Hundreds of thousands of military veterans will soon re-enter the civilian workforce. It's time for the private sector, companies both big and small, to step up and provide this group with employment opportunities. Military veterans are well-disciplined, trained, dedicated and hard working. They deserve our support.
However, hiring military veterans can pose some challenges for employers. For example, how do you translate military experience to the civilian job market? How do you reach out to the veteran workforce? What about the special-needs veteran, those with injuries or disabilities? All good questions and ones that sometimes cause employers to unfortunately shy away from actively recruiting and hiring veterans.
How do you translate military experience to civilian jobs? The best answer is a little creativity and research on the part of the hiring manager and/or recruiter. For example, if you see "Quartermaster" on an Army veteran's resume, you should know that this person was responsible for logistics support of soldiers and operations. This person was probably responsible for providing support for thousands of soldiers and equipment around the world. If he could do that, he could probably handle your warehouse in Denver. If you are a civilian employer, translate "Quartermaster" or "Supply" to jobs like warehouse manager. (By the way, Quartermaster has a different definition if the person was in the Navy.)
Simply do an Internet search for "military job titles" to find lots of handy sites that will help you translate military job titles to the more common civilian job titles.
Reaching veterans is actually fairly easy. There are many job sites where you can post your jobs. Here are a couple of job board sites targeting veterans that we at Forte Human Resources have used: www.hirepatriots.com and www.recruitmilitary.com. Of course, you can reach out to your local military base directly. Contact 800-226-0841 to find an ACAP contact near you.
Again, a little creativity and resourcefulness on the part of the hiring manager and recruiter will bring excellent results.
There are incentives to hire a vet.
The government has provided a carrot to those employers who hire veterans. Under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program (WOTC) an employer may receive a significant tax credit when hiring certain veterans. The tax credit can be worth up to $2,400 if you hire a veteran who has been out of work for at least one month and up to $5,600 if he or she has been unemployed for more than six months. The credit can be worth up to $9,600 if you hire a veteran with a service-related disability. Be sure and understand the particulars of these programs before trying to take advantage of them.
So, don't be shy. Veterans deserve our support. A little effort on our part will go a long way toward helping them successfully reenter the civilian workforce. Forte Human Resources can help with your recruiting needs as part of our total HR solution.
P.S. This month Eric Shinseki, a retired four-star Army general and secretary of veterans affairs, wrote an article worth reading in the Wall Street Journal. It can be found at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204224604577028422920213512.html.