Every year on Veterans Day, we pause and think about the sacrifice our military service men and women, and their families make for our country. For me, Veterans Day gets me thinking about my grandfather who was at Iwo Jima during WWII and my brother who is currently serving. As many veterans will tell you, they don’t just want to be thanked, they want to be supported. Here at exaqueo, as we reflect on Veterans Day, we want you to consider how to help employ and support the career transitions of vets.
“There is an overwhelming amount of information available to veterans from resume writing to GI bill benefits, to career opportunities to veteran benefits,” shares Kathleen Smith, chief marketing officer for ClearedJobs.net, a veteran-owned company which employs two veterans and two military spouses on its team. “It is almost too much information. The best way to help veterans is through one-on-one support.”
Smith also recommends The Dixon Center, started by Colonel Sutherland, as a great resource in local communities, as well as the Veteran Mentor Network on LinkedIn, whose mission is to help military service members, military spouses, and veterans establish and achieve job search, career and life goals. You can also visit ClearedJobs.net for additional military transition resources.
Veterans should also consider employers known for hiring veterans. They often have robust veteran support resources and are adept at helping veterans transition. Military.com shares a list of these top companies to consider.
In April 2016, the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations in partnership with CEB, a global insight and technology firm, hosted a webinar on “Smart Practices in Veteran Recruiting.”
CEB has done quite a bit of work in the area of veterans and hiring. They have found that many companies continue to struggle when it comes to attracting veterans to their organizations and jobs. Additional issues include: finding it difficult to translate military experience into civilian jobs and HR being uncertain on how to help veterans transition effectively into the civilian workforce. If your company is still struggling, view CEB’s “Business Case for Hiring Veterans” to gain new insight.
And, don't forget, no matter what your role is in HR, recruiting or career development, you’re the best resource a veteran could have. Personally, as a sister to a brother who has served for nearly 20 years in the U.S. Navy, I wonder what his next career may be. His first civilian career. I hope I can provide some one-on-one support to him. I hope I can help him translate his military experience so that a corporate recruiter (who may be unfamiliar with military terms and MOS codes) can understand the true value of his experience.
Are you a veteran or responsible for veteran hiring at your organization? Tell us your favorite go-to resources for best connecting veterans with opportunities.
Shannon Smedstad (@shannonsmedstad) is a Lead Consultant & Project Manager for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research and recruiting strategy offerings.