By 2023 we can expect to have more than 3.5 million veterans in the market for civilian jobs, according to statistics from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This makes it imperative for corporate America to come to the party and create an
Here are some essential steps to take to make your organization a veteran-friendly employer:
Most veterans exit the military with a solid training in the seven core
To establish an official hiring initiative aimed at veteran candidates, you will need to get committed support at the highest level in your organization. Setting up this type of initiative requires resources and commitment to succeed. Once you have these, you can perform the necessary research, identify ways to attract veterans, develop programs and alliances and build your visibility as a veteran-friendly company. Without this level of support, many attempts fail to meet their objectives and end up being phased out, because interest and enthusiasm become difficult to maintain.
Conduct an assessment of your company’s culture to identify aspects of the organization that might be less than welcoming to veterans. Most former members of the military joined up right after school, which means they have limited experience of how business works. Factors like corporate language and practices that are common knowledge for civilians could seem completely foreign to veterans. Look for ways to:
Develop firm corporate policies to reduce the risk of misinterpretation, particularly with processes that change during a deployment. This will keep your military workers up to date and help them feel a sense of belonging.
Many companies find it helpful to have a Veteran Affairs Liaison who is well-versed in veteran issues. This person can help veteran employees with questions that come up during their transition to civilian life, and address or resolve personnel issues with other employees. They can also help with the unique onboarding veterans may require to enable them to integrate well into the company systems and culture.
Patriotic holidays have special importance for veterans, and understanding and observing them fully earns the respect of veteran employees. Many companies do little beyond a token observance of the days, but if you want to become a veteran-friendly employer this will go a long way towards making your staff feel valued.