In the hunt to fill jobs, sometimes it seems like the quality candidate pools are tapped out. The truth is, many resources are available to help hiring managers and recruiters connect with veterans who are searching for jobs.
According to the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), because of reduction of active duty forces, there is a sharp increase in experienced and qualified military personnel now looking for civilian employment. Generally, this is a strong but often untapped talent pool. Veterans are well-trained in their areas of expertise. They also have transferable skills like accountability, leadership, performance under pressure, and strategic thinking. Many also have specific skills or certifications that are hard to find in the private sector. For example, truck drivers in the military have to have a CDL, so if you are struggling to find CDL drivers for your organization, consider recruiting veterans.
There are several resources available to help you reach veteran candidates. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/jobs is one such resource. It is a place where employers can post jobs–for free–and search résumés. On this page, you can also find links to other tools, like a Veterans Employment Toolkit and an Employer Roadmap for hiring veterans. Another source is the Department of Labor, both federal and local. In Colorado, you can find information at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/hiring-veteran, or you can contact the State Veteran Program Coordinator to talk about specific needs, or to set up a veterans hiring event. There are also several veteran-focused job boards and job-placement providers that can help you connect with candidates.
To help your company hire veterans, it pays to gain an understanding of how to read a military résumé and how to interview a veteran. Military culture supports team over the individual, so veterans may struggle to discuss or elaborate on individual accomplishments. As an interviewer, this can be frustrating. One key is to train interviewers to ask open-ended questions and not to be afraid to push for specific information about individual accomplishments or to clarify confusing terms or acronyms on an application or résumé.
Recruiting and hiring veterans can seem like a daunting task. With the right training, tools, and resources, the task becomes manageable. This may be a new avenue for you to find highly qualified candidates for your organization.