November 7, 2023

What can employers do to become more attractive to veterans?

We talk a lot about how veterans and service leavers can translate their skills into civvy-street competencies. 

But we don’t talk so much about what employers need to do to encourage ex-military candidates to apply for roles in their companies. 

It’s the ex-military folk who are bringing so many highly sought-after skills. So, companies should be doing their utmost to encourage these golden candidates to apply for roles. 

Ben Read, founder of Redeployable, shares his five tips for employers looking to hire from the military community. 

1. Share your mission and values.

Vets are mission and value-focused people. You don’t join the forces unless you’re looking for a career that, at its core, is about making a difference. Every aspect of military roles aids in reaching a goal or finishing a mission. 

Companies often have the same set-up, with a North Star mission driving the team forward and motivating them to achieve. Share this; it will showcase how passionate your company is and get candidates excited about getting stuck in.

Shooting star illustration

2. Showcase the progression opportunities 

Careers in the forces are very structured. Personnel can map their progression and are motivated to perform to level up their rank. 

As a result, candidates from the ex-forces community will be looking for roles with clear progression. One study found that 70% of veterans felt that career progression was the most important thing to them when searching for a new role. Showcase this, and make sure it’s super clear where they’ll be in a few years.

3. Ensure your job descriptions are easy to read and clearly state the skills required

Military folk have a lot of skills to offer and will be able to share examples of where they’ve put them to use in their previous career.

It might be that they haven’t had a civvy street role yet, so they won’t have like-for-like experience as other candidates. Make it clear in your job description what kind of skills you’re looking for so they can determine if they’ll be a fit.

A hand holding a lightbulb in front of 'Skills' written on a chalk board

4. Train hiring managers to understand military rank, role and terminology

Being clued up means any veterans who join your team won’t have to educate everyone themselves or spend a lot of time explaining their experience.

Plus, if your hiring manager has a handle on military terminology, it will help them to navigate an interview better.  

5. Add paid time off into your HR policy for Reservists who still serve in some capacity

Reservists are required to attend regular training sessions to maintain their skills and readiness. This could take place on weekends or evenings, but sometimes they’re required to take a few days away from work. Plus (although much less commonly), they’re sometimes required for operational deployments or to take on support roles in the case of civil emergencies. 

Having paid time off in your HR policy not only shows you support the community, but it means you’ll retain top talent in the case of them needing to serve. 

Are you in need of some top talent? Get in touch. We’ll help you find the perfect match for your team. 

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