Veteran Hiring Programs

Top Strategies for Hiring Veterans and Military Spouses

Oct 03, 2023 - Cat DiStasio

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Hiring veterans and military spouses isn’t always high on the list of priorities for talent acquisition teams. But perhaps it should be. This sometimes overlooked talent pool is often highly skilled, motivated, and eager to engage with the recruiting process. Creating a strategy that helps you attract more veterans and military spouses is also an effective way to strengthen your talent pipeline, since many of them start looking for work in the months leading up to a relocation assignment or a separation from service. Being proactive about your approach to engaging with this talent pool can have a positive impact on candidate engagement and hiring outcomes, which can help you reach your short- and long-term goals.

Strategies For Recruiting Veterans & Military Spouses

Like many other niche talent pools, targeting veterans and military spouses challenges TA teams to consider candidates’ needs thoughtfully and reverse engineer recruiting strategies that job seekers will find relevant, convenient, and engaging. Here’s a look at some of the most effective strategies our clients are using to hire veterans and military spouses right now.

Use a mix of virtual and in-person hiring events.

Use a mix of in-person and virtual recruiting events to meet veterans and military spouses looking for work. In-person events are an obvious choice for employers with locations near one or more military bases because they can attract people who already live nearby. Virtual events help you engage with soon-to-be transitioning veterans and military spouses. Many transitioning military members have plans to return to their hometown or an area where their extended family already lives, and hosting virtual events may be your only chance to connect with them before they move.

Make your focus clear. 

Host events specifically focused on military-connected talent, including information sessions. Some employers host events like this around Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day, in hopes of showing extra appreciation for military folks, but it’s crucial to pay attention to them year round. Transitioning vets and military spouses don’t look for work only around military-related holidays, so your talent acquisition schedule shouldn’t be limited either.

Cast a global net.

If you want to engage with veterans and military spouses currently living abroad, host virtual events specifically for that purpose. Target different geographic areas and make sure you host events at a time that is convenient in their local time zone. Yes, this means some of your recruiters may have to get up extra early to run the event, but giving job seekers a chance to talk with a live recruiter is an effective way to boost engagement and snag the attention of top talent.

Benefits Of Hiring Veterans & Military Spouses

Sometimes, veterans and military spouses can be somewhat overlooked as a talent pool. Employers that proactively target and recruit them understand the valuable benefits these types of job seekers have to offer. Here are just some of the key benefits of hiring veterans and military spouses:

  • Enhances your organization’s diversity
  • Brings unique and sometimes hard-to-find skills
  • Veterans and military spouses tend to be active job seekers, not passive
  • Employers are often eligible for federal, state and sometimes even local financial incentives for employing veterans and military spouses

Examples of Veteran & Military Spouse Hiring Strategies

Many Brazen customers do an excellent job at recruiting veterans and military spouses. Here are a few examples of what they do:

  • Partner with veterans’ organizations to participate in multi-employer job fairs (like Hiring Our Heroes) to expand your reach to this talent community
  • Host informational events that celebrate military-connected communities so that you can engage and directly grow your employer brand with this talent
  • Host designated veteran/military spouse career fairs to showcase all the teams, departments, and opportunities your organization offers
  • Target overseas veterans and military spouses through virtual events
  • Connect flexible and remote opportunities to the military spouse talent community 
  • Offer educational programming such as resume reviews and coaching sessions
  • Connect your internal talent through employee or business resource groups focused on military connected community with this talent pool

Investing in Veterans Pays Off Long Term

There are lots of resources for learning more about employing veterans and military spouses. Following the best practices we’ve outlined above, based on effective strategies used by many of our customers, is a sure fire way to differentiate your organization as a preferred employer of veterans and other military-connected candidates. Making this talent pool a priority can help improve your organization’s diversity, bring in hard-to-find skill sets, and help you build a strong pipeline for future openings.

Ready to learn how you can build an effective Veteran Hiring Program with Brazen?

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      Veteran Hiring Program FAQs

      How to establish a veteran hiring program in your company?

      1. Leadership Buy-In: Secure support from senior leadership to ensure commitment and resources for the program.
      2. Define Objectives: Clearly outline your program's goals, such as increasing veteran representation or enhancing diversity.
      3. Legal Compliance: Familiarize yourself with relevant federal and state laws governing veteran hiring, such as the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
      4. Create a Team: Form a dedicated team responsible for implementing and managing the program.
      5. Outreach: Establish partnerships with veteran-focused organizations, job boards, and military transition programs to attract qualified candidates.
      6. Tailored Job Listings: Write job postings that specifically mention your commitment to hiring veterans and highlight relevant skills and experiences.
      7. Training: Provide training to HR and hiring managers on the unique needs and skills of veterans.
      8. Mentorship: Offer mentorship or onboarding programs to support veterans during their transition into your company.
      9. Evaluate and Adjust: Continuously assess the effectiveness of your program and make necessary adjustments to improve outcomes.
      10. Promote Internally: Celebrate your company's commitment to veterans in your marketing materials and on social media.

      What are the benefits to employers of hiring military spouses?

      1. Diverse Skill Sets: Military spouses often possess a wide range of skills and experiences due to their unique lifestyle, making them adaptable and resourceful employees.
      2. Reliability: They tend to be reliable and punctual employees, as they understand the importance of discipline and commitment.
      3. Global Perspective: Military spouses may bring a global perspective and cultural awareness to your workplace, which can be valuable in today's interconnected world.
      4. Reduced Turnover: Supporting military spouses can lead to higher employee retention rates, reducing recruitment and training costs.
      5. Community Engagement: Hiring military spouses demonstrates corporate social responsibility and can enhance your company's reputation within the military community.

      Overall, hiring military spouses is a win-win, benefiting both employers and these talented individuals.