How to hire vets and why they're important to have in the workplace

How to hire vets and why they're important to have in the workplace

Military veterans are people who have served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Hiring veterans can be important for the workplace, as they often possess valuable knowledge and expertise to contribute to teams. By allowing veterans to use their unique skill sets in the workplace, you can create a diverse culture that fosters support among team members and encourages collaboration. Learn more about how to hire veterans, their importance, and the value they can bring to your work culture.

How to hire military veterans

There are multiple ways to hire military veterans, such as creating inclusive job postings that appeal to veteran candidates. In a job description, for example, you might highlight skills that military veterans commonly possess, such as adaptability and tenacity. You could also include a sentence or paragraph explicitly encouraging candidates with a military background to apply, as it extends a warm welcome to your organization.

The government also offers a suite of resources for hiring vets that can point you in the right direction. The Department of Veterans Affairs compiled this documentation, including information for employers who want to hire vets, supervisors and managers of veterans, and people who work in human resources who want to learn how to better advocate for their veteran employees. For example, there are several links to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which provides educational documents to inform employers about PTSD and how to support employees who have it.

Another common way to hire veterans is through university programs and government sites that connect employers to veterans looking for work. Some of these programs are specifically for veterans who have recently exited their service and are seeking employment opportunities that use similar skills as their roles in the military. There are also programs to help veterans find business leaders who are hiring and offer one-on-one mentoring to guide them through the recruiting process.

What veterans bring to the work culture

Veterans can bring an array of valuable traits and life experience that can improve the culture in a workplace, including a strong sense of responsibility and adaptability. They typically adapt quickly to new situations, allowing them to succeed in various roles. Veterans often demonstrate high levels of dedication to their work, meaning they can improve efficiency in the workplace by adhering to deadlines and identifying ways to help others do the same. This commitment makes many veterans ideal candidates for leadership and management roles, as they can delegate tasks and supervise others responsibly.

Hiring vets can add cultural diversity to a workplace. Veterans have typically spent time in other countries interacting with people from various ethnicities and backgrounds. They usually have experience communicating with diverse groups of people and can help make a work environment welcoming to multicultural candidates.

Military roles involve being part of a team. Consequently, another trait that often makes veterans excellent employees is their ability to collaborate. Most veterans know how to work effectively with others. They can be great motivators who help lead teams to new levels of success.

"Veterans can bring an array of valuable traits and life experience that can improve the culture in a workplace, including a strong sense of responsibility and adaptability."

Why it's important to hire military veterans

Military veterans can add considerable value to a workplace. Many veterans have entrepreneurial instincts and can offer great insight into new ways to achieve goals, which can be very helpful for managers and business owners. Vets are usually trustworthy, and having them on your team can encourage integrity, allowing others to learn by example.

Another reason to hire veterans is that they help to build a solid, stable workforce. Many veterans exhibit resiliency and loyalty, which makes them reliable employees who can withstand challenges at work. Employing vets can also enhance employee retention, as they may be more likely to remain in their roles or with your company for longer than candidates who struggle with changing environments or unpredictable responsibilities.

Since many veterans receive specialized training while serving in their branches, they often have exceptional skills in unique areas. For example, veterans who serve in combat may have outstanding attention to detail and basic medical training, which can equip them well for jobs in areas such as health care and emergency services. It's also common for veterans to have administrative experience, which helps them succeed in office roles. Trades are another area where veterans frequently thrive, as many have electrical, plumbing, or various mechanical engineering certifications.

How to honor Veteran's Day in the workplace

Here are a few tips about how to honor Veteran's Day in your workplace: 

Make and send care packages

One approach to honor Veterans Day at work is to allot time to create care packages for currently deployed military members. This can be a great way to collaborate and show respect for veterans past and present while offering material help to members currently in service. Ask each employee to bring items to donate, make homemade cards or blankets, or go as a group and purchase personal care items to distribute. Package the items you collect, and mail them to active military members.

Host a workplace party

If your team works together in person, consider throwing a party to celebrate Veteran's Day. Schedule time in the day to share food, toast veterans in the office, and engage in fun activities. During the festivities, you can find ways to educate the people in your workplace about the importance of Veteran's Day: with trivia about the history of the holiday, for example. You might also fly a flag if your workplace allows it to add reverence to the event.

Offer your thanks

If there are veterans currently working in your office, take the time to thank them in person for their service. You could tell them vocally, give them a card with a special message to show your gratitude, or even get them a small gift, such as a token to remember the day or a flower bouquet. Another option is to donate to a charity supporting veterans and active service members, which shows ongoing support and gratitude for the troops and their service.

Wear read clothing or flowers

Another way you can celebrate Veteran's Day at work is by wearing red in support of the troops. This display is a sign of respect and thanks both to veterans and also to active members of the military. If you have Veteran's Day off of work, you can encourage the entire team to wear red on a specific day before then to show your respect to your veteran coworkers. 

Many people also wear red flowers, like poppies, in lieu of red clothing. If you want to add an even more interactive element to your celebration, you can donate to a charity and receive paper flowers that veterans make during their rehabilitation and therapy programs. This lets you wear red in support of Veteran's Day while also giving to a cause that helps veterans firsthand.

These are just a few ways to hire and honor veterans. Consider the importance of including veterans in your workplace culture and how their specialized abilities can improve your workplace. You can also review the best ways to find job candidates to ensure you cater your recruiting efforts to include military vets.

More tips for hiring veterans and other candidates:

For specific advice on how to encourage veterans to apply for your jobs, review ways to attract and hire military veterans.

Learn how to write inclusive job descriptions to ensure your job listings apply to veterans and other types of candidates.

If you're curious about how to get new candidates, read about best practices for recruiting.

Interested in how to keep the employees you hire? Discover ways to reduce employee turnover.

Explore ways to take part in inclusive candidate sourcing to help you develop strategies for attracting veterans and other diverse candidates.

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