Corporate Recruitment Action Series: Strategy for Hiring Military

This series of posts is focused on narrowing down the field of viable resources to fulfill the commitment to hiring military.

After a recent conversation with a staffing firm owner, it was clear to me that a consistent message continues to emerge all across the U.S. in every business setting: “There are too many people promoting the cause of hiring military and veterans, but without a high level of actual results.” In this (or in any other economic climate), return on investment of time, financial resources and human capital should result in what I label as the V Factor. The V Factor is analogous to a field goal, touchdown, home run, PowerBall ticket and so on. In recruitment and hiring, the V Factor is when a veteran is hired.

How a company measures success in this area is solely based on their own metrics. In the world of sports, it’s a fairly simple concept: develop the winning team, formulate the strategy, execute the play and win the game. Of course there is much more that goes into winning the game and becoming a Super Bowl or World Series champion. I haven’t quite figured out the formula for the Power Ball yet, but am open to getting that win on the books!

How does a corporation determine if they are successful in hiring from the niche group of military veterans? There really is no set standard in determining that success, so a challenge exists when a Veteran looks for a company that provides hard numbers and metrics to support their branding message and mission. Much thought has gone into whether outsourcing that service to a firm is of value to companies. Here is a point that can be validated from years of working in the corporate and private recruitment industry.

Companies that provide a focused and targeted strategy solely dedicated to hiring military veterans with all the support that is required to make that initiative possible can do it, however there are very few out there that understand all the factors needed. The program components should contain training their recruiters, measuring sourcing channels and effectiveness, understanding the non-transitional skills of the veteran, the socio-cultural aspects and the ontological-based hiring aspects, and then, actually implementing a program intuitive enough to provide ROI to the V Factor is rarely seen. Outsourcing this niche and targeted recruitment service is proving that it is ok not be everything for everyone!

When leaders ask corporate recruiters to be masters of everything – sourcing experts, diversity recruiters, military and veteran sourcers, career fair gurus, etc. – we ultimately leave them in the worst place possible:  overloaded and ineffective.

It’s imperative that corporate recruitment look at what they do well and analyze how to implement partnerships with organizations who can supply concrete return for their investment dollar. The partner organization must provide qualified military candidates who will not only fill a job order but will be retained in that company.  Veteran attrition numbers after entering the civilian workforce are not being reported on for a variety of reasons which will be examined at a later date.

However, those reasons ultimately lead the Talent Acquisition Director to the factors of success! If you can’t figure out why military talent leaves your company, how can you ever determine who to hire into the same job that was vacated by a Veteran? Root cause analysis determines the V Factor, that’s how you maintain a successful military hiring program. You constantly assess and reassess if the the pathways you have established to hire the military are really making a difference.  What service will you be to those who have served if you don’t take a critical and methodical look at results, not just effort?

Step 1 for the V Factor


Understand your candidate pool. Know who and how this niche group thinks, and generally speaking, how they approach the transitional period when moving from the military to civilian career space. Do your homework and ask questions of those experts in the recruitment industry who solely focus on this candidate pool. Decide if this will free you up to add value in the places of the talent supply chain where you are the expert.

Cut through the cloud of choices.  Narrow down your resources to partnerships that provide impact and ROI. When determining who and what to rely upon, ask the question:  “Will this accomplish my goal to hire military? Does this partner understand my company’s needs and the military culture well enough to develop an effective strategy, where as a Corporate Recruiter, I can outsource with confidence?”

Hiring Manger Connection

Provide your hiring manager with real world examples of why they should hire your military candidate. List their goals for the ideal candidate and next to them compare your veteran candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Work with the hiring manager to negotiate any issues of skill and emphasize the tips from the ESGR Toolkit.


Military Cultural Competence

Why Hire from the Military

Toolkit for Employers – ESGR

If you find this post to be useful send me a note and I will send you a template to start your strategy planning!

Angela Covey