How to Create a Veteran-Friendly Brand
What is one thing your company has done to help create a veteran-friendly employer brand?
To help small business owners generate ways to build a brand that welcomes veterans, we asked HR experts and business leaders this question for their best strategies. From showing veterans support through HR certifications to providing career resources, there are several suggestions that may help you present your company as veteran-friendly for prospective employees and customers.
Here are 10 ideas to establish a veteran-friendly employer brand:
- Support Through Certification
- Advocate for Veteran Assistance
- Play a Part in Company Culture
- Define Roles and Advancement
- Learn About Military Culture
- Reach Out to Internal Veterans
- Partner With American-Owned Businesses
- Honor Each Veteran Story
- Provide Career Resources
- Salute Vets With Patriotic Gear
Support Through Certification
Employers can now become certified Veterans Supportive Employers, and HR staff can become certified from the SHRM Foundation with their Veterans at Work certificate. Recognized programs such as the Veterans’ Employment & Training Service (VETS) program through the U.S. Department of Labor provide great resources for employers who want to build a veteran-friendly environment. Be sure to advertise these affiliations and achievements in your marketing to help veterans see that your organization would be a very supportive place for them to work!
Colleen McManus, Senior HR Executive and Consultant
Advocate for Veteran Assistance
Each day our firm helps clients who have PTSD cut through the red tape and successfully receive the assistance they deserve and need. Given my past as a combat veteran, I relate to many of our clients, who are also veterans, affording them an empathetic hand in getting their claims fulfilled. Purpose goes way beyond profit. It’s a guiding force and motivates me daily. I feel blessed to be in the position I am in and to be able to give back to the community that has taught me so many valuable things in life.
John Berry, Berry Law
Play a Part in Company Culture
Representation is key. Veteran-friendly employers should have veterans as employees who work there and contribute to the overall company culture and success. Many organizations also encourage the development of various support groups both internally and externally. This way, everyone can be active and involved in supporting our community of veterans every day and not just on Veteran’s Day.
Rrronniba Pemberton, Markitors
Define Roles and Advancement
Outside of my day job, I run a small group that helps veterans enter real estate after their transition out of service. One of the things I hear from veterans is that they don’t know what they need to do to be successful and advance in corporate America. In the Army, you know to make E-5, you need to have a certain number of points, and you know how to get all of those points, but the same isn’t true in corporate America.
What I often suggest to employees that are looking to hire veterans is to look at how their advancement works. This may not be specifically promotions, but how does an employee grow, how do they get bigger projects, what skills, certifications, or training will help prepare them for the next role or promotion. This allows veterans to have an idea of what they should be doing to advance and become a more valuable member of your team.
Will Curtis, Crossed Sabers Commercial Real Estate & Academy
Learn About Military Culture
Build military cultural competency into your company so that you understand the basics of the military and how military skills can add value to your products or services. Veteran leaders at the company also can educate non-veteran coworkers on the valuable organization and leadership skills that veterans bring to the workplace, in addition to using the organizational skills that they learned in the military to build professional networks that include veterans, active duty service members, and reservists, and civilians to help bridge the military-civilian cultural divide that is so prevalent in our society today, and which would reflect great credit on the companies that employ them.
Paul A. Dillon, Dillon Consulting Service
Reach Out to Internal Veterans
The number one tip I give companies is to capitalize on their existing veteran employees instead of spending thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, working with military recruiting/headhunting firms. Existing veterans know what to look for (and watch out for) and should be included in the recruiting and evaluation process. Most importantly, veterans know where to find others like themselves. In addition to helping the recruiting process, incorporating internal veterans can provide support to the marketing and communications teams to create unique and insightful marketing and recruiting materials.
Chris Mancik, Mil-Speak Consulting
Partner With American-Owned Businesses
Since the beginning, we have remained 100% self-funded, hiring third-generation seamstresses and teaming up with other family-owned U.S. companies to provide the textiles and nylon needed to produce the right quality we desire in this great American product. As we continue to hire, we plan to focus on employing military veterans to ensure we can give back to them what they have done for our great country.
Katie Lyon, Allegiance Flag Supply
Honor Each Veteran Story
We are a veteran-owned real estate company. We know the value of veterans and what they can bring to our team. We are veteran-friendly because we embrace each unique veteran story. Each is different, and each veteran chooses how much of their story they want to tell. And we respect that.
Kevin Whitney, Whitney Realty
Provide Career Resources
At our company, our mission is to support job seekers in landing their dream job. That’s why we want to provide people with resources and tools that respond to their unique needs and backgrounds. One of our target groups is veterans. To promote a veteran-friendly employer brand, we continuously create content that helps veterans transition to civilian employment and use their exceptional skill set on the job market. We want to make sure that veterans have all they need to become successful and happy in their careers.
Dorota Lysienia, LiveCareer
Salute Vets With Patriotic Gear
We’re into supporting veterans and sell products that salute them. We definitely have a veteran-friendly employer brand. We sell flags and other patriotic-inspired products and gear. We believe in supporting veterans as well as the police, firefighters, military too, and we love and appreciate their service. In addition, we happily donate to relevant charities.
Ben Cook, Jr., Printed Kicks