What Makes an Employer Attractive to Veterans Looking for Jobs?

What Makes an Employer Attractive to Veterans Looking for Jobs?

RecruitMilitary recently partnered with branding specialist Universum to survey 4,348 U.S. professionals and help employers that want to hire veterans learn more about what veterans value the most to in both jobs and employers. The surveyed group comprised both military veterans and non-military professionals. The results represent all veterans’ responses and were not broken down by enlisted/non-enlisted.

Employer Brand

When it comes to an employer’s reputation and image, the attributes that are most important to veterans bear a striking resemblance to those commonly found in military service.

Ethical standards – 56%

Inspiring leadership – 52%

Inspiring purpose – 48%

Workplace Culture

The people and culture of a workplace are important, but not vital to veterans, once again underlining their ability to work in diverse environments. Again, what matters most are great leaders. Since mentoring is such an integral part of military service, veterans are accustomed to being coached by others and creating a plan to develop their careers. Here’s what ranked at the top when asked about the social environment and attributes of the workplace:

Leaders who will support my development – 56%

Respect for people – 53%

A friendly work environment – 35%

A creative and dynamic work environment - 47%

Recognizing performance (meritocracy) – 35%

It’s important to understand that the military is based on meritocracy wherein the worthiest advance. Worthiness is displayed through hustle; teamworking; leadership; being a go-getter; never giving up; and through attitude and fortitude.

Salary and Promotion Track

Two things equally mattered to the veterans who participated in the survey regarding pay and opportunity: They want to make money, lead, and advance – just like the military.

Competitive base salary – 55%

Leadership opportunities – 55%

Competitive benefits – 44%

Clear Path for advancement – 42%

Job Characteristics

Veterans want to do more than just punch in and punch out. They are interested in continuous learning. The qualities that matter most to them are secure employment; professional training and development; and challenging work. Another factor that is important to veterans is the opportunity to engage in team-oriented work: 27% listed it as an attractive attribute in a job.

For workplace culture, here’s how veterans rated their top three preferences:

  1. Leaders who support development

  2. Competitive salary

  3. Leadership opportunities

What are Veterans’ Career Goals After Military Life?

Job security and stability: 60%

Work/life balance: 59%

Dedication to a cause or to feel that I am serving a greater good: 43%

To be a leader of manager of people: 37%

The most popular communication channels for veterans seeking employment are:

  1. Employer websites

  2. Job boards

  3. Career and job-related apps

  4. Social media

  5. Career fairs

The bottom line? Veterans will give their very best to companies and leaders who inspire them.


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