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3 Effective Ways to Recruit Military Talent


Veterans are among the most highly skilled, well-trained individuals in the world with leadership capabilities and a work ethic like no other. They can add tremendous value to your corporate culture, support your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hiring initiatives, and provide a competitive advantage to your organization. You just need to recruit and hire them.

Here are three ways to recruit and hire Veterans looking for work.

1. Use Veteran-Friendly Language in Your Job Descriptions

The language barrier between Veterans and civilians can hinder your hiring efforts, but there are ways to help Veterans better understand the job functions of your open roles. When you post a job, make sure the job description is clear, concise, and explains the responsibilities in detail. Align your open roles to MOS/military classification codes whenever possible; this will set you apart and identify you as a Veteran-friendly employer.

For example, if you’re writing a job description for an operations manager, you might highlight the need for strong leadership skills, people skills, and attention to detail rather than focusing on the tactical requirements of the job. If you’re looking for a strong leader who can guide and motivate your employees while performing different job functions, consider hiring a Veteran with military leadership experience. You will have an easier time attracting Veteran applicants when you use language that appeals to their sense of teamwork, collaboration, and leadership.

In addition to crafting Veteran-friendly job descriptions, you can support Veterans during the interview process as well. Encourage candidates to elaborate on their areas of expertise. Ask them to talk about situations where they used both hard and soft skills, not just technical training. If a candidate uses military jargon in their resume, it might be hard to understand how their background qualifies them for the job you’re trying to fill. However, recruiters can learn to interpret military jargon so they can connect the dots between the Veteran’s expertise and the qualifications required for the job.

2. Learn How to Read a Veteran’s Resume

When a servicemember leaves the military, it’s often difficult for them to condense their resume to the standard one or two pages, and recruiters have a tough time understanding how military accomplishments translate into civilian work skills. A Veteran's resume differs from that of a civilian. It's more complicated, and it might include a long list of military ranks, job titles, and skills that hiring managers are not familiar with.

If your company’s HR professionals don’t understand how the military operates, they might have trouble reading a Veteran’s resume. To address this problem, utilize resources that can train your staff to read, comprehend, and translate common military jargon. Hiring managers should have a basic understanding of military skills, experience, and terminology so they can relate them to civilian job opportunities.

Most hiring managers are used to reading resumes from civilians who specialize in their career fields right away. Veterans, on the other hand, have resumes that show more complex career progression because they’ve done so many different jobs. When servicemembers are on active duty, the military trains them to be masters of all trades. Therefore, Veterans can have a wide range of experience in many different fields such as logistics, personnel, risk management, and finance. Employers should recognize this and be prepared for resumes that don’t fit the typical civilian mold.

3. Look Beyond Veterans’ Resumes to Find Talent

Too many Veterans are rejected for jobs because they have non-traditional work backgrounds. While hiring processes rely heavily on resumes submitted online, Veterans can get lost in the shuffle because they might not have the exact experience recruiters are screening for. When they don't look like traditional candidates on paper, high-performing Veterans often won’t get the chance to demonstrate their potential to hiring managers.

If you’re serious about hiring Veterans, look beyond their resumes to find their talent. Recognize the soft skills and character traits they developed in the military, such as integrity, commitment, respect, and excellence in everything they do. Veterans have capabilities that set them apart from civilians, so don’t miss out on this unique pool of talent. When you hire Veterans, they may soon become your hardest working and most valued employees.

HireMilitary Can Help You Find Talent

AAFMAA is dedicated to serving the best interests of the military community, which is why we partner with organizations like HireMilitary that offer opportunities to those who have served. If you are looking for a way to grow your workforce with smart, resilient job candidates, HireMilitary is a great resource that is always moving forward to decrease Veteran and Military Spouse underemployment by bringing employers and the military community together. To learn how HireMilitary can train your staff to read Veterans’ resumes or assist you in recruiting and hiring military talent, please send a message to [email protected].