If you’re like most HR professionals, you have hiring woes. And military veterans may be the cure.
On the heels of Veteran’s Day, it could be the best time ever to increase efforts to find, recruit and retain vets to your organization. Use it as a catalyst to hire and retain more veterans for years to come.
And you’ll need to up hiring. The voluntary quit rate is 25% higher than it was pre-pandemic, according to research from McKinsey. But companies are generally hiring the same way they always have – and it’s not working to keep pace with the churn, the researchers found.
“There is no better community than the military to help employers create a more resilient and supportive place to work,” says James Boscia, National Director of Military Affairs at Power Home Remodeling. “Military service members are asked at a young age to not just learn very specific, highly technical skills, but are asked to lead other young men and women through stressful situations – applicable skills for any industry. In the military when you face such stress and adversity, quitting isn’t an option. Veterans come equipped with a strong sense of resilience and leadership that can’t be taught in a classroom.”
Military veterans aren’t just a good hire. They’re likely to bring skills and loyalty to a business almost immediately.
“Simply put, hiring veterans isn’t charity or good PR. It’s good for business,” Boscia says. “Service members are trained to commit to systems that reduce errors and improve cohesion. They’re prepared for rapidly changing scenarios, and accustomed to executing plans to reach a common goal. That mindset and level of efficiency is a valuable asset to any business.”
Military veteran hiring resources
Veterans who are transitioning into civilian life and careers have diverse skills and insight for the workforce.
Veterans bring “impressive amounts of advanced training in their area of focus,” says Sarah Peiker, CEO of Orion Talent. “They’re quick learners and disciplined, dedicated team players.”
Who wouldn’t want more job candidates with those kinds of skills?
The key is knowing where to find them – because they might not know how to find you. Peiker says HR pros can find and recruit military veterans through:
- Student Veterans of America. Some colleges have chapters you can work with in your recent graduate hiring programs.
- Military Transition Centers. You can connect with prospective hires still on active duty today through this organization.
- Diversity in Action and US Veterans Magazine offer veteran profiles and the types of roles they can fill.
Boscia, an Air Force veteran who heads up Power Home Remodeling’s Power Veterans Initiative (PVI), partners with these organizations:
- Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes. They’re dedicated to partnering with industries to boost military veteran hiring.
- Department of Defense SkillBridge. This program recently kicked off to help ease vets back into civilian life and find a stable and fulfilling career after service.
- Internal networks. “When you begin to build a community of vets inside your organization, you unlock authenticity,” says Boscia. “Lean on your current veterans to share their unique perspective on LinkedIn or other social channels as a means to infiltrate their networks, and consider initiatives like an employee referral program to aid with those efforts.”
Retain military veterans
Once you’ve overcome hiring woes by bringing more vets into your organization, you’ll want to retain them.
“The focus needs to remain on retention. If incoming veteran talent doesn’t feel supported, heard, and valued — why should they stay?” Boscia says.
Their PVI program offers these retention incentives to veterans or veteran spouses who are hired:
- a sign-on bonus
- a fellow veteran mentor, and
- additional Paid Time Off (PTO) – beyond normal PTO – to use for VA appointments, help adjust to their new role and ease the transition back into civilian life.
Does it work? “We’ve seen our veteran community evolve our culture and camaraderie across the business. They’re the ones coming in early to cook breakfast for their office. The ones who organize hikes with their co-workers to foster those deeper connections. The ones who’ve inspired civilians within our company to lean into that culture more.”
Hiring and retaining veterans can build a better companywide culture.