Every organization should try to employ a diversified workforce, because with the more unique outlooks in your team, the higher will be your chance of success. One of the strategies for introducing diversity could be hiring veterans and recruiters opine that they are the best option to bring a unique perspective to any organization. With their years of strenuous training and disciplined life proven during service along with their hardworking they veterans possess dozens of skills both physical and mental that can be highly valuable to today’s employers.
As is rightly said by Col. Adam Rocke, an eminent veteran now associated with an organization named Fastport: “Veterans are trained professionals who bring with them the skills and values the military teaches: problem-solving, stress management, loyalty, ambition and more. What is the best thing you can do for your company? Hire a Veteran. Hiring a veteran isn’t just the right thing to do — it makes good business sense.”
But while recruiting veterans recruiters face a tough challenge which is budget as the management does not grant adequate budget for hiring the veterans. So what should be the ideal strategy to attract, and more importantly retain, this category of talent and still maintain the budget?
Following are six ideas which a recruiter can use to accomplish this goal and the best part of these ideas are that they do not cost very much.
1. Use the term ‘veteran-friendly’ in the recruitment ads and collaterals
You can also try building a separate veteran hiring microsite. It is very obvious that just by putting “veteran friendly” in your recruiting notifications, like the job descriptions or notifications on the career page of the website, the chances of veterans applying for the job openings will naturally increase in every way.
Though it is not guaranteed that this trick will surely work and it might eventually fall onto deaf ears. But you cannot disagree with the fact that if somehow a veteran somehow comes across your job posting with the title “veteran friendly, it is likely that they would be interested. Some recruiters even go an extra mile by building microsites on the career page of the company’s website specifically which is specifically designed for veterans.
2. Creating a veteran “buddy program” for the fresh veteran hires
So, when you are creating an employer brand of being “veteran friendly” through over your job posts, it naturally means you have to deliver the same and the best way to achieve this is to set up a “buddy program” for new veteran hires you have made.
“Buddy program” is an HR practice of pairing each fresh veteran hire with an existing veteran employee of your company as his “mentor.” This pairing relationship is ideated in order to assist the new hires in adapting to their new work environment. This mentor preferably should not be a colleague form in the same department or management personnel otherwise the new hire will feel uncomfortable putting up his views candidly. Because both of them are associated with the common bond of military services which will create ease in the new hire to ask certain questions about the organization they would not otherwise be comfortable in asking. You only need to keep the veteran background common; the branch of service does not need to.
You can schedule a meeting session for the two, either in-person or via telephonic conversation, and make it a habit for both of them for 90 days. This will naturally move veteran recruits smoothly into their new role in the company, as they both can discuss their challenges with someone who already has some experience going of going through a similar transition. This will benefit the company by increasing the retention of the veteran new hires.
Another benefit of creating a “buddy program” is the self-identification process of the veteran which is particularly important if being Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) compliant is quite a concern for your organization. However, there will be many veterans in your organization who will choose not to self-identify themselves and which might be for a variety of reasons. But if you can pair a self-identification analysis in association with a “buddy program,” you will see an increase in the number of veteran staffs volunteering in this activity as it is a default nature of military members of helping each other.
Practically, it is a smart HR strategy to introduce a “buddy program” for all the new hires at your company and not just veterans. But if hiring veterans is one of the primary focus for your organization, these types of programs will help in retaining the talents dramatically.
3. Maintain a very clear organizational hierarchy in your company
Veterans by default follow a very structured path of “moving up the ladder” when it comes to career advancements. This is because throughout their military career, they have fulfilled very clear objectives which needed to be accomplished in order to move up in rank and responsibility, and it is highly expected that veterans would expect and mimic the same process in your organization.
The most important advantage of such a step is to make the veterans more comfortable. But, apart from that, it is also a very good idea for all the employees to understand the standards that will provide the desired advancement opportunities for the employees.
4. Training the HR department with best practices for hiring veterans
It is a very true fact that veterans have a bit different resume than the civilians and they often speak a different very different language than any average civilian candidate. By training the HR managers and executives on how to read a veteran’s resume and to ask them the right questions, you can avoid an unconscious bias against them that often prevails in the hiring process.
5. Offering schedule flexibility
Veterans are bound to attend VA (Veteran’s Administration) appointments that are strictly scheduled and cannot be altered. So you must offer your veteran employees quite flexible schedules, in order to ensure your veteran employees are able to attend those appointments, without having to take time off their work. This is a very little step but is extremely valuable for our heroes who have to see the VA for continued care.
6. Reach out to local veteran groups
In the United States, the Department of Labor has a responsible officer who looks after getting the veterans hired in every state of the union at the American Job Centers. Especially, if you are looking for the DVOP/LVER who are state-level employees and whose mission is to assist local veterans in securing their employment.
Other resources of locating veterans include Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), or job fairs held by multiple organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or through the medium of local representatives who are more than committed to getting veterans hired. Sync with these organizations and keep them notified as to when you want to hire a veteran. This word-of-mouth alone can go a long way into getting more veteran applications and ultimately appointing more veteran employees.