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3 Tips for Hiring Top Veteran Candidates

Every company wants to hire the best candidates for their available positions. In a survey from MRNI Network, 90% of hiring managers agreed that the labor market is driven by candidate quality. Top applicants get more job offers than ever before, which makes it far more difficult for HR teams to compete for top talent.

Veterans come with some unique skills that benefit their employers, so you can get an edge by expanding your search to reach them. Here are some recruiting techniques to capture the attention of the best veteran candidates.

Shorten the Hiring Process

In the three to six weeks it typically takes to walk candidates through the interview process and make an offer, many of them are likely to drop out. They lose interest, get other offers, or change their minds about moving, and the market is on their side. Shorten your hiring process by:

  • Scheduling interview slots before you advertise the position, and use an automated system like Calendly to facilitate them. This will make it faster (and easier) to get candidates in for a chat, without the back and forth associated with booking appointments.
  • Set up milestones in advance of the recruiting process, and make sure everyone involved is in agreement with the dates. This will help you avoid waiting two weeks longer for the senior person to make a decision because they’re busy with other activities.
  • Install an application tracking system like BambooHR, Jobvite or Workable. These analyze resumes, assign scores to applications and reduce the number of resumes to sort through. The time you’ll save means a faster hiring process and better results.

Whether these steps work to shorten the process or not, regular communication will help to keep your best candidates interested. They’ll avoid assuming they didn’t get the job and moving on while you’re in a delay. 

Use Targeted Job Search Options

Yes, we know there are multiple job boards out there that candidates sign up for and check regularly, but that is probably not enough. Most veterans have had past experiences of being turned down for positions based on their inability to translate skills to civilian life, or other misconceptions about former service members.  Every company looking for talent is posting on those job boards. Differentiate your company by using targeted job search options like We Hire Heroes, or Google’s new job search option specifically aimed at veterans. 

Do Some Marketing

There’s more to attracting top talent than simply posting open positions. Recruitment marketing focuses on presenting the company in a light that appeals to the demographic you want to attract. This is a well-accepted strategy, with 51% of professionals currently employed admitting they’d change jobs if the right opportunity came along. Attract passive job seekers with methods like those of General Electric (GE), which used social media, content marketing, and other free outlets to reach college students and tech professionals.

The company:

  • researched relevant hashtags and user handles on social media, and included them in posts. This expanded its reach to people who weren’t yet following their profiles.
  • encouraged employees to write reviews on Glassdoor, which included “relatable” stories to share on social media, and
  • update their LinkedIn profiles to improve the company’s online branding as an employer.

GE also ran an ad campaign about Owen. He was a fictional GE new hire who struggled to get his friends to feel as excited as he was about his new job. They ran his story on Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter, and this increased visits to the careers section of GE’s website by 800%.

Collaborate with your marketing team to come up with ideas on recruiting potential employees. This will give you a better chance of reaching passive veteran job seekers who are interested in a new job, but not in looking at job boards.

The Final Analysis

To fill your open roles with top talent, you need to take an innovative approach to recruitment. Job seekers today are less patient and look for companies they want to work with. Make your recruitment process more targeted, make offers faster, and improve the time it takes from application to appointment. You’ll be successful in recruiting veterans and fill your company ranks with genuine, qualified individuals.

For companies interested in hiring veterans, it’s important to ensure your company's culture is veteran-friendly. Then you can confidently begin advertising jobs for veterans and recruiting the top talent your company deserves.