Tips and Strategies for the Best Ways to Hire Veterans

Hires from the military community are valuable assets that your organization should not overlook.

Since military veterans are trained, disciplined, loyal, and highly skilled, they have the potential to positively influence the company culture. Businesses of every size benefit from hiring this talented group.

However, learning how to seek out veteran candidates to hire, and finding the best fit can be a difficult task. This is a process that requires strategic thinking and planning as well as concentrated efforts to seek out talent when hiring veterans.

With this comes persistent dedication and thorough, targeted marketing so veterans know that you’re hiring. While it may seem like a long, persistent process, the benefits your business can gain from hiring veterans makes the process a worthwhile investment.

###Make sure your business is perceived as a great place to work

Having a valued brand and mission makes a large impact on success when it comes to hiring veterans.

A solid reputation and a strong brand could mean the difference between a veteran signing with you or going with another competitor. To ensure that you stand out as the [best option for veteran employment](, one of the ways you can highlight your company is through determining what aspects of your company would resonate well with veterans and making that connection through focused marketing.

For example, veterans are trained to contribute to a team, so having strong team-building experiences within your organization will resonate well with them and draw them to your company. Another important factor for succeeding in hiring veterans is to make sure your organization has dedicated, involved support for veterans. Create a standard for how your program operates, including things like military leave of absence, budgeting, executive sponsors, etc. Along with this, make the effort to consistently stay involved online in veteran communities, as this is a great way to reach the veteran population, and will get you one step closer to finding the right veteran candidates.

Having these dedicated efforts and resources in your organization is essential for hiring veterans, as it will drive more veteran traffic and give your company more candidates to hire.

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###Use ways to inform others you are hiring veterans

You will need to produce a branding budget for maximum exposure at events like [job fairs](, [virtual hiring events](, summits, social media, and networking. The possibilities are broad, but they require time and effort to make them come to life.

Waiting to see the fruits of your labor harvest involves patience and dedication, so giving up before seeing the results will not help your company in the long run. Overall, it is important to have a thought out plan and make sure your goals are achievable and realistic while challenging your company to be dedicated, intentional, and successful with hiring veterans.

###Hire veterans by hosting or attending a dedicated veteran recruiting event

If you plan on hosting or attending a recruiting event, consider virtual events, traditional events, and even on-base events.

For [traditional events](, expect the majority of the veterans attending to have some civilian work experience. They will most likely have already transitioned out of the military and will have had some experience working in civilian jobs.

[On-base events](, on the other hand, will, for the most part, have veterans who are currently in the process of transitioning out of the military. This means they will not have had as much civilian industry experience, so keep that in mind when talking with them.

[Virtual events]( provide an opportunity for you to meet veterans with schedules who can’t attend in person events. Virtual events can also be more cost effective. Travel expenses are eliminated and company time is used more efficiently. Virtual events allow you to include multiple decision-makers early in the recruiting process, which can save time and resources in the long run.

Whether you decide on traditional, on-base, or virtual career fairs, recruiting events are great ways to focus your efforts in hiring veterans in one place.

###Run a veteran hiring program

You don’t have to be a veteran to run the veteran hiring program in your company. As long as the CEO or leader of your organization has a passion for working with and hiring veterans, this passion will shine through and let veterans know that your company is actively engaged and excited to hire them.

Simply hiring veterans, however, is not as simple as it may seem; there are some pitfalls to avoid when going about hiring veterans.

An issue that often comes up with military programs is that they are lumped into a diversity or HR role which gives your company diluted results and prohibits the potential for growth in this area. To combat limited growth and rather deepen your relationships with veterans, it is essential to educate your staff about the military so they can further understand the armed forces and familiarize themselves with how the military works.

This education will ensure that you can connect with veterans and develop a strong relationship. The last thing you want is to damage your company’s reputation and stunt growth, so ensuring you make positive relationships and retain veteran employees is essential to maintaining a fruitful veteran hiring process.

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###Retain veteran employees

Knowing how to [retain veterans on your team]( is just as vital as knowing how to hire them. Having a formal Employee Resource Group (ERG) can help to increase employee engagement, develop leaders, and expand marketplace reach.

Veteran Employee Groups (VRG) are a specific type of employee resource group dedicated to ensuring that veterans connect with one another within an organization. Having a strong VRG sheds a positive light on your company’s values and brand. Having positive word-of-mouth is a priceless tool; If veterans are having a positive experience, they will likely tell their friends. Using these programs can help your organization develop a stronger reputation and hire more veterans.

Hiring veterans is a worthwhile and beneficial investment for your organization. Be aware as you go through the veteran hiring process that temporarily taking these initiatives or riding the wave of inclusion won’t yield lasting results. However, taking a strong, dedicated approach and getting expert input will help to place your organization on the map as a front runner for hiring veterans. Hiring veterans also brings security clearances, tax breaks for hiring veterans, and OFCCP compliance.