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How to Hire Veterans, and Why it Matters for GovCons

Attracting the right people to an organization is imperative for every business, but even more so for government contractors faced with stringent deadlines and requirements. Your team makes your business happen — you want top-tier talent you can retain for years that won't waste training or hurt efficiency; you want someone who understands the importance of functioning as a team, working towards team goals, and delivering results under pressure.

Luckily, there's another place you find disciplined institutional culture and high levels of expertise — the United States military. Veterans are highly trained to deal with much of the same challenges and goals that your team does on a daily basis and to perform at high levels when people are relying on their work. 

The advantages to hiring military veterans are innumerable for GovCons and with a few easy strategies, you can improve company culture, retention, and the bottom line by getting more veterans on your team today. Understanding how to hire veterans is easier than you might think. Learn more below, then partner with GovConPay for leading applicant tracking and onboarding solutions.

How to Hire Veterans

Sometimes there can be so many resources available it can be tough to know where to start. Job boards and resumes can waste your time or compromise candidates. Your work is important, and you shouldn't have to settle with someone who doesn't offer the skills you need or is a right fit.

Millions of veterans await opportunities, some of them just like the ones you have. Don't miss each other — make sure you're doing everything you can to get veterans you want on your team.

Look in the Right Places

The federal government actually offers many resources for career referral and training for veterans. Partnering with these services puts your job in the same area as veterans looking for work. You do specialized work and need a qualified candidate, so getting involved in systems where qualified veterans come to find work outside the military will ensure you have the best chance of seeing the right candidate.

VETS is a program run by the Department of Labor that both works with veterans to provide employment training and guidance and works with employers to connect them with qualified veterans in their area. The program has wide participation among veterans, so there are sure to be some qualified job searchers.

Hiring our Heroes is a program run by The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It seeks to connect veterans searching for jobs with quality employers through hiring events, fellowships, education, and networking. With their currently planned events now entirely virtual, it's a great time to get involved and see if you can connect with that perfectly qualified team member.

The Department of Veteran Affairs performs a myriad of outreach services for former military personnel. They are the largest and most reputable place to see an updated list of resources that employers and veterans are using to make professional connections.

There are plenty of places out there to find veterans looking for employment and there are plenty of veterans looking for jobs. While it still may take time to find someone with the perfect qualifications, more access to the people you want to hire certainly helps. GovConPay can streamline these solutions even further by providing top-level talent acquisition and screening to find you the exact right people to enrich your team.

Write Veteran-Friendly Job Descriptions

When you are writing employment descriptions, remember who you want to attract and what they're after. For recently separated military veterans, many are looking for similar things in employment. If you can offer what they're after, you'll get the resumes you're after.

Many recent service members aren't familiar with the civilian job field and may not understand traditional jargon. Consider using terminology they understand. Listing experience requirements as MOS, AFSC, or rating will immediately speak a veteran's language and pique their interest. Also consider the language you use when describing job responsibilities and expectations, as civilian employment sometimes can have more assumptions than military duties.

For most veterans, deciding what to do after the military will speak to their character and discipline. Be clear about your goals and visions as many military veterans have become accustomed to associating their work with their ideas and identity. Let your prospective team members know in plain language what they'll be doing, how they'll be doing it, and what effect their efforts will have.

Utilize Internal Veterans

Veterans already on your team can be a vital resource to attracting fresh talent. While most veterans transition cleanly to civilian life and have personal lives indistinguishable from their peers, many former service personnel enjoy spending time with other veterans.

People enjoy associating with those who understand their life experiences. Let the veterans in your organization know what you're looking for in a position. You're unlikely to get a bad referral from an existing employee, let alone a veteran employee who takes pride in their character.

How Can You Benefit From Hiring Veterans?

There are many benefits to hiring veterans for your government contractor positions. Veterans are highly trained professionals and transition cleanly into the type of work you do. You know you can rely on the work of veterans and that they enrich your workplace and the skills of your team.

Improve Company Culture

Veterans not only have proven discipline and dedication to their tasks, but most have deep respect for institutional integrity and community enrichment. Military members come from diverse backgrounds and coalesce into high-performing units in which the differences in individuals become a cultural strength. Hiring military veterans not only gets you a diverse workforce with a unique cultural perspective but also a collection of team members who exhibit high levels of leadership and grace under pressure.

Fill Immediate Employment Gaps

Often the education an employee receives in the military will be comprehensive in ways that traditional civilian education is not. Former service members are highly experienced in performing under pressure and have experience with many unexpected variables compared to a civilian worker in the same field. Though military veterans will still require training like any other employee, former service personnel are the easiest way to know that you're getting someone who's ready for challenges on day one.

Veteran Tax Credits

There are many tax incentives available to employers who hire veterans. These brave people have sacrificed a lot to serve our country, and the government will always offer tax credits to employers who make serious efforts to give opportunities to qualified veterans. With all the other advantages of hiring veterans, free tax credits to help your organization's bottom line are just icing on the cake.

The Right Person for the Right Job

Your organization values similar ideals as the military: dedication, loyalty, honor, and teamwork. Military veterans are your ideal candidate because of what they offer in terms of culture, job experience, and financial benefit; and for these brave men and women, you could be the gateway to their dream of a productive, successful civilian life after the military. 

If you're looking in the right places and utilizing the right strategies, you'll connect soon with that perfect team member who's ready to take your business to the next level.

At GovConPay, we are the only HR and payroll company dedicated solely to serving the government contractor community. We know the unique struggles that GovCons encounter when staffing, and we have extremely sophisticated talent acquisition solutions to ensure that you are getting the highest quality of applicants possible. Contact us today to learn more about what our organization can do to help build your team.