Robert Half

4 Tips for Hiring Veterans

March 31, 2017
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By Paul McDonald

Robert Half

Unlike many of us who head straight from school into our first jobs, U.S. military veterans follow a nobler path — serving our country.

While on duty, one of the many sacrifices they make is being out of the civilian workforce for months or years, which can make reentry difficult. Like many organizations, Robert Half believes that veterans deserve the biggest boost we can give them toward joining (or rejoining) the ranks of the employed.

Following are four tips to help companies assist veterans in their transition to the business world based on our experience:

1. Conduct community outreach

Many organizations can connect businesses with veterans looking for work. For example, Robert Half currently works with Transition Assistance Programs (TAP), Soldier for Life (SFL) and Family Readiness Centers at 15 base locations throughout the United States. We post our jobs, attend Employer Panel Days and career fairs, and participate in brown bag sessions. We also closely partner with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes career fairs specifically aimed at military personnel and their spouses.  

2. Share your expertise

“How do you transition from combat boots to heels?” This is just one question that Robert Half Senior District Director Dawn Fay fielded when participating in events for Operation Reinvent, which helps women veterans enter or return to the workforce. Most recently, she spoke via webcast to women from Fort Bragg and Fort Hood, giving them an overview of today’s job market, in-demand skill sets, work attire and other tips about how women can transition from the military to civilian jobs.

3. Make the connection

It’s not always easy to see how someone’s military background translates to the civilian work world. To assist with this, Robert Half has partnered with Direct Employers to create a skills crosswalk translator, which matches military codes to civilian job positions. Candidates or recruiters can enter either a military occupational code or military occupational specialty and identify what positions are available at Robert Half throughout the United States.

4. Consider outside help

Firms that are interested in recruiting veterans but lack resources might want to obtain outside assistance. Companies like VetAdvisor help organizations recruit, retain and support veterans.

Our efforts to hire veterans have earned us recognition, including Veterans Magazine’s list of Best of the Best Top Diversity Employers for Veterans in 2015 and 2016. But the greatest benefit of recruiting veterans is seeing the skills, expertise, judgment and knowledge that former soldiers have honed in the military being put to good use within our company.

Paul McDonald is senior executive director at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm.