When It Comes To Hiring Vets, Be Tactical

When It Comes To Hiring Vets, Be Tactical

The American total workforce receives a sizeable contingent of outgoing military vets each year. However, many of these veterans have a difficult time being accepted into civilian workplaces, on top of their own transition struggles and growing pains. In fact, as veteran unemployment stats in 2020 seem to suggest, the military veterans’ subcategory in the total workforce saw a disproportionate share of the unemployment wave triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This subcategory appears particularly vulnerable to being laid off, furloughed, or being rejected out of hand while recruiters screen applicants for a role. What if, with a tactical and structured approach, you could not only improve your veteran recruiting process but also enhance the value they add to their role? Read on to find out more.

Improving Workforces with Tactical Veteran Hiring

There can be any number of reasons why many employers are hesitant to hire or retain military veterans. While most of them are nothing more than outdated stereotypes and preconceptions, but they still act as barriers to veteran employment. In effect, they harm a veteran’s chances of employment simply by virtue of being a former member of the US Military.

In any workplace today, this is equivalent to excluding specific candidates and a biased hiring process. And as any modern workforce manager knows, excluding a particular set of candidates or workers doesn’t just harm the worker; it negatively impacts the business as well.

The most successful and innovative workplaces are the ones that operate by embracing diversity and inclusivity. With a few tactical changes like the ones below, you can improve onboarding to secure valuable veteran talent and help them integrate smoothly into their new roles:

Identifying and Removing Specific Barriers

From hiring bias to media-perpetuated stereotypes, there is no shortage of barriers to a veteran transitioning into civilian employment. With an implicit understanding that hiring bias is bad, it is obvious that businesses may be missing out on valuable candidates and even future business leaders because of skewed perceptions.

Whatever those perceptions may be, it is in your firm’s long-term and short-term interests to remove them. There are several ways you may be able to locate general hiring barriers for vets. For example, you could engage with existing veteran workers, or veterans you know on a personal level, to discover what problems they faced during their transition. If anything crops up that may seem familiar in your own workplace or recruitment processes, remove it immediately.

Reading Suggestion: 4 Myths and Corresponding Realities Pertaining To Veteran Hiring

Offering Mentorship and Coaching Opportunities

For nearly every worker, there are challenges when they initially approach a new role. For veterans, sometimes the challenges can be of a different nature. This is only to be expected since their background in the military is vastly different from that of a civilian candidate. However, just like a civilian, a veteran usually has the capacity to learn and grow into their roles.

A mentorship program, or special coaching sessions, could help make the transition easier for a new veteran hire. If you have a former veteran in a middle-management or C-level position, they can serve as great mentors for such hires. The shared fraternal military experience can act as a comfort buffer, while the mentor’s current place in the hierarchy can serve as an inspiration and a roadmap.

Involve Veteran Workers in the Recruiting Process

Vets in your existing workplace shouldn’t be limited to mentorship roles alone. Instead, you should look to your veteran employees as consultants in the hiring process. Once again, because they have shared experiences, veteran consultants may be able to identify specific barriers or flaws in the recruitment process from a veteran’s perspective.

They may also be able to offer valuable insights that may help recruitment and retention of vets or hiring military spouses. These recruitment consultants may also be able to read between the lines and help your general recruiters zero in on veteran candidates that may offer the most value, as well as the roles best suited for them.

Offer Empathy, Meaningful Work, and Inclusivity

Whether your tech talent pipeline consists of civilians or veterans, retaining them is much harder than hiring them. Like any other type of worker, a veteran employee needs to feel engaged in his or her role. They also need to be able to connect with peers, teams, and other parts of the workforce.

Managers that understand the high costs of turnover and replacements can also understand how a bit of empathy and support can go a long way to retain veteran hires. At the same time, offering them meaningful work in a workplace culture that is inclusive of veterans will be a great way to speed up their transition.

While veterans may need a different hiring approach than civilians, they are still on the same emotional wavelength as civilians. The approach may be slightly different, but the end goal is still to onboard and retain a valuable employee. Meeting their needs is a tactical approach designed to help employers such as yourself offer them the right environment and support to excel in their roles.

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