Top Tips for Hiring Heroes

1)  Learn the basics every recruiter should know about why veterans make great employees—from definitions of rank and branches of service, to how military skills and experience translate to civilian work, to benefiting from the military’s team- and mission-focused approach. Find out more here.

2)  Research best practices of other employers before you set your own organization’s military recruitment strategy. How do you compare? This will not only help you design your programs, but assist you in defining how your company is unique.

3)  Do a “Before Action Review” (BAR) to establish goals, objectives, and baselines for your program. Where you are today? How many veterans, military spouses, Reservists and Guard members do you employ? How effective are your partnerships? What are your average monthly hiring and applicant rates for military candidates? Capture these metrics before you dig in.

4)  Speaking of metrics, establish and document processes and people to track. Report results on a weekly or monthly basis, and use them to make decisions for improvements. Most importantly, celebrate your successes to inspire a deeper commitment to hiring our heroes.

5)  Map out your military recruitment outreach activities. Create and leverage key government, education, community and media/social partnerships that deliver quality military talent referrals. Evaluate your people, business processes and procedures, technology and budget, so you can build a program that will succeed now and longer-term.

6)  Take advantage of automated job posting services for federal and state opportunities. There are a number of organizations that provide this type of service at varying costs, so do your research:

  • State Job Banks – Employers can manually post jobs for free at each state job bank. States also operate job service centers with Local Veteran Employment Representatives and Disabled Veteran Outreach Program coordinators, who make great employer partners.
  • America’s Job Exchange
  • DirectEmployers Association
  • eQuest
  • Maximus
  • Local job networks

7)  Participate in a third-party survey to assess how well you support the military community, and where you rate against other organizations. Victory Media’s adjudicated Military Friendly® Employer survey is free at Results are delivered online and in print to military installations and transition classes worldwide, reaching nearly every transitioning service member and their instructors.

8)  Consider developing a military talent community to reach service members early in their transition process and student veterans as they near graduation. Create a special military careers page that explains why your company is a welcoming place to work.

9)  Connect with veterans. LinkedIn for Veterans and Veteran Mentor Network are two great groups to consider. Plus, you can search for candidates with military experience based on your job needs, including people your current employees already know.

10)  Identify jobs at your company that are a great fit for military talent, and think outside the box —some military jobs translate directly to civilian jobs, some do not. Keep in mind the attributes and skills that make military talent so valuable, and develop a simple “Military Skills Match” or crosswalk to bridge the gap between military jobs and yours. And, identify the true skills, abilities and education that your employees—military or otherwise—need to succeed.