There is a compelling business case for recruiting veterans. Employers have an opportunity to capture veteran talent; help them transition into civilian jobs; and build goodwill with their customers, employees and the community. Organizations who hire veterans can also take advantage of as much as $11,700 in federal and state tax credits (see “How Companies Can Capture the Veteran Opportunity,” Presentation-1-20120911-Veteran-Opportunity.pdf, p35). In addition to valuable information on recruiting this section also includes information on:
Many organizations recognize the value of veterans. Veterans embrace teamwork, while contributing a variety of skills in resolving problems and achieving goals. They offer diverse perspectives that can influence people across cultural boundaries. They are self-reliant, demonstrate strong work ethic and thrive under pressure. Further, veterans receive military and socialization training that instills high levels of self-efficacy, trust, autonomy and dynamic decision-making.
Engaged leaders drive progress within the organization, particularly as it relates to veteran-focused employment initiatives. To date, much of the hiring of veterans has been driven by calls for corporate social responsibility, and the “support the troops” goodwill that exists in American society. High-performing companies such as AT&T, Amazon, GE and CSX have acknowledged the significance of veteran employees. Prudential has developed a feature film that is a three-part instructional video for hiring managers that addresses issues of PTSD, what vets bring to the table, benefits, and much more. They are interested in sharing these tools with others because the have found success in recruiting veterans by taking proactive steps and making focused investments toward integrating military service and civilian employment.
JPMC led efforts to create and launch the 100,000 Jobs Mission in March 2011. The 100,000 Jobs Mission represents collaboration with more than 50 other private-sector firms (and growing), together committing to the goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. The coalition members are committed to working together, sharing best recruiting and employment practices, reporting hiring results on monthly practice-sharing calls and quarterly meetings, and collaborating on job fairs and other hiring events. This collaborative approach gives all participating firms scale and efficiency, with regard to recruiting veterans, and also accelerates the learning and education process for all coalition partners as it relates to reliable practices and processes.
These organizations have programs designed to educate HR staff, hiring managers and the general workforce on the business case for hiring veterans and how to transfer veteran skills learned during military service into the day-to-day responsibilities of a civilian job. HR and hiring managers learn how to attract veterans by sharing benefits of interest such as healthcare plans, internships, tuition assistance, and specialized post-military programs. They leverage existing veteran employees to help in recruitment efforts. They also host outreach initiatives to provide mentorship, training and resources, designed to help veterans navigate through the recruitment process.
Caution: Veterans may not be their own best advocates for attaining a job. They may not be adequately prepared for the application and interview processes because they are challenged with translating their military skills and experiences to civilian roles. Without resume and interview tactics that positively feature their skills and demonstrate a match to career requirements, veterans may accept entry level positions or jobs that undervalue or underutilize their skills and experience. Investing in veteran recruiting training and awareness can overcome this obstacle and position the organization as a leader in veteran hiring.
There are a host of tools to assist employers in understanding military roles and having the ability to translate those roles into civilian jobs. Every role in the military has a unique code, and each branch (Army, Air Force, Navy) utilizes its own system to identify a specific job. O*Net Online offers a “Military to Civilian Crosswalk” that can be used to search for military classification codes that best correspond to a particular civilian job title and vice versa (http://www.onetonline.org/crosswalk/MOC/). Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (COOL) offers two websites, one for the army and one for the navy, to help determine how military careers, ratings and experience can translate to meet organization job descriptions, civilian certification and license requirements (Army: https://www.cool.army.mil/index.htm; Navy: https://www.cool.navy.mil/index.htm).