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HIRING FAIRS

In addition to hiring fairs sponsored by Hiring Our Heroes, your company may want to partner with military-specific recruiting firms like Orion International or Bradley-Morris, which host their own hiring fair events. Veterans also hit events sponsored by NCOA Career Expos, America ICARE and JobZone. Keep in mind, some hiring fairs charge employers to attend. A few more hiring fair ideas:

  • Look at industry-focused fairs to recruit veterans with specific interests and skills (for example, Veterans on Wall Street).
  • The Service Academy Career Conference is the only hiring fair exclusively for service academy alumni. It’s administered by the alumni associations of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
  • Find more information at the conference's website.

ONLINE JOB BOARDS

You already know about Monster and CareerBuilder, but so do a lot of other people. To get to veteran-specific job seekers, go beyond those two main boards. Here’s a short list of popular online boards that attract the military audience:

Use Social Networking Effectively

TRANSITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OFFICES

If your business is near a military installation, consider sending recruiters to the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) office, which aids veterans with their transition into the civilian workplace. Each installation’s TAP office offers a wide range of services, including pre-separation counseling, employment workshops and benefits briefings, verification of military experience and training, and individual assistance and referral. Also, be sure to reach out to family service centers (they’re also called family support centers, family readiness groups and other names). These groups are networks of programs, services, people and agencies that work to support veterans and their families across a range of issues.

LOCAL HIRING RESOURCES

Your state, county or municipality may have programs to specifically attract veterans into the region or community. Check with your local chamber of commerce, as well as niche professional organizations, about whether they have opportunities for you to partner with them in listing your job openings. Two good examples are the Veterans Employment Committee of San Diego County and, at the state level, Home Base Iowa government agencies, which often host hiring fairs as well.

Do an Internet search on your locality to see if a similar organization exists near you. Also, contact your local Veterans Affairs office; officials there may know about upcoming hiring fairs that might interest you.

STUDENT VETERANS OF AMERICA

By getting involved with Student Veterans of America (SVA), you help veterans acclimate to campus and their college pursuits, while also mentoring and grooming valuable future employees before they graduate.

SVA is a 501(c)(3) coalition of student veterans’ groups on college campuses worldwide. Each chapter must be an officially recognized student group by its university or college and provide a peer-to-peer network for veterans attending the school. Chapters often coordinate campus activities and provide pre-professional networking.

Getting to know these students one-on-one catapults your organization as a recognized and preferred veteran-friendly employer and solidifies your standing among them.

What are some things you can do to engage SVA members?

  • Become a member of the Student Veteran Success Corps. This is an elite coalition of companies supporting the idea that true career success starts with a postsecondary degree or certificate. Members commit to connect with SVA chapters at their target schools to provide enhanced access to employment opportunities for veterans.
  • Join with SVA’s partner, the American Corporate Partners (ACP) program. You’ll be paired with a student veteran to aid in their professional development for a yearlong mentorship. Matched pairs must have at least 12 significant discussions about the protege’s career objectives. There are two choices to participate: 1) ACP’s National Program supports remote mentorships, and communication is via phone, email or videoconference. 2) ACP’s Local Programs operate in cities with high densities of participants. Additionally, ACP offers the AdvisorNet program, an online network of volunteer advisors who share business expertise and advice with veterans and family members. Veterans post questions on employment, career development and small business.

INSTEP PROGRAMS

“InSTEP” stands for “Industry-Specific Training and Education Programs.”

You’ll want to recruit from one of these if your business has a particular niche. Here are three examples:

  • Helmets to Hardhats: Connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active duty veterans with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. Most career opportunities offered by the program are connected to federally approved apprenticeship training programs. Because these apprenticeships are regulated and approved at both federal and state levels, veterans can use Montgomery GI Bill benefits to supplement their income while they are learning valuable skills and on-the-job training. HelmetsToHardhats.org
  • Wall Street Warfighters: Identifies, develops and places service-disabled veterans in careers in the financial services industry. Based in Philadelphia, the program is a six-month in-residence course that includes classwork; field work; exam preparation and testing; mentorships; apprenticeships; and internships. WallStreetWarfighters.org
  • Troops to Teachers: Assists eligible military personnel to transition to a new career as public school teachers in “high-need” schools. A network of state offices provides participants with counseling and assistance regarding certification requirements, routes to state certification and employment leads. The TTT homepage provides information and resource links, including a job referral system, to allow participants to search for job vacancies as well as links to state departments of education, state certification offices, model resumes and other job listing sites in public education. TroopsToTeachers.net

Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program (DVOP). Officials with this program, which is operated by the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), work with employers, veterans’ organizations, the Department of Veterans Affairs and community-based organizations to connect veterans—especially those who have disabilities related to their service—with jobs and training opportunities. To contact a DVOP specialist, call or visit the nearest State Employment Service (sometimes known as Job Service) agency administered by your state government. And for more information on DVOP online, read a fuller summary of its capabilities in a Department of Labor fact sheet.

Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVERs). These officials in the local offices of state employment services aim to help veterans find work by identifying job and training opportunities; ensuring that veterans get priority in job listings from federal contractors; promoting federally funded job and training programs; and more. To find your local LVER, contact the VETS office nearest you. And for more details online, read a fuller summary of its mission in a Department of Labor fact sheet.

Goodwill Industries. Goodwill helps veterans connect with hiring employers, assists them with translating their military skills and offers them support services they need. In 2011, it joined the White House’s Joining Forces initiative to help veterans and military spouses find work. It’s now partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program to offer job workshops, resume reviews and other career assistance at HOH hiring fairs.

100,000 Jobs Mission. JPMorgan Chase and other companies launched this initiative in 2011, aiming to reach that total in veteran hires by 2020. By joining the coalition, you make a commitment to hire veterans and get access to reports and meetings in which companies share hiring practices that work best. Go to VeteranJobsMission.com.

US Military Pipeline. Part of the 100,000 Jobs Mission, this platform connects employers and veterans who are looking for work. Go to USMilitaryPipeline.com.

Hero Health Hire. This is a coalition of health care companies dedicated to helping disabled veterans find meaningful jobs. At this site, employers can find information and additional guidance on hiring and training these veterans. Go to HeroHealthHire.com.

Hire Heroes USA. A nonprofit organization and job board that connects veterans and spouses with employers. Employers can register to get access to the board. Visit HireHeroesUSA.org.

GENERAL TIPS

Tap the power of existing veteran employees. Ask current workers who are veterans 1) if they have any personal referrals that could lead to candidates, and 2) to spread the word to veteran networks. The Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families reported that Ernst & Young used word-of-mouth efforts successfully to promote their Veterans Network, which helped not only with recruiting but in transitioning new veteran workers to the company.

Provide recruiting materials to veterans organizations. Establishing relationships with these groups can help you connect with the veterans you’re looking for. These groups might also be able to post jobs. Also, consider following them on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

Consider advertising with media channels. Subscribe to these publications and determine whether it’s appropriate for you to run ads. Or follow them on social media:

  • Stars and Stripes
  • Military Times Group. This group publishes Military Times, Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times.
  • G.I. Jobs magazine
  • Service-specific publications. Although you won’t be able to advertise in official government publications, explore private media outlets that cater to specific service branches, such as Marine Corps Gazette or National Guard magazine.