Even though the Department of Defense is a huge organization, recruiting from it does not have to be difficult. Unfortunately, many organizations make it harder than it is by taking a “one size, fits all” approach to recruiting, regardless of whom they are targeting for open positions. Using the same brochures, web-material, recruiting techniques, job advertising copy, and sources doesn’t do much to reach out to your target market. It over-generalizes the company and its careers without zeroing in on what is important to the targeted candidates and therefore lacks the “hook” for effective recruiting. But there is a simple and better way to target transitioning and former military personnel. Take a look at some of the steps I have outlined below:
- Find a source of data that meets your needs and budget. Sourcing is where it all begins. There are many sources, such as visiting military bases, advertising in military targeted magazines and journals, utilizing search firms, and using online job posting/resume database systems that specialize in this market. Of course, all of these vary in price, quality, comprehensiveness, and time-efficiency.
- Go at least “halfway” in understanding the experiences and skills that are translatable to your industry and/or job openings. You can accomplish this by enlisting the support of former military personnel within your own organization who can help “train” and assist you in the recruitment effort.
- Insure you have the commitment of your hiring managers (if they are former military, this makes it much easier) to “take a chance” on hiring transitioning military. Print and distribute my previously written articles as “ammo” for your cause.
- Hire a few veterans and watch how they meet your mission. Focus on communicating how potential veteran applicants can see where they would fit into your organization to secure a good fit.
- Use the momentum of your recent hires to increase the amount of hiring you can do from this talented pool. This may involve adding some new recruitment materials, or even creating a “we hire military”-type feature web page to showcase other successful former military employees and how the company embraces them as well. You may also web-link this page to some online sources of former military applicants for added exposure.
- Sit back, and watch it EXPLODE! The military community is very close and word travels fast. Positive relations with your military hires will go a long way in creating the added momentum for an excellent long-term recruitment program. For many of these potential applicants, there is some nervousness and anxiety about the change. If they can see that you are specifically targeting their skills, experience, and character qualities, then they will rally around your company and opportunities
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After working with thousands of transitioning military candidates over the years, I can say that companies who make a concerted effort to focus on and embrace the military community are well rewarded with many ready-made employees. The above strategies will help to get your program off its feet! <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>