In this video, Lida defines the business case for hiring veterans. She explores the critical steps to building a successful hiring program targeting the veteran employee.The first step in your veteran recruiting strategy is to obtain stakeholder buy-in. Another tip is to find out if you have veterans in the company in order to gain insight and advice.
- Imagine having the most exceptional workforce available to you at a moment's notice. That would make recruiting so much more effective wouldn't it? Each year approximately 300,000 service members retire or separate from the military. These men and women have between three and 20 plus years of experience, and that experience can vary between frontline combat, or stateside technical support, and everything in between. As you build a veteran recruiting strategy, there are few aspects that stand out for ensuring success.
First, if your initiative is being driven from the highest levels of the company, then you likely have been given financial and other resources to support this strategy. When the CEO or senior management endorses and supports a veteran recruiting initiative, we see the success rate soar. Next, be sure to set clear goals. How many veterans do you hope to attract and hire in year one? Even if you say three, that's a start. Perhaps you want to hire a percentage of your workforce as veterans.
Are you looking for veterans in specific jobs? I'd rather see you start with a realistic number and build from there, than start off too grandiose and fail miserably. After all, if you fail to build a sustainable program, not only will your company fail, but many veterans won't get hired into your great organization. Then, identify any gaps at your company. Do you have a large human resource team that will need new skills for interviewing veterans? Is most of your hiring done online? What about your frontline teams that go to career fairs? Consider whether security clearance is important to the jobs you recruit for.
Military members often have high level clearance that can be transferred to your company. They've also passed drug tests and background checks. Also, find out if you have any veterans in the company, and if you do, enlist them to review your program, offer advice and insight, and even participate in the process. Veterans who apply and interview like to see fellow veterans in the room. With this information at hand, you can start to build a veteran recruiting strategy. My suggestion is to start small.
Then, create a strategy to build. I've heard many big companies, the ones with the robust and sustainable veteran employment strategies, talk about the importance of not trying to do everything all at once. Building a veteran recruiting process means approaching the program with intention, focus, and alignment with your company brand. Learn from the challenges and opportunities. Get support from your veteran employees and those companies in your industry from whom you can learn, and you will be successful and gain credibility in the veteran community.
Last, Lida discusses ways to adapt your hiring process, teams, and systems to accommodate veteran employees, emphasizing onboarding and retention of veteran candidates.