Almost 80 percent of CEOs are concerned that the ongoing skills shortage will adversely impact their businesses’ ability to grow. As such, a growing number of employers are turning to veteran job fairs in order to recruit former service members with in-demand skills. Unfortunately, employers’ investments in these events does not always yield the desired ROI. An inability to find candidates with the right skills, a highly competitive environment, and imperfect communication between veterans and civilian recruiters all contribute to this lack of returns. Employers that want to capitalize on veteran job fairs need to create strategies that ensure a good understanding of the veteran candidate persona, the ability to interpret military résumés and recognize transferable skills, and clear communication about all aspects of their available jobs and their organizations. In addition, these strategies should enable employers to position themselves as attractive, veteran-friendly employers and provide a means to get the best candidates into the hiring process onsite. By creating effective recruiting strategies for veteran job fairs, employers can take advantage of the scope of these events while simultaneously ensuring they attract candidates that possess the right skills and the potential to be successful in their organizations.
Many former military personnel possess skills and experience that make them highly sought-after by companies. However, almost 50 percent of veterans leave their first post-military job in under a year for a variety of cultural, professional, and organizational reasons. Employers that want to leverage veterans’ potential need to create veteran-friendly workplaces by educating management and employees, designing quality onboarding programs, establishing mentoring and reverse mentoring programs, providing dedicated career support, and creating flexible work environments. In addition, they need to create employee assistance programs that are tailored to veterans, organize team building activities to promote assimilation, and recognize the contributions of veterans and their families to U.S. society.
A growing number of U.S. companies report that recruiting and retaining qualified, affordable talent is becoming increasingly challenging. Yet cost containment and human capital are essential to succeeding in the global, innovation-driven marketplace. Despite the need for talent, several misconceptions prevent employers from recognizing the potential of military spouses. They believe that military families’ frequent relocations would impact retention and jeopardize their ROI. In addition, they believe that military spouses don’t have the technical and soft skills required in today’s workplace and that they’re too isolated to add value through professional networks.
By 2021, the number of veterans of the United States Armed Forces in the civilian labor force is expected to rise from 10.6 million to 12.1 million. These men and women bring with them well-honed skill sets in a wide range of occupations, as well as valuable soft skills such as discipline, communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. Yet while 45 percent of U.S. hiring managers are experiencing difficulty finding qualified candidates, they frequently fail to recognize the capabilities of former military personnel due to miscommunication, misconceptions, and veterans’ lack of experience in the civilian job market. By creating a veteran-friendly company culture and adjusting their talent acquisition strategies, employers can leverage the unique strengths of former military personnel to advance their business objectives while simultaneously giving back to veterans and their communities.