilian employment.

At SURESTAFF, we help veterans successfully transition to the civilian workforce, increase public awareness about hiring veterans, encourage others to hire veterans and their spouses, and educate the staffing industry and its customers about the benefits of hiring veterans.


About the Author

Kim is a seasoned content marketing professional with over twelve years of corporate communications experience. Her “sweet spot” is withKim Wacker creative writing both short and long-form. She has a proven track record working with IBM, Jackson Healthcare, and Walt Disney World, among many others. Kim is a singer and actor and has been performing on stage and screen since she was a child. She has a great passion for TV and film production and went to school for broadcast journalism. Connect with Kim on LinkedIn.