Hiring veterans is emerging as a strong talent acquisition strategy in modern times. This is owing to the fact that veterans have proven leadership skills , due to their exposure to tough and demanding situations, and recruiting them is proving to be an asset to the organizations.
The author has made an attempt in this blog to present an overview of how the hiring of veterans may be evolved into a strong talent acquisition strategy, benefitting the organizations immensely. Other multi-faceted aspects of hiring veterans have also been discussed in the light of available information.
1.0 Contents of the blog
- Some general survey results about veterans
- Advantages of hiring veterans
- Why should you have a veteran talent acquisition strategy in your organization
- Challenges in having a veteran hiring strategy
- Evolving a veteran talent acquisition strategy which works
- Status in India
2.0 Definitions of veterans
2.1 As per Webster Dictionary
Webster Dictionary defines a veteran as follows:
- One, who is much experienced in any service , especially a soldier or an ex-soldier
- A member of the armed forces, who has been in active service
- Having had long experience or practice
2.2 As per Cambridge Dictionary
Cambridge dictionary defines the veteran as follows:
- A person, who has had lot of experience of a particular activity
- Someone who has been in the armed forces during a war
2.3 As per CHRMP, (blog.chrmp.com)
The author has defined a veteran as follows:
A veteran is a person who has vast experience and is a specialist in a particular field. We may usually define Veteran as a member of armed forces, who has either fought in a war or has a long military career.
In the context of this blog, a veteran is an ex-armed forces member.
3.0 Some general survey results about “Veterans”
Lot of surveys have been carried out about “veterans” at workplace. These are furnished below:
- About 94% of the veterans, who transition out of armed forces in U.S.A, long for jobs, after successfully completing their job in military.[Ref 1]
- According to the “2019 Military Friendly Employer Survey” of USA, 60% of the employers said that the employee retention rate was better among veterans than the rest of the employees. [Ref 2]
- Nearly 40% of employers, who have open positions said that they can’t find the right talent to fill those roles. Savvy employers have discovered that military veterans provide a rich talent pool of candidates, with the skillsets and qualities, they are seeking, and that they have benefitted greatly. [Ref 3]
- In a recent hiring survey, 68% of employers said that if they had two equally qualified candidates , and one was a veteran, they would hire the veteran. [Ref 4]
- A recent veteran hiring survey found that 48% of employers said they pay more attention to job applications submitted by U.S. Veterans. [Ref 4]
The abovementioned survey results clearly illustrate that veterans are highly valuable and precious individuals. However, the world has not been able to realize their full potential yet.
This blog will help the employers to work out a veteran talent acquisition strategy in an appropriate manner. Thus, this will be a win-win situation for both the employers and the veterans.
4.0 Advantages of hiring veterans, as part of talent acquisition strategy
The author has formulated the following 15 qualities in veterans, which make them an extremely valuable hire-material for any organization.
- Extraordinary leadership skills
- They do have a knack for transforming any project into successful one.
- Equipped with soft-skills
- An intrinsic in-built quality for quick learning
- Adaptable to new and difficult situations
- Disciplined, intelligent, sincere and hardworking
- Do or die attitude
- Totally committed to the goal
- Well-qualified and have already proved their mettle in armed forces
- Second to none in experience
- Already exposed to extensive job training
- Capable of yielding tangible results
- Adaptable to any situation
- Capable of shining in tough situations
The reference , in their blog, they enumerate the following advantages:
· “Most military Veterans have already been through tough and demanding situations. It's not easy to ruffle their feathers, and they are ready to respond to a variety of company needs and challenges.
· Military Veterans tend to perform very well under pressure. They don't run away from a challenge. In fact, they tend to embrace it.
· Boosts in company performance and profitability. As trouble-shooters and problem-solvers, military hires can save businesses time and money with their competence and willingness to push forward for the client.
"Military Veterans come with soft skills already built in," Collins said. Rather than having to train them, she said, "The case for hiring Veterans is that you are hiring talent that comes with many strong soft skills and workplace know-how. Everyone wants to hire employees who are ready to jump in and get to work, and I have found that to be constant among the military Veterans we hire."
