Questions and Answers on Recruiting Military Veterans

Did you know that annually, almost 250,000 men and women leave active military service? The skills and experience they bring to the table are wide and varied, with corollaries in almost every civilian occupation.

Approximately 20% serve the 20 years required to earn a military retirement. The remaining 80% are separating short of retirement. Of the almost quarter-million people who leave the service annually, approximately 85% are men and 15% women.

The U.S. military also represents a diverse talent pool, with close to 25% of the enlisted force comprised of minorities, most prevalent being African American, followed by Hispanic American, and Asian American. About 16% percent of the force are officers; the remaining 84% are enlisted.

Did you know that the largest provider of training is the U.S. Government, and within the government, the military? Vast sums of money are spent annually training the men and women in our Armed Forces on the many skills that are needed to keep the world’s only superpower operating at full capacity. There is no larger provider of skills-based training than Uncle Sam.

So why consider military personnel for your open positions? First and foremost, it makes good business sense. Military personnel have a proven record of past performance. They will stay until the job is done, and done correctly. They take and give orders with ease. They are analytical thinkers who have been constantly challenged to do more with less. They are loyal and less likely to jump from job to job. They are team players accustomed to working with a diverse array of people from all walks of life.

Where do you find military folks in career transition? There are numerous ways, including job fairs (both on and off base), military-to-civilian recruiters (“head hunters”), at the transition assistance classes offered at military installations, through military-niche employment websites, through print publications targeting transitioning military, through the Department of Labor’s One-Stop Employment Centers, and through the use of social media tools, such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

How does a company increase the likelihood of bringing in the military candidates it wants? Military veterans, like all job seekers, want to work in an environment that appreciates their skills and contribution to the mission. Through the interview process, they will get a snapshot of your corporate culture and quickly form an opinion as to whether they will fit in with the rest of your group. By projecting a positive, “military friendly” image, your company will serve as a beacon, attracting the top military talent that you seek.

What about referrals? Why not ask your military veteran employees, especially those who are top performers, to help you attract their friends and associates to the company? As we all know, referrals are historically the number one recruiting tool for companies nationwide, and military veterans, through their varied and numerous assignments, have met many individuals and can help you select those they believe would best fit your needs.

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