How to Recruit the Under-Sourced Veteran Talent Pool

We’ve all fallen prey to resting on our laurels, but as recruiters, staying stagnant is a recipe for failure. Between workforce generational gaps, skills gaps and gaps in talent, it is necessary to learn of different talent pools to pull from to accommodate these breaches in acquisitions. 

So what is a pool you can recruit from for not only highly experienced, but highly qualified candidates as well? Veterans. However, sometimes the lack of medical accommodations dissuade these valuable potential candidates from divulging this information. Even though unemployment rates for female veterans who have been discharged since September 11, 2001 has declined to 9.3% in 2013 since it’s hiatus in 2011, there is still room for improvement.

Perhaps recruiters can step in to help repair the higher than average veteran unemployment rate. Here are some ways you can tap these frequently unused candidate pools to help boost your talent pipeline. 

Understand where to source candidates

Veterans, like any other particular group of candidates, have specific places they congregate when they look to find new jobs. In the case of veteran women, a Women Veteran Program Manager at the Veteran’s Association Medical Center can help you to source your candidates easily. These appointed officials are there to help the women veterans find employment after their service (among other things). Unfortunately, many female veterans don’t disclose this information as often as they should. Col. Steve Parker, Executive Director of Joining Forces (the joint initiative from Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to support military families said: 

“Female veterans also don’t all readily identify themselves as veterans.”

Only 21% of organizations say it was their top priority to build a strong relationship with their candidates and recruits. If you’re considering a strategic move towards hiring veterans, they may not have much experience outside the service. However, this time serving their country can involve numerous different roles and responsibilities. Determine veteran candidate fit by asking questions during the interview about how their time-served helped to prepare them for this role. Understanding their background and setting a solid foundation from the start with your candidates to improve cost-per-hire. 

Network and Engage

Brand familiarity and a healthy employer brand can help you find qualified and interested candidates through the social platforms your ideal talent flocks to. Aberdeen found 73% of 18 to 34-year olds discovered their last employer via social media. Although Millennials account for 30% of the modern workplace, they constitute nearly three-quarters of the United States Military. 

Because Millennials are so active on social media, it’s important to target the social media pages that attract them as well. There are plenty of military affiliated organizations that use Twitter handles and Facebook pages to establish relationships with their followers. After establishing a relationship with your talent pool, familiarize yourself with additional organizations they engage with on personal and professional social sites. Notice the positive and negative interactions you are gaining with these audiences in order to adjust accordingly in the future.

Common misconceptions

Many veterans face pre-determined opinions regarding their service. Like the majority of stereotypes, they are anything but true. According to the veteran candidate pool, some of the most offensive assumptions organizations have about those who have served include:

●      They are too rigid to deal with sudden changes

●      Veterans are unable to think outside the box

●      They shouldn’t have been deployed in the first place

Of the 50% of HR professionals that have hired veterans, however, they have said these misconceptions are far from the truth. There are many benefits to recruiting veterans including their strong responsibility and ability to work under pressure.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t always easy, but doing so opens the doors to experienced candidates like military veterans. Despite the fact they may not always be the most forthcoming with their service, they have a wide set of skills and abilities you may not be able to find in the traditional sources.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of Cyber Recruiter, applicant tracking system and Cyber Train, learning management system. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

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