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9 Ways to Make Your Recruitment Process More Veteran-Inclusive

If you have a diversity recruitment strategy that doesn’t include veterans, you’re really missing out on an opportunity to reach your D&I goals and add great talent to your organization. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 200,000 servicemembers transition to civilian life annually, and many of them are unemployed—making this population a significant source of untapped talent. Also, the veteran community has become increasingly heterogeneous over the years, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. In fact, post-9/11 veterans are 17 percent female, 15.3 percent black, and 12.1 percent Hispanic.

Veterans come into the civilian workforce with honed leadership, team work, and technology skills that prime them for success. In addition, this underrepresented group of talent is used to performing under pressure, continuously learning, and working with integrity.

With Veteran’s Day coming up, this is the perfect time to rethink your recruiting and determine ways to incorporate veterans into your activities. Continue reading for nine ways to make your recruitment process more veteran-inclusive—and make veteran hires feel more welcome in your company.

1. Launch a Veterans Landing Page

If your careers website has landing pages for each of the demographics you want to recruit, also add a page dedicated to veterans. This will help bolster your veteran-specific recruiting campaigns, showcase what your company has to offer this community, and communicate that you have an inclusive work environment that values their skills and experience.

2. Use a Military Skills Translator

The military has a unique language, which can make it challenging for veterans when they look for a job as a civilian. Sometimes they may see a position and assume they're not qualified because of the language used in the job post. Also, they may not be able to express their skills in a way that can help employers understand what they bring to the table, and conversely, employers may not be able to communicate what they need in a way that is comparable to military experience. You can bridge this gap by adding a skills translator to your careers website, so applicants can enter military-specific language into the system and get an alternative description that doesn't include the jargon they’re used to.    

3. Revamp Job Posts

Since a skills translator can help recruiters better communicate with veteran talent, you can use it as a guide to rethinking your job posts. With these translations in mind, craft job posts in a way that makes it easy for veterans to apply to positions with confidence because they know they have the skills needed to do the job. Be sure to eliminate corporate-speak that may turn veterans off and make job descriptions relatable by describing duties and goals in clear language.

4. Post on Veteran Job Boards

To make it easier to attract veterans, and let the community know you're interested in them, post your positions on veteran job sites, such as Military.com, HireVeterans.com, and MilitaryHire. Also, be sure to inform current employees about your presence on these boards so they can tell the veterans they know to check out your company.

5. Participate in Veteran Career Fairs

Participating in veteran career fairs can get your brand in front of many potential employees while boosting your profile with this community. Having one-on-one conversations with these candidates can help alleviate any concerns they have about their skills not translating to the civilian workplace, as well as help you better understand their value.

6. Partner With Veteran Organizations

As with other groups of underserved talent, the veteran community has organizations specifically designed to cater to their unique needs, such as the Minority Veterans of America and the National Association of Minority Veterans of America. By partnering with these groups, you can get your company on members’ radar so they're interested in working with you. Also, you can demonstrate you’re serious about helping this community by donating to charities like the Wounded Warrior Project and Disabled American Veterans.

7. Start an Employee Referral Program

If you don’t have any veterans in your workforce, chances are you have employees who have friends and family who served in the military. And if you already employ veterans, they know other people in the community. Either way, creating an employee referral program targeting veterans will incentivize workers to become involved in your D&I goals while increasing this talent in your hiring funnel.

8. Create a Veterans Employee Resource Group

Veterans have had experiences that most employees just can’t understand, so it’s important to help make the transition to the civilian workplace as comfortable for them as possible. Creating an employee resource group for veterans can help employees adjust to both your organization and the world of post-military work. An ERG will give veterans a chance to connect with each other, share their concerns, and work with the company to create solutions.

9. Offer Career Paths and Professional Development

Service members are accustomed to clear career paths that guide the way they rise through the ranks of the military. One way you can increase your chances of retaining veterans is by outlining clear career paths that they can follow in your organization, so they know what steps they need to take in order to advance. Also, offer professional development activities to help them gain the tools they need to move their careers forward.

After serving our country, veterans leave the military with invaluable skills that can benefit any organization. These tips can help you tap into this talent and make your workplace much richer and more diverse. Changing your recruitment approach to incorporate veterans will also go a long way toward meeting your D&I goals.

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