FINDING VETERANS AND SPOUSES TO HIRE
USAA pursues national awards for military-friendly hiring practices and participates in multiple best practice surveys with leading military media outlets to increase awareness of its support to the military community and its commitment to hire veterans and spouses. These awards do not go unnoticed and can be earned by deserving companies of all sizes.
The company’s Military Talent Management team attends meetings at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Fort Sam Houston, TX, to brief transitioning injured service members and their families about job searches and preparing for civilian careers. That team also has continued to increase its outreach through military blogs and a presence on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, which helps to reach millennial job seekers.
The company also advertises job openings in a wide range of military-related publications, to include job-related veteran publications, local military newspapers, websites and hiring fair brochures.
Dave Dunckel, veterans initiatives manager for Roush Enterprises, emphasizes the need for networking and talking about job opportunities to everyone you meet. (He calls this “ABC—Always Be ’Cruiting.”) His efforts have translated into earned media including newspaper and radio, which amplifies the Roush commitment to hiring veterans.
Working with National Guard or Reserve units is also a large part of Roush’s recruiting strategy. Members of these units are together for a weekend each month, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to meet them. First, get in touch with a unit nearby. You can go directly to local units or to the state-level leadership to get a contact. Reach out to them and see if you can be available to meet with veterans at a time that doesn’t interfere with training or when you won’t be a distraction. Dunckel has found that Sunday afternoons, before everyone leaves, are a good time.
Dunckel also recommends taking a computer to the installation, so candidates can apply on the spot. Make sure to take marketing material and business cards, too. If you can, speak directly to the senior members of the unit (such as the first sergeant or unit readiness officer) to remind them that you’re always available if someone is interested in employment or career advice in the future.
Take a computer to a local unit, so candidates can apply for open positions on the spot.
“At hiring fairs, I don’t stand behind the table,” says Dunckel. “I am out in front shaking hands and introducing myself to job seekers.” Ideally, you will be able to bring more than one person to a hiring fair. One or two recruiters can talk to people who come to the table, and someone else can walk around and network to meet veterans and spouses who may be a good fit for the company.
During one of the first hiring fairs Roush attended, Dunckel met a lieutenant colonel in the Marines who was looking for employment. The veteran applied for a warehouse supervisor position. While his previous experience didn’t exactly align with the job description, the Roush team appreciated that the candidate had moved two Marines task forces from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to Afghanistan, which does translate to warehouse logistics. That veteran is still at the company and excelling in his position. This has helped boost the credibility of the veteran hiring program with some of those who were initially skeptical.
PARTNERING WITH VETERAN SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONS
According to Safeway, Inc., “Part of our success in seeking military talent has been to partner with the various veteran employment centers, as well as transition centers on military bases, utilizing military-focused placement agencies, establishing relationships with veteran employment assistance agencies and attending veteran hiring fairs.”
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