When considering candidates for job openings, employers are searching for candidates with skills that will benefit everyone. Some of those skills include teamwork, leadership and time management. Veterans bring these top of the line skills and more to the workplace. Their time in the service has taught them the importance of being able to work in a team, having a sense of duty, how to follow through on assignment and much more. Here are six tips to help employers create a veteran-friendly work environment to help strengthen the company as a whole.
Create Military Friendly Campaigns
Re-evaluate your target audience. Do any of your current campaigns seem friendly and welcoming, especially to veterans? If you aren’t reaching out to veterans and presenting a military-friendly appearance, they’ll be hesitant when it comes to applying. Remember, veterans struggle to find employment and want to know they aren’t wasting their time in applying. Some other ways to reach out to job searching veterans is to take advantage of social media sites and job boards tailored towards military members. On these sites, your business can post job openings and interact with veterans. Also use military recruiters and people already employed in your company with military ties to reach out to veterans in need of work. Referrals are a great way to find qualified candidates.
With the signing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, veterans became recognized by the government as a group who faces barriers when it comes to employment. This means businesses that hire veterans are eligible for a tax incentive called the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). Employers can receive a Federal tax credit ranging from $1,200 to $9,600 for hiring veterans. The number of veterans a company must hire to be eligible for a WOTC depends on the size of the company.
Hold a Veteran Orientation
Not everyone is familiar with the lifestyle that comes with being in the service. One way to help educate your employees is to hold a special orientation on military culture. For current employees, especially supervisors and managers, it’s important for them to understand the military culture and issues veterans commonly face. You want your company to be warm and welcoming to all employees so understanding unique challenges certain individuals might face can only make your company stronger. For veteran employees, also look for ways to provide forms of transition assistance and civilian culture training through the orientation to help adjust to life away from the service.
Develop a Mentoring Program
Building a successful career can often times be thanks to having the right mentor. They can help steer their protégés in the right direction and teach them the ways of the company. Having mentors for new employees provides them with a familiar face they can always turn to with questions they might think are too small for their boss or supervisor. For veterans, finding someone in the company who is a veteran themselves or has a personal connection to the military will make it easier for them to relate. For many veterans, this could be their first civilian job or their first one in several years. The business world is constantly revolving and they might not be up to speed. A mentor can give the tools and advice they need to succeed.
Provide EAP Services
Offering services provided by the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is another way to show your employees you care about their well-being. The services were created as a way to address the hardships and challenges that come with life through counseling and other help sessions. Veteran employees are going to experience some life problems that others in the company might not, such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). EAP provides services by professional trained in Veterans’ issues including PTSD.
Recognize Military Service
Recognizing veterans in the company for their service is one of the most important things you can do. Be sure to celebrate remembrance holidays such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage their co-workers to show their appreciation by thanking them for their service. A simple thank you can certainly welcome a Veteran and will brighten their day.
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