How to Hire Military Veterans


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hire vetsIs your company looking to reap the rewards of hiring U.S. military veterans? Yes, but you are not exactly sure how to go about reaching out to this potential talent pool or the best approaches to hiring veterans.

This series of articles will attempt to share some tips on the process of hiring veterans and show that military veterans are worth every penny you invest in them.

Companies across the U.S. are already implementing strategies to hire thousands of veterans over the next decade. Many of these companies truly recognize the skills veterans can bring to their organizations.

“Your service made you a leader and a disciplined, strategic thinker with a level of loyalty that is unmatched,” writes General Electric on their webpage devoted to hiring veterans.

In an effort to better explain the attributes military veterans bring to companies, I conducted a short survey with some of my fellow veterans. I asked them this question: Why should companies be interested in hiring veterans? There responses:

“We can get the job done without supervision.”
“Veterans are more determined. It is programmed into us to be adaptable, we train to adapt and overcome, face challenges, meet objectives.”
“[Veterans] take their responsibilities seriously, they come from a culture that ingrains in them that completing the job is critical to overall success of broader goals.”
“Veterans choose to make a positive difference for the world and will do the same for companies.”

Research seems to agree with this conclusion. Patriotic sentiments, government regulations, and tax incentives are not the only reasons for hiring military veterans. The skills and experiences developed in the military translate into a significant return on investments for civilian organizations.

“These folks are generally used to getting things done, rather than coming up with 50 reasons why something is impossible,” according to Elaine Kamarch of the Brookings Institution, quoted in the Dec. 6 edition of the The Economist.

Companies that elect to hire veterans are not only getting a veteran’s determination to get the job done, there are a plethora of other skills that are developed through military culture. In 2012, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University divided the skill-related benefits of hiring veterans into 10 categories.

1.Veterans are entrepreneurial
2.Veterans assume high levels of trust
3.Veterans are adept at skills transfer across contexts/tasks
4.Veterans have [and leverage] advanced technical training
5.Veterans are comfortable/adept in discontinuous environments
6.Veterans exhibit high-levels of resiliency
7.Veterans exhibit advanced team-building skills
8.Veterans exhibit strong organizational commitment
9.Veterans have [and leverage] cross-cultural experiences
10.Veterans have experience/skill in diverse work-settings

Transitioning service members, veterans, and wounded warriors are worth the investment. The skills and devotion that veterans bring to the workplace are a massive benefit to any employer.

So, if you are a CEO and your company has not taken advantage of this potential talent pool you may be a little behind, but it is never too late to start.

The unemployment rate rate for Post-9/11 veterans continues to worry veterans’ advocates. In January, the national unemployment rate increased from 5.6 percent to 5.7. The rate for veterans increased from 4.7 percent in December to 5.3. There are several explanations for this trend. This blog series focuses on one of those possible reasons. Perhaps, companies are not certain on how to go about hiring or reaching out to veterans. The U.S. Department of Labor addresses this issue on their website. Also, recruiters can tap into the veteran talent pool through organizations such as MilitaryHire’s employers’ section.

The Labor Department lists six steps to assist companies looking to hire military veterans. This toolkit helps simplify the hiring process by highlighting reasons for doing so. The six steps are:

1.Design a strategy for your veterans hiring program
2.Create a welcoming and educated workplace for veterans
3.Actively recruit veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses
4.Hire qualified veterans and learn how to accommodate wounded warriors
5.Promote an inclusive workplace to retain your veteran employees
6.Keep helpful tools and resources at your fingertips

In the next few articles on MilitaryHire.com I will write about each of these six steps in more detail.

To be continued…

-Dan Blottenberger


Three steps to success:

  1. Sign Up. It’s quick and easy to start an Employer’s account.
  2. Post Your Jobs.  Top veteran job seekers have conducted over one million job searches on MilitaryHire.  Post your jobs to attract this talent! 
  3. Search Resumes. Don’t wait for the job seekers to find you. Set up automated Resume Scouts to scour our database and notify you of new resumes that match your criteria.

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