How Employers Can Help Veterans
By Debbie Gregory.
There are thousands of companies that say they want to hire Veterans, and hundreds of companies that have stated missions to hire Veterans. But by their own criteria, many of these same companies often eliminate many Veteran job candidates who are qualified for the posted positions. Here is a list of measures that EMPLOYERS can implement in order to help meet their goals of hiring Veterans:
Get familiar with Military training and experience–
Every job requires “experience.” But too often, Veterans aren’t hired for positions because their military experience isn’t up to a hiring manager’s standards. Veterans have more experience in following directives, learning new skills and completing tasks than their civilian competitors. A Veteran’s time spent in-service should never count against him or her. But many employers dismiss a Veteran’s experience level because that experience was not gained in an office or industrial setting. Employers who are truly interested in hiring Veterans will get up to speed on what military jobs and pay-grades equate to the level of experience they are looking to hire.
Make your company known to Veterans–
While it’s true that Veterans are the ones looking for employment, and they should be the ones seeking out companies to hire them, companies shouldn’t look past the fact that its employees are its greatest asset. And the most dedicated and productive employees come from the military community. So a company that claims that it wants to hire Veterans and wants the best assets working for them will seek out and hire Veterans. These companies will have representatives at job fairs, and will make themselves known at colleges, employment offices and Veteran centers, making it known that they WANT Veterans working for them.
Make your company Veteran-Friendly-
Taking care of Veterans doesn’t end with a job offer. Veterans are patriotic, family-oriented workers and leaders who like events that honor their country, their families and their service. If your company doesn’t already do so, start participating in national holidays. Recognize Veterans on Veterans Day and the 4th of July, honor the fallen on Memorial Day (and please don’t thank living Veterans on this day), and hold special functions that welcome all of your employees’ families to participate throughout the year. Your employees will appreciate this.
Demand more from your Veteran employees-
Just because your employee is ex-military doesn’t make them perfect. Military life molds its members into adaptability. If you provide a workplace atmosphere that has low expectations, your Veteran employee could settle into cruise mode. In order to get the most out of your Veteran employee and help them succeed in their career, you should set ambitious goals and expectations for them to reach. You will be surprised at the reaction you will get when you place a mission in front of a Veteran.
Set the trend-
Currently, the unemployment rate for Global War on Terrorism Veterans is over 10%. And the DOD projects approximately 200,000 more active-duty members will separate from the military each year for the next five years. Companies who set the precedent of hiring Veterans now will be able to create and improve their programs for Veteran employees. This will help them get the most out of each wave of fresh Veterans. Those who set the bar now will be looked back on from the future as innovators and successes in their fields, with their able workforce made up of U.S. military Veterans.