How To Hire Veterans? A Guide to Recruiting Veterans

In the wake of the pandemic, hiring managers will be forced to go beyond the usual suspects and toward more unconventional prospects, such as veterans. Although some businesses might be reluctant to approach these people, the advantages exceed the potential drawbacks.

According to Justin Constantine, chief business development officer at diversity and inclusion employment platform JobPath Partners and a retired lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps, “people have this idea that [service members] are only skilled in combat and make poor employees because they all have PTSD — none of that is true.”

“Veterans make very competent and disciplined workers; you must understand how to interact with them. That’s a consistent talent pipeline if you understand hiring veterans.”

As you create hiring strategies that target veterans as job applicants, adhere to these recommended practices.

Meet Veterans Where They Are

Finding veterans when you are prepared to offer up positions to veterans and post-employment on military-friendly job sites like the National Labor Exchange,, and is the first step in attracting them as prospects for your business. 

Host recruiting activities, like career fairs and interview sessions exclusive to veterans. To ensure the widest access to these individuals, events can be held digitally, on a military base, or in a conventional location.

Contact groups that help veterans, such as American Corporate Partners and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service of the U.S. Department of Labor. Get recommendations for veterans looking for work from those organizational leaders. 

Jennifer Renee Pluta, assistant director of veteran career services at Syracuse University, suggests collaborating with educational institutions that offer programs for veterans to reach individuals getting ready to enter the workforce.

With each outreach effort, you can concentrate on interacting with veterans to fill employment openings.

Use Veteran-Friendly Language in Job Postings

You might need to revise your job postings to use terminology that will appeal to military prospects. Why does that matter? In the end, it comes down to drafting job descriptions highlighting those talents so veterans can quickly see how their knowledge and experience relate to the role.

Ensure the job description thoroughly and precisely outlines the duties of the position in terms veterans can comprehend. List any military jobs that would be a good fit for the available position, if possible. Additionally, think about using military classification codes in the postings.

In the military, employment requirements are described by Military Occupational Codes (MOC). By linking available opportunities to MOCs, you can assist veterans in determining precisely what skills are required for the position and whether or not their military-specific training matches. 

O*Net Online allows you to search for MOCs (MOS, AFSC, Rates) by military branch and keyword. You can find civilian employment corresponding to your military training through TAOnline by searching job names, functions, and military occupation codes.

Learn How to Read Military Resumes

The format of a veteran’s resume will differ from that of a non-veteran. They are typically significantly longer and contain many ranks, titles, and skills that recruiting managers need to familiarize themselves with. 

According to HR expert Lauren Buerger, “it’s frequently tough for a transitioning veteran to parse their résumé to the ‘normal’ one or two pages.” Recruiters frequently have trouble converting military talents to workplace competencies.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation suggests that more than half of HR specialists had limited familiarity with military rank. 

Because of this, businesses that are serious about hiring former service members must teach their staff how to interpret military experience on resumes. Hiring managers must have a fundamental understanding of military knowledge, experience, and jargon.

Engage Currently Employed Veterans to Help Recruiting Efforts

Veterans employed by your company might be a terrific source for luring in new talent. They can provide HR with guidance on crafting job descriptions for veterans and assist hiring managers in interpreting the abilities listed on veterans’ resumes (our own Don Moore, an Air Force veteran, and former corporate recruiter, can advise you as well.). 

Due to their prior experience, veterans can also be used to help with the application, recruitment, and onboarding processes.

Currently, employed veterans make excellent sources for recommendations of other veterans who might be a good fit for a job in the company. Consider launching a formal referral program for hiring veterans that rewards current workers for referring veterans to open positions.

Personalize the Veteran Hiring Experience

Personalize the hiring process for veterans to demonstrate that your company is veteran-friendly. Create a career page for veterans on your website with information that speaks to them and demonstrates your dedication to veteran hiring initiatives.

According to psychologist Deborah Bradbard and James Schmeling, president and CEO of the National Defense University Foundation and a senior research associate at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, respectively, “job seekers can apply for open positions and establish ‘high-touch’ connections with human resource professionals with specialized knowledge about military candidates” on an organization’s website.

Candidates should be able to locate positions that match their skill sets when they visit the targeted page and connect with knowledgeable hiring managers. Veterans who the company now employs should also be highlighted on the career website. 

