Serving in the military equips individuals with a wide range of useful skills. Whether it’s being goal-oriented, having dedication and discipline to get the hard work done or working well both on teams and independently, those who serve in the armed forces can apply their experience to many civilian roles and become valuable assets for any company.
But recruiting military veterans isn’t easy. Veteran hiring mirrors the current employment landscape — it’s highly competitive! The veteran unemployment rate for September 2019 dropped to 3.2% from 3.4% the month prior, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
For Recruitment Marketing and employer brand practitioners, this means that not only do you need to create a compelling content strategy to capture the attention of veterans entering the civilian workforce, but you also need to reach them on the right channels!
We’ve pulled together a list of the top channels and methods that you can use as part of your Recruitment Marketing strategy for hiring veterans.
Veteran job boards and websites
There are a variety of job boards and career websites tailored specifically to helping veterans find their next career opportunity after leaving the military. Creating employer profiles and posting your job descriptions on these sites can boost your chances of getting in front of this skilled talent pool.
The mission of RecruitMilitary is to benefit both companies and veteran candidates by helping them find the best career match. The website is the largest single-source database for veteran hiring, and they also produce a bi-monthly magazine and newsletters to help veterans with their transition.
This website focuses on providing current and former members of the military with a range of benefits, including a job board for veterans. They also feature an Employer Resource Center to help companies improve their veteran hiring strategies by connecting them with the Veteran Talent Portal, providing a Military Skills Translator tool and other supporting resources.
- Specialized websites
Job boards and websites geared toward specific industries for veteran hiring can generate awareness for your opportunities. One example is Helmets to Hardhats, which connects construction companies with former service members. Another is Troops to Trades, which promotes opportunities for veteran hiring in the plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical fields.
Local military groups
Having a wide reach via the internet puts your company in front of skilled veteran candidates, but narrowing down your efforts to local military and veteran groups can create better connections and engagement with former service members in your area looking for their next career opportunities.
The United Service Organization (USO) has chapters located in many regions throughout the country, and provides the USO Pathfinder program that helps military members transition to veteran life. This includes assisting them with finding the right civilian job best suited to their skill sets and experience.
The American Legion is a nation-wide wartime veterans’ service organization that focuses on supporting military veterans. Local groups, known as “posts,” are located throughout the country, and you can reach out to your nearby post to see how you can help Legion members with their career search by advertising your job opportunities.
Career fairs and events
Good, old-fashioned face-to-face recruiting is still an effective way to find, attract and engage candidates. Careers fairs and hiring events can be a key strategy for achieving your veteran hiring goals by literally putting you in front of candidates.
RecruitMilitary maintains a list of veteran-focused career fairs around the country, and you can search for upcoming events in your region. Checking with your local American Legion post or visiting their website can also yield results as the organization keeps an up-to-date list of recruiting events across the U.S.
Attending these veteran career fairs can provide a boost to your recruiting strategy by driving better engagement and personalization with former service members who want to transition into the civilian workforce.
Apart from using social sites to post your Recruitment Marketing content and attract veterans, there are also veteran-focused groups on these platforms that provide you with the chance to directly reach former service members. Many of these groups are geared specifically toward helping veterans find jobs. While it’s worth checking out which groups and forums exist on all social networks, your best bet will be LinkedIn, which has a variety of groups you can join to post job opportunities and start conversations with veteran candidates. Here’s a quick list of some of the top LinkedIn groups for veteran employment:
- We Hire Heroes
- US Veterans
- Hiring Our Heroes
- Veteran Mentor Network
- Military 2 Career Support Network
As part of their Social Impact program, LinkedIn offers a range of job search tools for veterans. The network also helps support employers looking to hire former service members by providing resources and a veteran database to optimize recruiting efforts.
Current veteran employees
As a practitioner, you probably already know just how effective employee referrals are — decreasing time to hire and cost per hire, boosting quality of hire and providing the best ROI are just a few of the benefits of employee referrals.
If you have current employees who are former service members, ask them to refer their veteran connections to up your chances of finding skilled and valuable professionals. You can develop incentive programs and employee advocacy groups to provide them with the tools they need to spread the word and generate interest among their networks. If you’ve created an employee resource group for veterans, let them know you are looking to hire those who have served and show them how you want to help them refer their military connections.
Employers have a lot to gain by recruiting and hiring former service members who possess a wealth of skills and experience that can benefit any company. When coupled with the right Recruitment Marketing content, reaching veteran candidates on the right channels can become one of your best recruiting strategies.