As an employer, it’s important to recognize the value of hiring veterans in the workplace, especially given OFCCP rules to recruit, hire, promote, and retain veterans. In addition to noticeable leadership and technical skills, veterans tend to come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, which can add tremendous value to your team. But the focus of veterans in the workplace needs to go beyond the upfront hiring process and include efforts to retain veterans. Doing so can benefit your company in huge ways, not to mention the tax incentives that hiring a veteran makes you eligible for under the Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC).
Actively recruit on veteran job boards
The easiest thing you can do to hire veterans is to make the positions you’re hiring for accessible by posting on veteran-focused job boards. If veterans can easily find your jobs online, they can easily apply to them.
The first step to do this successfully is to use the resources available you as an employer by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on their Vets.gov website. The site allows you to post jobs on their job board for veterans, and it also provides workplace support for employers who hire veterans. Other places to make your jobs accessible to veterans entering the workforce are the Army Career Alumni Program and the Wounded Warrior Project. JobCirc partners with veteran job boards and sends your jobs to local centers which multiplies any efforts made on your own.
Invest in EAPs
Employee Assistant Programs (EAPs) can be incredibly valuable for all employees, but being an employer who offers EAPs may standout to Veterans entering the workforce. EAPs can come in all shapes and sizes, from resources for grief and loss, relationship counseling, career advancement support, as well as educational and financial planning. Offering EAP benefits to your employees will do a lot to attract veterans to your company, as well as keep them on your team. You can learn more about EAPs here.
Clearly communicate expectations and deliverables
The transition from military life to the workforce can be a challenging one, and it’s important to make it clear that you as an employer are going to make that transition as smooth as possible for veterans interested in joining your company. Veterans come from a military background comprised of a strict daily structure and chain of command that civilians aren’t familiar with. The path to success and advancement is not as clearly outlined in the corporate world as it is in the military.
For a veteran entering the corporate world, employers who can clearly communicate expectations, deliverables, and opportunities for advancement will be the most successful at hiring and retaining Veterans. For example, if as a manager you are unhappy with the performance of a veteran on your team, it’s important to communicate specifically what you’re unhappy with and exactly how your veteran employee can improve.
Value your Veterans
Recognizing and communicating the value of veterans on your team is key to ensuring that Veterans not only join, but also continue working with and investing in your company. Veterans tend to have a strong work ethic and an extraordinary ability to work well on teams—skills that most employers seek. Hiring veterans allows you to diversify your team and provide the heroes who fought for our country with a steady income and professional development, all while reducing your income tax liability.