To speak candidly about their professional journeys inside your company, consider having those individuals provide video testimonials.

Market Your Brand in the Military Community

Success in recruiting among the community’s military veterans depends on building a strong brand there. 

Share your company’s goals and values with military community members and show how they relate to the principles established in veterans during their time in the service to establish a reputation as an employer of choice for veterans.

Veterans, for instance, are known to be mission-driven; therefore, they describe the organization’s goals and how each employee will contribute to achieving them. It is vital to explain how corporate teamwork, such as mentorship programs, assists employees in their occupations and career pathways because they are also trained to operate in teams. 

Veterans also care about safety, so let them know about your company’s safety policies and accomplishments. Be careful to emphasize the camaraderie and esprit de corps that may also be found in your company’s employee resource group (ERG) if it has a veteran-focused focus.

Hire Veterans By Hosting Or Attending A Dedicated Veteran Recruiting Event

Consider virtual, formal, and even on-base gatherings if you intend to host or attend a recruiting event.

Expect most of the veterans in attendance at formal events to have some experience working in the civilian sector. Most likely, they have already left the military and had some prior experience working in the civilian sector.

On-base gatherings, however, will typically be attended by veterans currently leaving the military. When speaking with them, remember that they will have less experience in the civilian sector.

Veterans with busy schedules who can’t attend in-person events can meet you at virtual events. Additionally, virtual events may be more economical. Time spent by the company is employed more effectively, and there are no travel costs. Virtual events make it possible to involve numerous decision-makers early in the hiring process, thereby saving time and resources.

Events for recruiting are excellent ways to concentrate your efforts on hiring veterans in one location, whether you choose traditional, on-base, or virtual career fairs.

Run A Veteran Hiring Program

Running your company’s veteran employment program doesn’t need you to be a veteran. Veterans will be able to tell that your business is actively involved and eager to hire them as long as your organization’s CEO or other leader shows love for working with and hiring veterans.

However, employing veterans is more difficult than it may appear, and there are some hazards to watch out for.

The problem with military programs is that they frequently get grouped under diversity or HR roles, which dilutes your business’s outcomes and limits its ability to expand in this area. 

Educating your personnel about the military is imperative so they can better comprehend the armed services and become familiar with how the military operates to battle limiting growth and strengthen their ties with veterans.

Thanks to this knowledge, you will be able to relate to veterans and build trust. Maintaining a successful veteran hiring process means building strong relationships and keeping veteran personnel since the last thing you want is to hurt your company’s reputation and stifle progress.

Benefits Of Hiring Veterans

Strong work ethic: Veterans are trained to work in a high-pressure, mission-oriented environment, which makes them highly motivated and disciplined employees.

Leadership skills: Many veterans have experience in leadership positions during their time in the military, which translates well into managing teams and projects in the civilian workforce.

Adaptable: Veterans have the ability to adapt quickly to new situations and environments, making them valuable assets in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

Team players: Veterans are trained to work in a team-based environment, which means they have strong collaboration skills and can work well with others.

Problem-solving skills: Veterans have experience in solving complex problems under stressful conditions, which makes them highly resourceful and effective problem solvers in the workplace.

Diversity and inclusion: Veterans come from a wide range of backgrounds and cultures, which means they can bring unique perspectives and experiences to the workplace, helping to foster a more diverse and inclusive environment.

Programs For Hiring Veterans

Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS): VETS offers a range of services to help employers connect with veteran job seekers, including job fairs, training and placement services, and resources for creating veteran-friendly workplaces.

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR): ESGR is a Department of Defense program that provides employers with resources and tools to support their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.

Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP): MSEP is a Department of Defense program that connects military spouses with employers who are committed to hiring and retaining them.

Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E): VR&E provides employment services and support to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

The Veterans Job Bank: The Veterans Job Bank is a job search engine that allows employers to post job openings specifically for veterans.

Veteran Staffing Network: The Veteran Staffing Network is a staffing agency that specializes in connecting employers with qualified veteran job candidates.


These actions will help you establish a reputation as an employer who values its relationship with veterans.

Veterans are a sure asset to any workforce because they bring discipline and sacrifice from their time in the armed forces.

 However, to attract and retain veterans, you must ensure that your business appeals to individuals who have served. Contacting industry professionals can be a good place to start. 

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