5.0 Why should you have a veteran talent acquisition strategy in your organization
We have dealt in section 4.0 ,in detail, the advantages associated with hiring of veterans. These are the basic reasons why should you have a veteran talent acquisition strategy in your organization.
Further, the armed forces veterans are taught, during their active service, the theoretical and practical aspects of leadership, communication, and behavioral skills. Thus, they develop the unique qualities of surviving amidst the toughest situations. Thus, they may emerge as natural leaders in any organization, given an opportunity to serve.
Veterans have the unique qualities of taking their people along with them. They are fully aware that united they stand , and divided they fall. That is why the teams having veterans work miraculously , to perform impossible tasks , even amidst the toughest situations.
6.0 Challenges in having a veteran talent acquisition strategy
Organizations are not able to evolve a talent acquisition strategy for hiring veterans due to any or all of the following reasons:
- There is no emphasis, as such, in the organization, for hiring veterans.
- The top echelon of the organization is simply not aware of the immense benefits, which hiring veterans may accrue to the organizations.
- The organization does not have the methodology to work in the direction of hiring veterans.
- The management is too much obsessed with the hard skills in the organization. They don’t bother about the soft skills and other modern skills, which veterans bring with them.
- The organization is not able to define where veterans may fit in .
- The last, but not the least, you are at a loss to comprehend, what questions to ask and how to integrate them in your organization.
The reference , in their blog, shed light on the last point of the above description viz how to prepare to interview a veteran , and also , how to integrate them in your organization.
7.0 Evolving a veteran talent acquisition strategy which works
Before evolving a talent acquisition strategy for any organization, it is essential to know, what does the literature say.
7.1 Literature search on how to hire veterans, as talent acquisition strategy
The reference , in their blog, furnish the following 5 tips for better veteran talent acquisition.
- Develop a unique veteran recruitment strategy
- Market your company as a military ready employer
- Leverage unique military job boards
- Utilize existing initiatives
- Translate military jargons into civilian skills
Similarly, the reference , in their blog, list the 13 best practices to hire veterans. The readers may go through them.
The reference , in their blog list 5 quick tips to hire veterans. These are:
- Understand basic military culture
- Write veteran friendly job description
- Ask the right questions
- Tap into recruiter sources
7.2 Evolving a veteran talent acquisition strategy which works
The author has evolved a new talent acquisition strategy for hiring veterans, as follows:
- Understand how the unique soft skills, possessed by the veterans , may be useful to your organization.
- Then integrate it with your job or talent or skills requirements.
- Simplify the process of hiring.
For this ,the following steps may be taken:
- Design a simple application form.
- Holding a friendly interview with the veterans to know, what is the best in them, which can benefit the organization.
- Identify the skill gap, if any, before hiring.
- Being aware of skill gap is very important.
- Decide if the skill gap identified may be bridged by training and or the orientation.
- Hire and train if necessary.
- Evaluate the process and take corrective actions if need be.
8.0 Status in India regarding hiring veterans, as part of talent acquisition strategy
As per the reference , 3 multi-national companies in India mainly, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and UBS, initiated attempts in 2019 in hiring armed forces veterans in India.
Around 75000 armed forces personnel many between the age of 32 and 45, retire each year. Around 1.5 lakh veterans are estimated to be employed by India Inc. Also 1500-1800 veterans are employed across financial service companies in India.
The details from the above reference may be summarized in brief as follows:
- Goldman Sachs have initiated an Armed Forces Integration Program (AFIP) in Bengaluru. As per Vidya Lakshmi, head of Human Capital Management, at Goldman Sachs, VUCA ( volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) , is the greatest trait possessed by veterans , which they are trying to transfer to company roles. The veterans selected are contributing to operations, securities, and project management.
- UBS India, country head Harry Edgar who is himself a Swiss-Air-Force veteran , has said that the diverse background of armed forces veterans in India may prove to be boom to their company.
The reference , elucidates that Wells Fargo have introduced veterans program in India as part of diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion may prove to be an asset.
Veterans often find Human Resource Management as a suitable field for them in the corporate world. Various veterans have benefitted from the short term HR Certification courses offered by CHRMP.
The following two certifications offered by us are a good fit for veterans looking for an successful stint in Human Resource Management.