Tips for Becoming a Veteran Friendly Employer
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that by the year 2023, there will be more than 3.5 million veterans in the civilian job market. This indicates a swell in workforce that requires attention.
As companies seek talent that brings values of loyalty, passion, resilience, and commitment, they often look to veterans. After all, the values of the military align with many corporate goals, such as being customer-centric; providing a consultative approach rather than transaction model; focusing on collaboration and teamwork; and staying true to high standards when engaging with others.
If your company wants to attract veterans, you must be veteran friendly and focus on the following:
Many of the leading companies that hire and grow veteran talent point to the necessity of having support from the executive level. A veteran hiring initiative will require resources, commitment, time, and energy to be successful. With buy-in from the highest levels in the organization, you can conduct research, create unique programs, form alliances, and build visibility as a veteran friendly company. Without this support, many initiatives fall short of meeting objectives, or are phased out as interest and enthusiasm becomes hard to sustain.
The military is a values-driven culture. Service men and women are instilled with values of loyalty, service, duty, and honor, to name a few. When they transition, they seek a commitment to values in their employers. Veterans often tell me that they "look to work for a company that has a set of values I can ascribe to."The topic of values can serve as an opportunity for companies seeking to be veteran friendly. Make it clear what your values are, how you live and act upon those values, and how the veteran's job will promote and support those values. Even work that is less glamorous can be attractive to a veteran, if they understand the greater purpose.
Make it known to the veteran community that your company seeks to hire former military service members. Participate in job fairs and career events, bringing veteran employees with you. Create a unique landing page on your website highlighting your values, open positions that veterans can fill, and sharing resources you have for veteran employees. Don't overlook social media -- be sure your positioning on Monster.com, Facebook, and elsewhere highlights your commitment and passion for veteran employees. Showcase the veterans you have working for you and their successes.
Veterans often require unique onboarding programs to ensure they will successfully integrate into your company systems and culture. In addition, creating affinity groups for veterans can provide resources, information, and support for your veteran employees. Affinity groups model the military culture, which places high value on mentoring, leadership and support.
Finally, don't forget military spouses and families. During active duty, service men and women spend a lot of time away from their families. Civilian companies who successfully recruit and retain veterans often include the spouse and family at events and in the employee's experience at the company. This demonstrates sensitivity and appreciation for the family's commitment to service.
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