With many individuals seeking to transition from service in the armed forces to civilian careers, hiring veterans has become a goal of many companies. In the past, while the desire to implement programs that benefit veterans by offering employment has stagnated for several important reasons. First, the lines of communication were not clear or well organized. Second, the personnel of the hiring entities was not translating military skills into civilian skills. Several methods and tools should be implemented to facilitate an increase in veteran positions. Below, we’ve compiled a list of five techniques interested companies can use to boost their numbers.

1. Translating Military Knowledge

Service in the armed forces imbues many with specialized skill sets. This can include IT, mechanical, nursing, community building, engineering and other vital skill fields required by our military. The largest hitch in the veteran transition back into society is that, while these are skills that have value in both realms, different language is used to discuss them. The use of military classification codes in job applications is one primary tool to attract and snare veterans with the desired skills for your industry. It also provides a reassuring sense of familiarity to the process, allowing veterans to apply for positions with confidence that they have the skills for the job.

2. Channels of Communication

While hiring processes and the use of specific jobs websites may attract those without experience in the military, experience has shown that they often don’t reach veterans. If a company wants to directly appeal to these individuals as they transition back into society, there are several ways to do this. First, by advertising in military newsletters or dedicated online magazines, you will be sending a clear message. Social media is also an excellent way to openly publicize that your company is seeking veterans. This particular tool plays a multifaceted role.

3. Veteran-Positive Branding

While service is not traumatic for all individuals in the armed forces, returning to a way of life beyond that structure can sometimes feel alienating. Gone are many of the rigors and routines that became second nature during military service. Veterans can feel dissociated from the social matrix as if their skills and experience have no tangible value in civilian culture. One way to reassure them and lead them to your door is by using social media and other outlets to promote the veterans you employ. Speak about their positive contributions to the company, and highlight how valued they are within the corporate community.

4. Novel Networking

In many businesses, the unspoken rule of networking via informal channels often applies. It’s about who you know as much as what you know. This instance offers you the chance to further show value to your existing veteran employees. Ask if they have any military buddies who have recently started looking for work. Put the word out through your veteran staff that your company is welcoming to those with armed forces experience and skills. You may draw significant interest through the most informal channels, which will allow you to situate vets in the most suitable position for them in your business.

5. Government Resources

While job sites are excellent, there are other resources you can use to speak more directly to veterans. Government websites geared towards placing retired or decommissioned military personnel in beneficial jobs, such as USAJobs.gov and HireVetsFirst.gov allow you to post positions for free. Other private sector organizations devoted to the smooth reintroduction of vets to society, such as HelmetstoHardhats.org, Military.com, and TurboTap.org provide a similar conduit for communication with the desired pool of applicants.

Those retiring from the military sphere bring unique talents and skill sets to the workplace. They often possess a rigor and discipline, which is encouraging to other employees, as well as a spirit of possibility when taking on a task. Hiring veterans is both vital to supporting those who have given service to their country and building the strength of your business in society.

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