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Hiring Our Veteran Heroes

There are many barriers facing veteran job candidates as they transition from military to civilian careers. They may have military career experience that recruiters or the screening algorithms may overlook in today’s keyword optimized hiring process. SkillSurvey recently co-presented the webinar “Hiring Heroes” with Theresa Mazzaro, Talent Acquisition Leader at Suburban Hospital. Theresa has first-hand knowledge of veteran employment, she began her career in the U.S. Air Force. She continued to serve in the Air Force National Guard and then was a member of the Air Force Reserves while she pursued a career in healthcare talent management. Here are some tips she recommends:

1. Recognize the Unique Skillset Veterans Bring to the Table

Military training cultivates a unique skillset that can be considered an asset to any organization. Veterans are often disciplined, work well in teams, and value accountability. When recruiting veterans, keep these qualities in mind and encourage them to pursue opportunities where teamwork, efficiency, and attention to detail are important.

2. Take Advantage of Social Media

Use social media as a key recruitment tool. There are many groups on social media that are geared toward the hiring of veterans and advocating for veteran employment. Join, follow and post on groups like LinkedIn’s Hire America’s Heroes or Facebook’s Hire Our Heroes. These online forums serve as great places for you to target recruitment efforts and get in front of potential veteran candidates.

3. Don’t Expect Interviews to Tell the Whole Story

Vets don’t always present well in interviews. Why? Interviews traditionally offer a candidate the opportunity to brag about themselves, their experience, and the benefit they will bring to a company. With a “we” rather than an “I” attitude, veterans are less inclined to sell themselves than other candidates. Because of this, you may choose to approach an interview with a veteran differently. Ask more follow-up questions and be sure to take the time to dig deeper into their background to receive a clearer picture of the candidate’s individual experiences, specific abilities and contributions.

4. Consider the Full Military Family Experience

If your organization is located on or around a military base, your talent pool will likely be filled with military spouses. Military families relocate frequently so without some consideration, candidates may seem like “job hoppers.” It’s important to look beyond the sheer number of jobs a candidate has had and consider the value their diverse experience may bring. For instance, these candidates are likely more flexible and agile than others because they have been forced to adapt to new work environments, frequently. These candidates also tend to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to an organization because they have been exposed to the way other organizations’ processes and ways of doing things.

5. Recognize the Veterans You Currently Employ

Don’t forget about the veterans you currently employ. It’s important to recognize these members of your workforce, thank them for their service and support them as their employer. There are many ways to recognize veterans, a few of our favorites include:

  • Shouting out veterans on special holidays like Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day and providing a luncheon to honor them
  • Providing a special pin or badge designation identifying employees that have served
  • Highlighting employees in the military on corporate social media pages

Not only do these small acts of support make your veteran employees feel supported, but they may also help attract new candidates that have served.

6. Look to Reference checks for the big picture

Taking Tip #3 into account, be sure to take advantage of every way there is to learn about your veteran candidates. A great way to do this is by leveraging reference checking to help you get more information. While veterans may be uncomfortable speaking about their individual accomplishments, they won’t hesitate to brag about the contributions of others – making the perfect professional reference! By leveraging proven technology, like SkillSurvey Reference, you will get quick, insightful feedback which will provide a better understanding of a candidate’s skillset and supplement an interview.

Interested in learning more about how you can improve your recruitment and retention of America’s heroes? Watch our webinar, A Guide to Hiring Veteran Heroes, for more tips and ideas like you found here!

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